Long Summer Days
I grew up as a single child in a little home set in a small urban community. I was raised by a single father who worked during the day and was an artist in the evenings. Now, I am a stay at home father, and an artist, helping to raise my daughter, Haley.
This photo essay titled “Long Summer Days” follows my daughter's journey through childhood as she struggles with the boredom of living as a single child in the same small home where I grew up. We largely choose a device free lifestyle for her, which leads her to explore the world and envelop herself in her imagination and creativity. These images include subtle undertones and rich metaphors that disrupts the stereotypes of girls, while highlighting my daughter's delightfully unconsciousness strength, independence, defiance, and playfulness.
She is at an age where she is developing her strong personality and it is a culmination of all these elements which I am capturing and documenting.
Raised in America
Childhood in America today is much more complex than it has ever been. I was lucky enough to be raised in the 80's and 90's, where there was a sense of freedom and independence. There were very little worries and I was able to go on adventures and express myself freely. I was not concerned about what was going on in the world, who was president, or that I would be shot, kidnapped, hurt, sick, or addicted to anything. I could be myself.
We are raising our children within a culture heavily dominated by the entertainment industry and the media. We are hammering them with social rules and stereotypes, regulating them, over scheduling them, while over protecting and sheltering them at the same time. We drag them through our own social battles and train them to think like us. At the end of the day we offer them electronic devices to quiet and entertain them so we don’t have to.
I create my images utilizing negative panoramic space, breaking the quotidian of the photographic frame. The subject is isolated and alone, a child's hands are raised, often holding up a simple object to bring a visual narrative of what it is like being “Raised in America.”
5 Stages of Grief
Grief is often a very personal experience. While some people seek support from those close to them, others can hold these emotions in and not show the outside world what they are feeling on the inside. This small project depicts a visual reference of the depths of feelings one holds in during times of hardship or loss. These images show the clouded bubble shielding the true details of those who are struggling to deal with their emotions and a small gimps of the individual behind the barrier who struggles from within trying to escape and overcome.
Two Brothers (On Going)
This is an ongoing series that I have been working on for a year or so now. I am expecting to release part of it sometime in 2018 or 2019.
This series is following my Father and Uncle (half brothers) that immigrated from Germany as children with my grandmother after WW2. My family history in Europe is complex and mysterious, filled with stories of riches to rags, honor and hate, death, treason, as well as the secret gift of life.
Working on this project brings complex problems that I have been trying to find answers to; yet, the one with all of the true answers, my grandmother, passed away when I was a teenager.
This project follows my father and uncle's current relationship, while I investigate the facts and stories of the past.