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I remember very clearly the day it began for me. I was out on my daily lunch-time drive, looking for things to photograph and came back with more underexposed foregrounds and blown-out skies.
As a native of Atlanta,GA, I have spent the last 3 years using my photojournalism practice to highlight and celebrate the narratives of the everyday working class Black American in my hometown. The vainness of society has made us to believe that material assets, social status, and professions are the determinants of value. My work combats this by celebrating the everyday man on woman on their journey through the American system. This work is a celebration of the beautiful souls I’ve come across in my neighborhood who add value to this world simply by existing. The working class Black American is the fabric to the culture of Atlanta. These photographs serve as the liaison to showcase the natural elegance, grace, and cool that we naturally exude. And a love letter to my neighborhood.
Anyone that knows me is aware of my longing and near disabling affinity for nostalgia. A story for another time—but for an extreme example—I literally have a 90s video store museum I built in my spare bedroom. To anyone who will listen to me ramble—though there are not many—I constantly say that we are long past our prime as a society. Sure maybe in certain social aspects have progressed, but in a lot of ways I feel we’ve become more emotional and less mature. Combining that with the insane influx of technology that has flooded our lives over the past twenty years, often makes me retreat to my video store and leave my cell phone outside of it. Instead I have over 200 VHS tapes or a PS2 with tons of games, or maybe I can just read a comic book and escape. It’s important to me, nostalgia and the places that surround the good memories. You see it isn’t just the object—like an old toy or VHS tape—that brings me nostalgia, but the place. So I have these very deep and unexplainable bonds to places that have served as the base for some of my happiest memories. So in asking myself why have I lived in St. Augustine, Florida for so long—22 years out of my 26—do I continue to remain? The answer—I think—can be found in the following photos.
Vancouver Island is the place that I have called home ever since I could remember. I was born in mainland BC, but when I was about a year old my family decided to move to Vancouver Island and I have been here ever since.
The other side of San Diego is a photography project I am publishing this year about the margins of San Diego a lifestyle of particular communities; Chicano gang life and the stories of those persons really living that lifestyle.
The phrase, "The brain is an amazing thing.", is said too many times, so I will say it again with a twist, the brain is an amazingly weird thing when you are me. It will look for anything to do for any small bit of action or entertainment. Humans are social animals for a reason and the Pandemic is a great display of that fact. People are willing to put their health on the lines to talk to others--especially during the holidays. I do not see the point of that and was happy to stay home and relax from school and work. It was the perfect paradise for me...well in the beginning at least.
Photography is a wonderful creative outlet to express your thoughts, feelings and vision. I always loved taking pictures ever since I was young but didn't start pursuing it professionally until 2 years ago; something I wish I had started sooner. As someone who is all about photography and photographs, I've learned throughout the past few years many valuable skills that come from photography and I want to share them with you.
It was early January 2017 when I took this photo. Along with at least several others. The temperature outside was around 10 to 20 degrees below 0. But the surrounding areas looked like an actual winter wonderland. The sky was fairly clear. And all the white snow and ice glittered in the sunlight. Despite the rather bitter cold. The scenery was beautiful. Only a foolish photographer, hobbyist or professional, would let a chance like this slip by. And it was all close to home for me. But there was one slight problem in my case. My car didn't exactly have snow tires. So a friend of mine took some time out of his day to give me a ride on my short but sweet expedition. So I grabbed my camera. Dressed myself as warmly as I could before setting out on the short drive.
Aesthetic photos just make me feel at peace. So why just have aesthetic photos, when you could have Christmas aesthetic photos. It's a two for one kind of deal. Feel merry and at peace!
For this sci-fi photoshoot, my friends Delaney Keith and Joe Leitess brought these characters to life as The Space Babe and The Cowboy. A real-life couple who are both actors, the casting was easy. Delaney and I had been discussing this idea for the last year or so, mulling it over and letting it grow. Finally this October, we were ready.
Has it ever happened to you that you visualized a drawing in your head and when the moment you turned those thoughts into drawings came, the pictures didn't resemble the ones in your mind?
I am going to write here about our inability to adapt to change. But wait, this is supposed to have an optimistic tone. OK then, I'll write about my hope that we will be able to adapt to the new way people see the world around them, as photographers.