J U V E N E S C E N C E
Photographing children is where my passion for film began and where it remains today. When I was a kid and first took an interest in photography, I would use my great grandfather’s camera to photograph my little cousins around the house, kids in the park, strangers at restaurants. Thus began a journey that at that time, I was unaware existed.
As time went on, I experimented more with my ideas and photographed girls with whom I danced, weddings, senior portraits...anything and anyone I could...just to get more practice. When I first came to SCAD, I was still on the path of photographing friends and people that fit my demographic, but as I was diving deeper into my classes, learning from others, and witnessing new stories, I came to an impasse and uncovered an idea that went against my then-vision for my work.
I decided to photograph a set of twins in Mississippi, which then ignited a discovery into a long lost love. Since then, I find my passion continuously fanned by the hands of the children around me: whether they are the children I nanny or kids I only meet once, I am constantly fascinated by the fearlessness and wisdom that young lives possess.
The children that I have been lucky enough to photograph hold such an innocent love for the life they are living; it is an inspiration to me and my work. Documenting the lives of the kids around me is beneficial to them and their families, yes, but I cannot stress enough that I am truly the lucky one in these relationships. It has been an honor to get to know each and every child and to have been the student rather than the teacher in these moments.
Each photograph reminds me of a new lesson - a new moment of growth - that I have taken with me. Each of the children in this book have taught me something special and have influenced my life in some way.
If there is one thing I have learned from photographing children the past few years, it is that life is very precious. The message is also simple: love, and be loved. That is the moral of this story. If you give love, you will receive love, if you open your heart to connection, connection will lend itself to you.
If it was not for these families and their willingness to be vulnerable to a new kind of connection, these photographs would have never existed. If not for these tiny bearers of life, I would never have learned to open myself up to true human bonding. If it were not for the bond I have shared with these children, I could have never told their stories the way that I have.
I will never be able to express my gratitude to each family who has let me witness the love that is constantly flowing within their homes. I am hopefully confident, however, that these photographs will speak for me.