I have been intrigued by light and shadow since I was a kid; I have danced with words on the page, and from my pen in tandem.
For me, creating via writing was another form of making images. Photography has transformed that process for me. This love and intrigue has seeped into my relationship to the world. When I began photographing people, places and things in earnest, I realized that beauty wasn’t (and isn’t) limited to one paradigm. It is in everything and everyone: the light and the shadows. The round, the thin, the sick, and the healthy: all of us are beautiful.
I am inspired to challenge the prevalent images in the media with images of my own that are less chopped, shopped, and modified. I want to honor the person in front of my camera—as they are. My photographic process is collaborative and encouraging; I’ve sensed from many that being photographed is uncomfortable, and for some, stress inducing. That’s when I put my camera down. I invite an intake of breath, a moment to close one’s eyes and go inward to meet their discomfort with kindness and compassion. This is the time to connect to the present moment. This business of photography isn’t about me. It’s about having a conversation. It’s about creating safety in the moment. Within this process is the synergistic component of collaboration.
In the last two years, I became the LA still photographer for a documentary by Janice Littlejohn called “…but can she play?” It’s the first feature film focusing on female horn players in jazz. I have been fortunate to photograph many of them when they are in Los Angeles; I recently had the opportunity to go to the Monterey Jazz Festival.
There, I photographed the likes of Claire Daly, Bobby McFerrin, Berklee Global Jazz Ensemble, Roberto Fonseca, and many more. I have to say, photographing musicians, particularly women with their brass has been a phenomenal process. Capturing Lindsay McMurray and Aubrey Logan with their trombones, Crystal J. Torres with her trumpet, and Claire Daly with her baritone sax has been remarkable.
Since shooting the covers for 21st Century Yoga and Yoga PhD, I have had the opportunity to continue to work with yogis. I use my practice when I shoot, and I find that there is a wonderful lyrical synergy between musicians and yogis: we make music with our breath and our bodies. My intent is to represent all shapes and sizes in the yoga world; all bodies are beautiful, complete, and worthy of our love and respect.
To that end, I am launching a project of the heart called the Love More Movement. I am photographing people for a book to celebrate those who live their lives with their hearts on their sleeves. It is an opportunity to bring attention to those who are intent on doing the shadow work, who approach difficulties with love and who love with intent. It’s no small feat to reach toward suffering; It’s human nature to recoil. I see so many doing this work painstakingly and without question. I want to celebrate them and inspire others to do the same. Everyone photographed will answer the question, “How do you love more?” I’m in the process of creating the website, t-shirts (whose proceeds will benefit others), and getting the word out on the grassroots level. I encourage people to use the hashtag #LoveMore and #LoveMoreMovement to sharing how they love with intent, love without bounds. This is a movement of generosity and being of service. This is what inspires me and feeds my heart.
I also continue to work for Visions Adolescent Treatment Center, writing about a broad range of recovery-related subjects, which include eating disorders, mental health, and substance abuse. I touch on my own recovery experience of 20+ years and use that as a launch pad to talk about approaching recovery with compassion, wise action, and kindness.
My life is focused on being of service, be it in my photography or my writing; all inspire me to walk with an open heart, dance with my shadow side, and touch the hearts and lives of others with gratitude and grace.
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