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Michael Santiago May 20, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Zoilo Santiago, Luz Santiago and Emma Santiago. Pomona, NY 2013

Michael Santiago (b. 1980 USA) is a documentary photographer based between New York and Oakland. Michael’s work focuses on issues concerning people of color and their communities; obesity, cancer, race and identity, family relationships, healthy eating, youth empowerment and more. A senior at the San Francisco Art Institute, he studies documentary photography and brings a strong cultural awareness to his work. He is the recipeint of the 2015 Alexia Foundation student grant for his project Stolen Land, Stolen Future a body of work focusing on Black farmers of California and his long term projects A Promise, 250 and Michael.

About the Photograph:

“On the weekends when my older brother has to work my mother Luz watches my niece. Around this particular time my father’s health began to steadily decline. His energy would be depleted faster than usual especially on days after dialysis. He often would doze off at any given moment. With my niece being sick this day, she was not as rambunctious as usual and with my father napping my mother took this quiet moment to just gather her thoughts and relax. My father Zoilo at this point had been battling prostate cancer since 1998 and was also dealing with kidney failure. At the time that this photo was taken I had been photographing his daily life for six months and it was around this time that my mother let me photograph her and include her in my work.”

Gaia Squarci April 16, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Gay Pride LGBT Parade, New York 2013

Gaia Squarci (b. 1988, Italy) is a photographer and cinematographer based in Brooklyn. She studied Art History at the University of Bologna and photojournalism at ICP. Since 2012 she’s been working on Broken Screen, a project about blindness, driven by her interest in the way physical perceptions influence people’s way to interact with one another, and within society. Gaia has also been documenting the activities of the Living Theatre, the oldest experimental theater group active in the USA, and the personal life of Judith Malina, who founded the company in 1947 with her husband Julian Beck. Gaia also shoots documentary video for personal projects and commissions. Her clients include the New York Times, the New Yorker, TIME Magazine, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC and Reuters.

About the Photograph:

“Just a few days before, the Supreme Court had ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits. The Gay Pride LGBT parade was blasting meters away. Downtown Manhattan was loud, and overflowing with people. I tried to take photos that could represent that moment in time and its meaning and also preserve a dignity of their own if taken out of context. I had stopped at a corner when the girl with the orange nails came by, framed by a food truck. I was hit by something timeless in her grace. We didn’t talk. I don’t know whether she and the other women in the photo were at the parade because of their life history, or because they simply supported the values that were bringing people to the street. Like many that day, they were both spectators and part of what was happening, not far from the Stonewall Inn.”

David Gardner March 16, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Nola and David in their Motor Home in Quartzite, Arizona 2014                     

David Gardner (b. 1954, USA) devides his time between San Francisco and a 26 foot motor home, pursuing his photographic interests across the continent. His interest in the landscape has evolved over the past 35 years. Originally photographing in a contemplative style free of human intervention, his emphasis shifted as the difficulty of isolating landscapes to fit that style has increased.  His recent project, Life on Wheels: The New American Nomads, received Photomedia Center’s 2013 Contemporary Image Makers micro-grant, and has shown at the Davis-Orton Gallery in New York, Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts, and recently received the Best of Show award at LH Horton Gallery’s Documentary competition in Stockton, California.

About the Photograph:

“When I first began photographing people for Life on Wheels, I learned about a meeting place for RV’ers in the Arizona desert town of Quartzsite. Every year in January and February, the town, and surrounding BLM land, inflates from a normal population of  three thousand to over one million people. They come in motorhomes, toy haulers and trailers to enjoy the sun and warmth of the southern Arizona desert and meet up with friends and family. It seemed like the perfect way to begin the project.”

“Once there, I spent time group of Lazy Daze motorhome owners and met David and Nola. We set a time for sme to photograph them. When I arrived at their rig, we sat in their back lounge and talked about the lifestyle, and the sort of image I was after. Part of our conversation was about how long they intended to live the full-time RV lifestyle. David told me that when they first discussed the idea, they decided to give it five years and then reassess how they felt. Five years later, Nola misses her children and grandchildren and wants to stop traveling but David does not. While reviewing the twenty photographs I took of them, it was clear that the first image best expressed the dilemma they faced. Nola on the fringe, David in the middle, the kids adorning the walls and the great outdoors just on the other side of the window.”

Selma Fernandez Richter February 16, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Myanmar, United States.
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Planet Hook beneath the flag of the Karen State, Saint Paul, MN, 2012

Selma Fernandez Richter  (b. 1974, Mexico) has been a photographer since 2001. She works in both the United States and Mexico. Selma spent the first ten years of her professional career in Monterrey, Mexico´s most industrial city, where she photographed people in the business community and editorial assignments for Time-Expansion Editorial Group, Financial Times Deutschland, Bloomberg Businessweek and CNN Mexico, among others.Three years ago, Selma moved away from Mexico and started photographing her ongoing project “The Ache for Home” about the refugee communities in Minnesota, while experiencing her own adaptation process to a new context. She is currently based in Minneapolis.

About the Photograph:

“This image is part of my ongoing project The Ache for Home about the refugee communities in Minnesota. The families and individuals that I photograph primarily come from Burma, Bhutan, Eritrea and Somalia. I am interested in photographing the first months and years in their new context. I observe them improve language skills, search to find jobs that match their specific abilities, the struggles of adapting to a cold Minnesota winter, and their efforts to maintain a cultural identity that is familiar and resonates. Above all, I have come to know the sacrifices parents make for their children and the dreams and hopes they hold dear for the next generation. In this picture, Planet Hook is in his living room beneath the flag of the Karen State. Planet was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. His parents are from the Karen ethnic group in Burma and because of persecution, they fled the country in 1997. In 2010, the family resettled in Minnesota.”

 

T.J. Kirkpatrick February 12, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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The Spot Bar in Steubenville, Ohio 2012

T.J. Kirkpatrick (b. 1984, USA) is an independent photographer living in Washington, D.C. while working on long-term projects across the country. T.J.’s work is split between seeking the connections shared by different people and observing the quirks of American cultures. After receiving a degree in journalism from Boston University, he spent several years on the staff at various newspapers in New England. He has since worked throughout the U.S., in East Africa and Southeast Asia, and in 2009 was an intern for VII Photo Agency and a student at Eddie Adams Workshop XXII. His work has been recognized by the American Photography 28, 29 & 30 annuals, the International Photography Awards, and NPPA Best of Photojournalism, among others. T.J.’s clients include Esquire, Time Magazine, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from the final weeks of the 2012 presidential election, when I based myself in Ohio to freelance for a variety of clients who had me running all across the state. I had already spent many months on-and-off of the campaign trail in various states in 2011 and 2012. Steubenville is a steel town on the Ohio River that has seen a steady population decline since many steel mills in the area closed in the 1980s. While I was there, Bloomberg contacted me looking for images of the campaign away from the candidates. I spent a day with volunteers for both the Obama and Romney campaigns covering their various phone bank and canvassing efforts, and another day at local hangouts like The Spot Bar making daily life features. Since it was expected that Ohio would be instrumental in picking the next president in the 2012 election, it felt like a good spot to place myself for the last couple of weeks before election day.”

“I spent a good deal of my time on the campaign trail trying to show the set-up, or, if you will, peaking behind the curtain to see the guy manipulating the wizard. Part of that effort involved meeting the people who were expected to buy into the show, and I got the sense that many of the locals were just worn out from the extended and aggressive campaign. The number of undecided voters in Ohio counties that had any chance of a swing were pretty small, but both campaigns had huge get-out-the-vote machines in place that caught up the deciders along with any voters who could be swayed. By the end of October it had all gotten a bit overwhelming, which is some of the feeling I tried to show with this bar scene from The Spot Bar in Steubenville, Ohio.

Jessica Todd Harper February 5, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Mary Ann, Marshall and Becky. USA 2012

Jessica Todd Harper (b. 1975, USA) spent hours of her childhood wandering around museums looking at depictions of interior and family life by painters such as Mary Cassatt, Vermeer, John Singer Sargent and John White Alexander. After a childhood of copying these masters with crayons and later pastels, she turned to photography and started looking at the families around her. The sold out “Interior Exposure” (Damiani 2008) won recognition from sources as varied as Oprah Magazine, PDN, and the Lucie Awards.  Her latest book “The Home Stage” was recently published and with many painterly references, looks at family life with young children. Jessica’s work is collected by museums and appears regularly in publications ranging from Die Zeit to Real Simple. She is represented by Rick Wester Fine Art.

About the Photograph:

“This is a portrait of my cousin, my sister, an ancestor from four  generations ago and my ketchup stained little boy. We were all gathered for cocktails and dinner at my uncle’s house, a space where the family members from the past simply take up a lot of wall space. So it is likely that wherever you are, there is a painting of an ancestor in the background. This photograph is part of my book The Home Stage, that explores the home environment and life with small children in my family and friends’ families. In this particular image of multiple generations, I am reminded how much our environments and the stories we hear about our families influence us. The ancestor in the painting, Mary Ann, is shown at the age of 16. Hers is a tragic story as she died in the Arctic, the biggest steamship disaster before the Titanic.  I grew up hearing about the adventures and tragedies of long ago family as if they were still with us.  And sometimes, as in this photograph, it is almost as if they are”.

Robbie McClaran February 2, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the project Hot Rod and Betties. Portland Oregon 2014

Robbie McClaran (b.1955) is a documentary photographer based in Portland Oregon. His work focuses on the American people and landscape. Robbie began his study in photography in 1975 at the Center for Photographic Studies with C.J. Pressma, and continued at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester NY, where he studied with Nathan Lyons. His commissioned work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Time, Smithsonian, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Bloomberg and Forbes. The prints from his controversial 1996 book project, Angry White Men, are in the permanent collection of the University of Oregon. His personal work has been featured in Plazm, Photo District News, The Photo Review, ID Design, and has been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, American Photography, and Communication Arts. Robbie is represented by Redux Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“Most of my recent personal work has been large or medium format black & white film based projects that involved traveling to other parts of the country. I began to think about working closer to home on a series of short stories, one or two day projects working with a small camera in color. The first of these was on Hot Rod culture and I began with the Portland Roadster show. My idea was to juxtapose images of the cars with the people who are the car builders, collectors and fans. I’ve always had a little bit of gear head in me so not only did the show present a wonderfully colorful opportunity, it was a lot of fun.”

“Hot Rod culture is unapologetically macho and the women who are part of it are known as Betties. In an age of increasing concern over the impact of the automobile on the environment, hot rod culture continues to celebrate speed, chrome, oil, rubber and steel. It is quintessentially American for better or worse. The idea was to shoot fast and loose, not quite shoot from the hip but almost. So there’s a high failure rate working that way. But you also get these wonderful moments that would otherwise escape with a more deliberate approach. This image of the red haired young woman was made in the method described above, a fleeting moment in passing. So I was particularly pleased to see the resulting image.”

Joseph Vitone November 24, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Grandmother, Sandra Vitone; mother, Arathea Booth; and granddaughter, Elizabeth Dunn,
with pool and palm tree backdrop. Marshallville, Ohio 2009

Joseph Vitone (b.1954,USA) is a documentary fine art photographer and educator living in Austin, Texas. His work consists of large format portraiture and landscape in the United States as well as panoramic and other views examining cultures abroad. He is Professor at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas where he has lived with his family since 1991. In 2001 he was a senior Fulbright scholar in fine art teaching and working on a photography project centered around small scale family based agriculture in Costa Rica. His work has been exhibited at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Instituto Cultural Peruano-Norteamericano in Lima, Peru, Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, and the Houston Center for Photography in Texas. His work is held in a number of collections including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History.

About the Photograph:

“Arathea’s mother, Sandra, is a creative person who loves putting together a good party. By profession a cook, a baker, and a caterer and by avocation a thrift store shopper, she supplements well-considered but inexpensive props with items gleaned from Goodwill and other second hand stores to assemble themed parties near birthday time of her daughter, Arathea. The annual events occur when Sandra is able to make a summer visit to Ohio from her residence in Austin, Texas. This year they are having a luau among the corn and soybean fields of Wayne County.”

Ramin Rahimian November 13, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Dancing Rabbit Eco-village. Rutledge, Missouri2009.

Ramin Rahimian (b. 1981, Iran) is an American freelance documentary and editorial photographer based in Petaluma, California, north of San Francisco. He received his B.A. in political science and international relations from the University of California, Berkeley. There, he worked on the photography staff of the student-run newspaper for four years. After college, he worked for two years as a staff photographer at the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. Since 2006, he has been a freelance photographer working for clients such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, and San Francisco Magazine. He was named Utah photographer of the year in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Some of his work has been recognized by POY and NPPA Best of Photojournalism.

About the Photograph:

“Family members and members of Dancing Rabbit and the nearby Red Earth community celebrate the 60th birthday of Laird Schaub, left, a founding member of nearby Sandhill Farm community and husband of Dancing Rabbit member Ma’ikwe Schaub-Ludwig, in the new mercantile building at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge, Missouri, on Friday, October 23, 2009. Long time members of Dancing Rabbit, Alline Anderson and her husband Kurt Kessner have built the Milkweed Mercantile that will serve as a community general store, a bed and breakfast, and a center of education for all things Dancing Rabbit for the public.

Established in 1997 through a land trust, Dancing Rabbit is an eco village community located on 280 acres in rural northeastern Missouri. With over 50 visitors, residents, and full members and growing, Dancing Rabbit focuses on community values and strives to limit its impact on the environment by being ecologically and socially conscientious. As much as they can, Rabbits live sustainable lifestyles and strive to demonstrate that to society and inspire others to do the same. While food is bought in bulk from local businesses, the goal is to eventually grow the majority of their own food on the Dancing Rabbit land. Rabbits build their homes using alternative techniques such as straw bale, cob, and recycled building materials and produce electricity through solar and wind power.

This photograph was made during one of my two trips to Dancing Rabbit. It was a birthday celebration and dinner held in the the newly-built mercantile building. I saw it as a great opportunity to show warmth, friendship, and deep connections between not only Dancing Rabbit members, b-t members of other smaller nearby communities. I love this photograph because of each person’s expressions and mannerisms. There is warmth and a comfort that is conveyed by their ease. I felt very welcomed by everyone as they drank and drank bottles of wine that night. There was a relaxed hedonism going on that I think comes through.”

Jordan Stead November 6, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Sasquatch music festival in George, Washington. 2014

Jordan Stead (b. 1988) is a staff photographer for the Seattle PI.com and graduate of Western Washington University, currently residing in Seattle. Over the years, Jordan worked both internationally and domestically with such outlets as High Country News, ZUMA Press, The New York Times, Chevron and the Seattle International Film Festival. He is an alumnus of the Eddie Adams Workshop and Missouri Photo Workshop, and serves on the board of the National Press Photographers Association. He frequently gives back to the rich photographic community that raised him by regularly returning to schools around the region to speak on the merits of the photographic life.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was made during the summer of 2014 in the campgrounds outside of  the Sasquatch music festival in eastern Washington. A bit of honesty here: I rarely make photographs with the initial intention to portray deeper meaning. I love beauty, and quite simply, I strive to entertain. When viewing my work, nothing makes me happier than to know that someone, somewhere, feels like their eyes just ate a piece of candy, or went out to a movie. Photographers – especially photojournalists – created a glossary of DOs and DO NOTs that when combined together, somehow sum up what we consider to be a good, strong or powerful image; an archetype of our own design. The reality is that 99 percent of viewers do not have a clue what went into creating the image, but if it is truly something gorgeous, they will feel it. Light, shape, color, moment; all are visual gifts given to photographers to capture the world with in our own special ways. Everyone has a special sauce. In the age of millions of photos published per day, you can shoot all you want, and it often does not equate to anything. But to single someone out, grab their attention and hold their gaze for longer than a split second? That’s success.”

Sean Proctor October 16, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Dairy Section Jedi, Midland, Mich., 2013.

Sean Proctor (b. 1989, USA)  is a 2011 graduate of Central Michigan University and currently a staff photographer at the Midland Daily News in Midland, Michigan. Before landing at the MDN he interned at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, Michigan and The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Virginia. While in college, he was a multimedia intern at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. His work has also been published in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Most recently he and some friends started an Instagram feed, @goes_ever_on, based on the interpretive vision of the paths we choose in our life and where they lead. Sean is the winner of the inaugural Bill Eppridge Memorial Award from the 2014 Eddie Adams Workshop.

About the Photograph:

“I made this picture while working on a feature about a group the Reformed Jedi Order (or RJO) who held lightsaber fights in Midland. They refer to it as Live Action War-play (LAW) as opposed to Live Action Role Play (LARP.) I’ve grown up on all things sci-fi, so when I heard about this group I was super excited to live out a major part of who I am with fellow geeks. While working on the essay, I spent about half the time photographing and half the time joining in on the action. This particular picture came when a couple of RJO members decided to duel in the middle of Wal-Mart. Cloaked and masked, they sheepishly walked through the aisles, afraid they were going to get into trouble before they even started. We made our way to the corner of the store, which provided them with ample room to fight while staying mostly out of the way. However, they were still timid. Small, controlled bursts of fighting, punctuated by quick glances to see if someone who looked in charge was heading their way.”

“At one point, a Wal-Mart employee walked by and Carl and Scott (the two fighting) and they thought they were done for. Slowly crossing their blades, preparing to explain themselves and leave the premises. A minute later, the employee came back with his phone out. He said something along the lines of ‘don’t mind me!’ and started recording them. Carl and Scott went full out, blades flying through the air, all care and worry out the window. Shortly after, a manager came up to me and told me I couldn’t take pictures inside due to company policy, but made little mention of the lightsaber battle. We all laughed and they continued to fight for a while longer.”

Sam Owens September 11, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Belpre Christian Academy. Ohio 2013

Sam Owens (b. 1992, United States) is a graduate of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication, where she studied Photojournalism and Anthropology. Growing up in a blended family made her inherently interested in the relationships blossoming and wilting around her. Photography is a tool that has allowed her the opportunity to be more than a curious observer. She seeks to document her interactions with others or their bonds with the world around them, while using whatever device is at hand to record moments of connectedness. She has worked for the Evansville Courier & Press in Evansville, Indiana, for the Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Virginia, and as a full-time assistant for freelance photographer Matt Eich in Norfolk, Virginia. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida, while working as photography intern for the Tampa Bay Times.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken during my last semester at Ohio University in September 2013. At the beginning of the school year, I was driving to the Washington County Fair in Marietta, Ohio, when I noticed a small grey and blue building on the side of the road as I was driving though the small town of Belpre, Ohio, along U.S. Route 50. That building happened to be Belpre Christian Academy, a private K-12 Christian school that has a religious curriculum that runs similar to a homeschooling program. I affectionately liked to think of it as a modern one-room school house. The school registers as a non-profit, and survives off of money made through donations, fundraising and student tuition prices.”

“I was initially drawn to photographing in the school because the school experience these kids were getting was completely different than my own. My mother has been a public school teacher all of my life, so naturally I went to public school. I did not grow up with a heavy religious background and the high school I went to housed over 2,600 students, which led to my graduating class being well over 650 people. This past 2013-2014 school year there were 34 students at BCA, from first to twelve grade, enrolled in the school; no kindergarteners were enrolled and only one graduating senior.”

In this particular picture, the faculty and students were participating in a daily morning prayer, which happens right after the bell rings and school is officially in session. The faculty members strived to create a calm and quiet nature at the beginning of each school day with morning prayers. I wanted to capture the mood of the quiet morning routines, which usually got pushed aside for much more active moods and activities once lunch time rolled around.”

Jim Lommasson September 1, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Arturo Franco, Willsonville Oregon 2005

Jim Lommasson (b. 1950, USA)  is a freelance photographer and author living in Portland, Oregon. Jim received the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize from The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for his American Fight Club series. Lommasson’s first book, Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice & The Will To Survive In American Boxing Gyms was published in 2006. He is currently working on a book and traveling exhibition about American Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and their lives after their return from war called Exit Wounds: Soldiers’ Stories – Life After iraq and Afghanistan. Exit Wounds will be published in 2015. Lommasson was awarded a Regional Arts and Culture Council Project Grant for What We Carried: Fragment’s from the Cradle of Civilization about Iraqi refugees who have fled to the U. S. since 2003.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is of former Oregon National Guardsman Arturo Franco in his apartment in Wilsonville, Oregon. Arturo served in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Because of his PTSD and Arturo’s hypervigilance.  Arturo spends his days bunkered in his near-empty apartment playing Xbox video games like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare with other gamer vets who speak to one another on headsets while they fight a virtual enemy.”

“Arturo was very frank about his experience at war. He said, ‘What will haunt me for the rest of my life is when we took prisoners of war. I had so much hatred for them. I didn’t care if they lived or died. I will not go into details for fear of the law, but things still haunt me. I remember pulling guard on an insurgent that was about to be turned over to the local warlords. He was flex-cuffed and shaking so bad. I gave him a smoke and started small talk. At some point I did a little hand gesture to tell him that he was about to get his head cut off, then I took the smoke from him and said some hateful words. Things like that still bother me. I did not like fighting in Iraq. I did not believe in why we were there. I went because I felt like I owed my friends that were killed over there. They had everything to live for: family, wife, kids. I had none of that, so why didn’t God take me?’ As I was interviewing Arturo while he fought virtual battles on the TV screen, the light from the setting sun projected his shadow on the wall of his apartment. I felt that this moment told his story best.”

 

Brian Shumway August 21, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Dean in Playground. Pleasant Grove, Utah 2009

Brian Shumway (b. 1976, United States) is a Brooklyn-based photographer with a degree in anthropology from the University of Utah. His work covers the seemingly disconnected territory of children, family, identity, suburbia, fashion, and sexuality. Brian has shot portraits and stories for editorial clients like People Magazine, TV Guide, XXL, Wall Street Journal, Men’s Journal, and Reader’s Digest. His photographs have been recognized by American Photography, Communication Arts, PhotoLucida, Santa Fe Center, LensCulture, The Magenta Foundation and New York Center for Photographic Art. Brian’s work has been exhibited at Soho Photo, Alice Austin House, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Arts, Camera Club NY and the Central Exhibition Hall Manege in St. Petersburg, Russia.

About the Photograph:

“This is a portrait of Dean, my nephew, age 13, just beginning his teenage years. The word “Shit” (a naughty word in the conservative Utah town where he lives) is written on his hand as he wraps his body around a toy at a children’s playground where he sometimes plays, as if clinging to childhood. This moment very much represents the beginning of the loss of innocence. He’s trapped in that murky period of life where he’s no longer a child but not quite grown-up either. The photograph is part of my project called Suburban Splendor that grapples with my suburban heritage and peeks behind the veil of banality surrounding suburban life focusing on my teen and pre-teen nieces, nephews and their friends in Utah as they make their way through contemporary suburban America.”

 

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