Precious Portraits


Pax Mortem

My photographs operate as a way for me to collect and memorialize the ephemeral. I am influenced by collections of objects and the memories and emotions attached to them. The photograph as an object itself to be collected also inspires me to photograph particular subjects.

Some of my images depict a dead subject, but look to Victorian post-mortem photography, and work to create an image that is peaceful and respectful, not voyeuristic. Other photographs are like pressed flower collections in that they are a way for me to capture and keep these ethereal beings and moments. I believe that when I photograph someone or something, I ensure their existence is not just catalogued but also remembered.
My subjects exist as a dichotomy between the natural and unnatural. I treat a flocked animal and a self-portrait as subjects both worthy of preservation. The inherent kitsch of some of my subject matter is not treated as a negative but rather something to embrace. I see an inanimate figurine as holding as much interest and worth as the deceased body of a beloved cat.

The photographs were created in and exist in a world of nostalgia. The simple pleasure and sadness they invoke moves them past a personal sentimentality to become more universal spaces for viewer introspection.

2016.


Portraits

These portraits were created during a transitional phase. I had just finished my first large body of work and graduated with my BA. These images emphasize my attraction to natural light, using my own body, and a great sense of play.


Personal Document of a Modest Life

Many photographers have documented American life. Some focus on either the personal or the public. I combine images from both of these realms to draw out the complex conversation between intimacy and distance.
In the exhibition “Mirrors and Windows” John Szarkowski said “There is a dichotomy in contemporary photography between those who think of photography as a means of self-expression and those who think of it as a method of exploration.” With the definition of mirrors referring to introspective images and windows to the outside world, my images function as both of these. The people and objects I photograph operate between the personal and the universal. My subjects are part of a lower economic class. By including images that are personal, my work goes beyond merely talking about this particular economic class but addresses a way of life. My photographs serve as a document of my life and more broadly the environment in which I live.

2011