Long Summer Days
Children today are over scheduled, delegated, and monitored to the point where that playing with other children has to be scheduled and booked in weeks in advance. Their free time is spent immersed in movies, video games, tablets, and other electronics. Girls are held to a different standard than boys and bombarded with stereotypes, social rules, and expectations.
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 a small urban community, and in a small home, where we largely choose a device free lifestyle for her. These images include subtle undertones and rich metaphors that disrupts the stereotypes of girls, while highlighting Haley's delightfully unselfconscious 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, when children still had a sense of freedom and independence. There were very few 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 whether I might be shot, kidnapped, hurt, sick, or addicted to anything. I could be myself.
In the past, children were forced to work like adults but today's modern child is forced to think like an adult. We are raising 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 expect the same from them. 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.