March 28, 2014

Dear friends...so begins my journey into blogging! It's my plan to document and share what I'm working on with photography, hopefully project to project, from sessions with clients, interviews, my internship with The Texas Tribune, events, my One Woman One Word project, etc. I will also begin delving into independent journalism (not affiliated with a news source) for the sake of experience and to share the experiences of others. If you feel inclined to stick around, I hope you'll gain something.

Now, here's my introduction as a person and a photographer (that personal anecdote you were maybe hoping to avoid):

I was born in Austin, Texas in late November, 1993. I grew up in Austin, as well as briefly in Houston while my mother furthered her education. I found my true, deep love for documenting where I had learned to nurture it: during my last year in high school. I had to learn how to use a camera but was born with an innate sense of observation, as I have always found comfort in existing just outside of a situation, yet still finding myself a part of it. I was taught basic camera function - which ISO setting is best for a cloudy day, an indoor party - how correctly expose an image. However, my passion has grown to transcend the technicalities. Being observational while maintaining the ability to actively be engaged within a moment lends me the platform I need to promote a true change in the things of which I care most. Photography has lent me the voice in which I need to capture a feeling; to be a part of a moment I may not have been able to be a part of otherwise. . .
When I first gained my interest in photography, I had no idea the impact it would have on my life. What had started as a pre-teen interest has grown into much more; it's my practice for each day I learn and gain something new about the world we share. With my camera now a comfortable fit in my hands, I realize my capacity to portray the gravity of a passing glimpse of a single moment and of time; the beauty in its temporal existence is exactly what has driven me to go into greater depth with my work. Through this intimate art form I have unearthed what matters most; staying as true to a moment as possible; to give it a breath of life, to share what demands to be shown. To wait but also anticipate, to be immersed but maintaining focus to capture what begs to be capture is what I crave.
I have a general sense of unease of our world’s social climate, and I have an even greater sense of a determination that somewhere down the road my photography could have an impact in communicating the experiences of strangers, neighbors, and that of friends and family alike - may they be good or bad, regardless - for both encompass the entirety of the human experience. This determination was kindled by a project I began a year or so ago in reflection of some personal experiences. Growing up, I faced a handful of challenges most kids would never have been expected to deal with. So, in my high school commercial photography class, after nearly two years of photography assignments and topics that didn’t interest me or really give me any reasonable excitement, I was given an assignment to capture an environmental self-portrait. This assignment was not unlike any other, but it took on a whole new meaning for me. In order to avoid the expected and typical self portrait, I eventually reached a point where I realized I had gone to my most vulnerable, naked and exposed place. That harsh reminder of how human I am instead rewarded me with a profound appreciation for my experiences, both negative and positive. It made me feel beautiful and simple. This school assignment sparked an idea - why not extend this opportunity for self-exploration? - and my project was born. I asked women of all ages if they had a story that needed to be told, or a feeling that needed to be explored. Anything. I had them choose a single word and give a brief explanation of the impact that it has had on their lives, for better or worse. These individuals were given no boundaries to their introspection and the results have been profound. Although still growing, I’ve happily learned that my little project has touched and inspired some, as well as gaining some recognition with a few like-minded groups of people. The joy, the sorrow, the strength, the weakness I unearthed in my project has been the catalyst of my growing need to seek truth in photography, as well as in my personal life and the world that surrounds. I want to dig a little deeper, go a little farther. There’s something about being one’s unapologetic self that is absolutely beautiful in its most basic form. Candid situations offer that upfront from time to time, but being able to actually emulate that fluid, natural reaction was a profound experience. I seek a similar reaction everywhere now.

That's my introduction. Here's what I've been working on:

I recently (astonishingly, amazingly) started an internship in the art/multimedia department at the Texas Tribune. It's such a wonderful organization (nonprofit, nonpartisan, non-biased) so it's a truly great experience to be having. The staff is so nice and accommodating, and I don't mind one bit that I'm doing some of the graphic design things that they would rather not be doing. Today was particularly busy in that I made the TribWeek photo collage for the front page (TribWeek is a great way to find all the stories from the week about everything in Texas, from politics to agriculture to art, in one spot. Here's last week's: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/03/22/tribweek-top-texas-news-week-31714/), put together a slide show of photos for the site from a story regarding Texas water, and I was asked to seek out my first assignment to photograph. So, tomorrow, before I have a session with a client (babies, bluebonnets, and horses, what could be better!), I will be headed to Cesar Chavez and Congress to check out the Youth Art Month exhibit to see if I can get some nice captures that the Tribune could use in the future, regarding art and public schools in Texas.

That's it for now. Entries in the future will be more brief, rest assured. I will include a photo with each entry, too.

Thanks for taking your time to visit!