A moment of gratitude as we rush headlong into 2018. Each year I pick a theme, a humble quest for self improvement meant to direct my priorities for the next months. 2017 was the Year of Vulnerability. I leaned into the challenge, knowing that each moment of discomfort would lead to growth. I seized opportunities to open up, share imperfections, and ask for help. That encouraged more meaningful conversations, relationships, and work. Interactions were honest, work was more connected to relationships. The growth was worth the discomfort, and that commitment to vulnerability is now a daily practice, a ritual of emotional connection.
I focused on creating effusive, empathic portraits and hip, authentic lifestyle photography for some wonderful clients (for whom I am so grateful). It felt historic to shoot portraits and documentary images of the Women’s March for W Magazine and the New York Times; I will never forget interviewing feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis. Digital agency ISL asked me to photograph for Volkswagen and Activia. I shot fashion campaigns in Cuba, New York City, and DC, created a lifestyle library for the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum. Work at a regenerative farm and in Yellowstone National Park drew upon my Vermont sensibilities.
W MAGAZINE + NYTIMES: WOMEN'S MARCH 2017
iSTRATEGY LABS: VOLTSWAGEN
iSTRATEGY LABS: ACTIVIA
FotoWeekDC 2017 was a busy week of sharing work and ideas. I gave two featured artist talks on my feminist and landscape bodies of work and had work featured in two juried group exhibitions (Women Photojournalists of Washington and the FotoWeek competition for fine art). Many thanks to those who came to opening parties, artist talks, or supported from afar. In particular, I have such gratitude for those who offered wonderful opportunities to share the work.
Agencies and developers committed to creating authentic lifestyle imagery that reflects our community were valued collaborators. A colorful campaign for flower start-up UrbanStems debuted on billboards and buses in four cities. An ongoing partnership with the Georgetown BID created portraits of their diverse community; I felt connected to the city in new ways. Finally, a romantic fine art series created for the LINE Hotel was unveiled upon their opening in December 2017, with two pieces in each of 224 rooms. It was moving to be part of projects that involved my communities.
GEORGETOWN BID PORTRAITS
My photography became a way to live my values in 2017. As many women felt, 2017 brought deeper anger about gender issues. I dove deeply into studying contemporary feminism in a search for change. I became more aware of my privilege and committed to using it to affect positive change, to fight for those whose voices aren’t as readily heard. I created ‘Banshees’, a feminist space-making and photography project that uses social practice art to drive dialogue about what it means to be a contemporary feminist. I created opportunities to collaborate with other feminists, and grew the project into a multi-city endeavor. That project will continue to expand in 2018.
I also committed to manifesting my values on civil rights (gender, race, LGBTQ) in every area of my life, including my work. I cast people of all backgrounds in my shoots and stood my ground if partners weren’t as committed to showcasing diversity. As Michelle Obama said, “You can’t be what you can’t see”. Photography has the ability to show non-white professionals, families, and young people in more accurate and empathetic ways. America is diverse, and I committed to my work showcasing that.
Thank you for all your support and inspiration. I believe strongly in the power of community; it is an incredible privilege to have each of you in mine. May we be able to walk the walk on our values, learning through empathy and compassion. Don’t hesitate to reach out to catch up or share ideas for collaboration - I would love that. My door is always open.
I'll leave you with a collection of my favorite portraits from the year.