I guess I’ve always been a little nutty. As the kid of a photographer in a family full of photographers, my childhood is documented pretty well. Let me tell you: I’m just as passionate about life as I was back then. My first passion was the theatre and it gave me the focus, even at an early age, to dream big and plan for the future. After earning a BFA in Theatre and working in the field for a few years, I realized something: it wasn’t the stage that drew me in.
It was the storytelling.
I grew up living and breathing images, cutting my teeth on the work of Dian Arbus, Richard Avedon and Alfred Eisenstadt and Annie Leibovitz. When other kids were pouring over their first chapter books, I was studying how Dian Arbus created fantastically haunting, beautiful images out of non-tradional subjects. Avedon’s portraiture had me spellbound with his ability to show vunerability. Eisenstadt’s street photography captured emotion, passion and the everyday-ness of the world around him. And Annie. Oh, Annie. I marveled at her style, the intimacy from her incredibly famous subjects.
When I became a mother, I learned in a most remarkable and unexpected way how to see people. My children’s eyes became a reflection of my own story, and I began to see people around me as extension of our collective story. It’s a vunerable and wonderful lens to view the world and it changed my entire outlook on where my talents could flourish.
Throughout my time as a visual storyteller, light wrangler, photographer (what ever you want to call it), I’m struck by the ability of art (no matter the genre) to remind us we are not alone. That’s all we really want, isn’t it? To see our crazy, wacky, never-quite-good-enough selves reflected in others. We want to know we have a tribe: we just want to know that when the night comes, we are safe. We are loved. We are not alone.
When I’m not behind the camera, I am busy as a teaching artist for my local school district and I co-produce the Write: Doe Bay workshops. As one of the first winners of a SPARK GRANT from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, I recently produced the TACOMA253 project the summer of 2014. My newest civic art project, PICTURE TACOMA, launched in mid-July and seeks to create community, share talents and develop craft through photography.
I live with my daughters and husband in Tacoma, Washington. Our lives are very full and we’re (generally) in love with it that way. Perhaps best of all: we have three dogs (Zeke, Gus and Polly) who would be very sad if I didn’t include them.