Fourth of July

 

Before I moved here less than three weeks ago, I had only visited briefly on trips to somewhere else. Since then, I’ve gotten to see more of the state through assignments, but there’s nothing like Independence Day to bring out the life in a place. First, I traveled to Pawhuska, where I saw cows paraded with ribbons on their tails, a girl dressed as the Statue of Liberty, and a sea of red, white, and blue apparel. Later, in my North Tulsa neighborhood, I didn’t have to leave my street to find a place to celebrate. My kind neighbors let me talk with them on porches and photograph fireworks they set off in their yards. Growing up on a farm in Eastern Kentucky, my family would off fireworks in remote fields, us watching the isolated bursts from quilts in the grass. Here, color and light erupted above every house in sight, high above power lines and crackling in the streets. Kids bravely set off small lights only to run as fast as they could to hide behind the leg of a parent or family member. This morning, on my way to work, the residue of shells and paper lined my street, and I was reminded of last night and how many beautiful nights I have ahead of me here in Oklahoma.

 

Five Days at Home

excerpt from my journal: 

I’m home. The boys are taller, Gabi looks older, and Faith has a ring on her finger. There are still so many consistencies: the constant coffee, the cheeseburger dinners, and the constant volume of it all. I have just been photographing with my iPhone but there is so much to hold on to, so many stories: Gabi becoming a woman, Faith becoming a wife, all that is my mother. I see the maternal parts of myself surface here, I see how my hips can hold a sleepy Spencer and how good I am at getting Ray to go to sleep and wake up. This week I'll visit my dad, too. In all this, I’m photographing constantly but without an angle. Not everything fits perfectly but I am content with who I am in this place and hope to be a good daughter, sister, and granddaughter during the short time I'm here

 

DMJX Final Project

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For my final project at DMJX, I made a story about Tine, a soldier in the Danish military. I have always been curious about what motivates women to do military service and I really connected with Tine's experience: she chose to join after a career as a makeup artist and enjoys the responsibility of being a leader. She loves taking care of the men she commands, she says, whether it's while leading drills or encouraging a more healthy lifestyle.

For the first time, I shot the project entirely on medium format and loved its slow process. I'm leaving DMJX feeling full of inspiration and ready to create work at my internship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

DMJX Video Workshop

I got the opportunity to work with my classmate Anna-Tia Buss to produce this short documentary about Nora Bittar Søburg and how she has created a home. Many thanks to the Bombay Flying Club for their help in this video workshop at DMJX!

DMJX magazine

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My class at DMJX under the theme "transitions." I photographed and wrote about Daniela, a Columbian expat living in Aarhus, and her struggle to raise children with strong Columbian roots in Scandinavia. 

see our magazine here

 

#metoo

I've been working on a portrait series about the #metoo movement for my picture stories class. I wanted my portraits to be opposite of the anonymity that often comes with the accounts of sexual assault in the news. At first, I tried this with tight portraits, but tried to maintain the intimacy with various distances. Eventually, I added text to make the project more collaborative and let the voice of the women pictured dictate the visual account of their experience. The project is ongoing, but can be seen as is here.

Here are the outtakes:

april: miss black western

 Miss Black Western originated 46 years ago, when Black women were not allowed to participate in the university's homecoming event. Now, it brings empowerment and community to Black women in an educational environment where African American students account for less than 10% of the population. The project can be viewed here.

january: family

The first time I felt the value of a photograph was when looking through the countless photo albums my mom carefully collected and kept safely in the top of her closet. The photos themselves are not special due to technicality, but by the feelings they captured. My own effort to document life in this place and others can be traced back to those books.

Here is a small collection of photos I have taken over the past few weeks in my Eastern Kentucky home, in an effort to capture members of my family with intention and authenticity.