There are two qualities that have always been a constant in my life: I’m super “artsy-fartsy” and I’m a people watcher. As an only child who despised physical activities, I often entertained myself with arts and crafts as a kid. Painting with the cheap watercolor paint that came in a tray with the colors in little ovals and making whatever kit had come in my arts and crafts subscription box that month were some of my favorite things to do. But my favorite activity that kept me occupied, especially in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, was just looking at people and figuring out a life story for them, the more outlandish the better.
It’s no wonder I got into portrait photography and fell in love with film. I’m surprised I didn’t find it sooner. I love loading 4x5 film into the holders in complete darkness, turning on the lights and hoping I didn’t accidentally put a piece of film in backwards. I love turning off the lights to process the film and the nervousness of putting it into the chemicals and hoping you don’t screw up the timing. I love the excitement I get just before turning the lights back on and seeing the images for the first time. So I’ve become probably the youngest person who mourns the death of film while simultaneously wanting to shoot primarily in film.
I still like to watch people, but I want to know their real stories. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that everyone’s story matters. Sometimes it’s the little moments that matter most, like the whisper a new wife gives to her spouse that makes them laugh out loud, or a toddler getting caught red handed, elbow deep in the cookie jar. I love capturing these moments because these smaller, seemingly insignificant moments are what parents and newlyweds will look back on years down the road and remember most fondly. Sometimes the stories happen inside, hidden far away from the light of day. grieving a loved one, coping with traumatic events, and celebrating feeling like an adult for the first time are also important moments in someone’s life story. Even though it takes a lot more digging to get those images, these moments are just as important to capture.