I am a photographer and teaching artist based in Los Angeles, California, who uses photography to explore the thoughts, values, and desires that underlie human relationships to each other and our physical environment. I’m inspired by secrets, subcultures, and lives on the fringe. My art explores what happens when our hidden truths bubble to the surface, both in our conscious and unconscious actions. I’m especially interested in how we segment space into public and private spheres, both in the physical world and in our emotional worlds. My goal as a photographer is to create interpretive images that uncover secrets and invite connection among viewers.
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. In my late teens, however, I had my political awakening and mistakenly decided the artistic life I’d wanted would be incompatible with a career addressing the issues I cared about. I decided to pursue a social justice-oriented career path over art. I studied Social Science and Environmental Science at the University of Michigan, where I graduated with highest honors in 2008. For seven years, I worked as a community organizer and teacher in Ecuador, West Virginia, Washington, DC, and North Carolina. I hold a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Throughout my first career, I nurtured my love of photography by taking fine art classes and making photos in my free time. Around 2014, I began exploring how to better serve my passion for building human connections through a career in visual art and documentary storytelling. While working full-time, I took classes at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where I learned visual storytelling techniques and was inspired by ways to blend documentary and fine art. In 2015, after building a portfolio and client base, I left my job to pursue freelance photography.
Since then, my photography, writing, and multimedia pieces have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, and Scalawag Magazine, among other publications. My commercial, editorial, and documentary photography client list includes Airbnb, the Open Society Foundations, Dean & DeLuca, and numerous nonprofit organizations across the country. My photographs have been exhibited in group shows at Photoville in New York, the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and the Infinity Room Gallery in Los Angeles.
In addition to my artistic practice, I lead participatory photography workshops with marginalized communities. In these Photovoice workshops, I guide participants to explore their life stories through photography and writing. My ongoing projects with people who have experienced addiction, homelessness, and trauma in North Carolina and West Virginia have been supported by grants from the Third Wave Foundation and the State of West Virginia. I also teach youth photography workshops at the Los Angeles Center of Photography and with the Lucie Foundation’s SNAPSHOP! Program.