Beginning on Monday, June 15th, I’ll be teaching a five-week class through Philadelphia Photo Arts Center called Outside Influences. In it, participants will be encouraged to draw inspiration from the world around them, explore creativity and new modes of expression, and work outside of their comfort zones!
Please click here for more information, including a registration link.
The first few years I worked in the field of forensics were very challenging. A year of straight night shift left me exhausted, and poorly run departments and incompetent superiors frustrated the heck out of me. But that period proved to be a very creative one, with writing providing a way for me to process what I experienced at work. A friend introduced me to the concept of “flash fiction” or “micro fiction,” which validated the type of writing style I had been working in; the only style I could manage to sustain with such a grueling work schedule.
Last year, I assembled some of the short pieces I wrote during that time and compiled them into a ‘zine consisting of twenty-six pairs of poems, one inspired by what I was exposed to at work paired with another inspired by my life outside of work. The result is “the year of beauty and darkness.” I’m selling them for $6 each, to help cover the cost of printing. If you could like a copy, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I traveled to Kenya last year to photograph the Maasai Olympics, I had the good fortune to photograph some of the young women who were participating in the games for the first time. That inspired me to expand from shooting a single event to crafting a project centered on women working in conservation. As my first follow-up trip, I’ll be traveling to South Africa in November to photograph the Black Mambas, an all-female anti-poaching unit. If you would like to help fund the continuation of this project, please click out my GoFundMe campaign!
I’m super excited to be heading to Kenya in December to photograph the Maasai Olympics, which are a collaboration between Big Life Foundation and local communities to offer an alternative to the traditional rite-of-passage for Maasai males of lion-hunting. Because this is an expensive undertaking, I’ve launched a GoFundMe campaign to help defray the costs related to the trip. Please click here to go to the campaign to learn more about the project and to donate!
Again, my apologies for being a bad “blogger.” Don’t take my silence to mean that nothing’s happening… Quite the opposite; when I don’t post, it means my life is such a whirlwind that I have very little free time. Here is a quick update…
In addition to shooting in abandoned, declining, and depopulated locations for the project I’ve renamed “In absentia,” I’ve been doing a great deal of pinhole photography. What started as a pinhole-a-day self-assignment, has developed into a project called “Reconciliation” where I do self-portraits in different natural settings. By embracing pinhole’s long exposures, I create images where my likeness blends in with that of the natural world, resetting a modicum of balance in the relationship between man and nature that’s become incredibly off-kilter. In these images, I don’t lord over nature, and it doesn’t serve me; we blend into one.
I’ve also begun to photograph coastal areas, such as those in North Carolina and Louisiana, that are most at risk due to climate change, and I hope to travel to Kenya in December to photograph the Maasai Olympics and anti-poaching units that are working toward wildlife preservation.
I currently have work in Red Light, an all-analog show in Toronto that’s part of the Contact Photo Festival, as well as Laurel Hill Circa…, a show that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. I will also be part of the Analog show at GreenHill Center of NC Art in Greensboro from July through November 2018.
And as you can see, I’ve also revamped the site again. It was challenging trying to make the site design conform to my conceptual vision of my work and its phases, so I returned to a more standard design that features current projects and those past that I’m no longer working on but still want to share. Below are the categories from the previous version of the site, because although the site is no longer configured that way, I feel that the life-and-work timeline is still very relevant.
PAST: When I was younger, I was surrounded by fascinating people, traveled to amazing places, and photographed what touched me personally. Life wasn’t always easy, but it was largely beautiful.
PRESENT: Slowly, the ugliness started to seep in. I began to notice people who were disconnected, self-absorbed, and completely and willingly oblivious to their surroundings and the impact of their actions. I acknowledged the enormous amount of waste our society produces, as well as a willingness to abandon and create greater excess rather than to fix or restore. A disconnect between our possessions, where they begin, and how they end. I began to notice the bizarre constructs and the relationships with the natural world that we create. I turned my camera on these negative aspects of society, both fascinated and repulsed by them.
FUTURE: When I look ahead – toward the ultimate outcome of our collective behavior as a species – I find beauty in what I see, in spite of the negative implications. The downward trajectory of humankind written in osteological specimens, light and nature reclaiming our derelict spaces, the return to the elemental… I find myself seeking out what provides me with a glimpse into this post-anthropocentric age. It makes me hopeful that eventually, balance will be restored.
Perhaps the biggest news – that I saved till last – is that I recently moved back to Philadelphia, where I’ll be able to work more closely with The Halide Project. It was hard to say “good bye” to the photographers I met volunteering with Click! and the group of photographers that had begun to coalesce around the Durham Arts Council, but I’m confident that both will continue to grow in my absence!