It breaks my heart to think of all the people in this world who are experiencing pain. I don't know why I seem to be so driven by other people's pain, and my excessive need to feel I have to help people, but it is just something that has been a part of me from the day I was born. People move me. Stories move me. And it is the broken ones that seem to get me.
I think about all the people out there in the world who feel hopeless, alone, are in Africa starving and mourning over their parents who have been slaughtered in a genocide, the people in San Francisco that are left on the streets and incapable of taking care of themselves, or even just the people who had a bad day at work. There are single mothers (and fathers) who have so much potential but no way of reaching it, there are kids who have never been shown kindness, and there are the people who look like they have the most perfect lives and even they are struggling somehow. There are billions of people out there who at times feel desperately alone and like they've been forgotten, like they do not matter.
I love taking photos of people because often when words cannot speak, a photograph of them shows the world that they exist. That they matter. That their story is worth hearing. That they deserve to be recognized and told that they matter. This is why I take photos: to give the world physical proof that these people are real. These people matter.
I've been on the strangest journey the past few months with photography. Many days I have denied what it is I want to photograph because other photo jobs can pay my bills. But I honestly don't give a damn about that kind of photography. I realize this is being brutally honest, and I am genuinely thankful for all of my clients. I try and remain consistent to only ever accepting jobs that I believe in and am excited about. But I'm at a point now where I can continue to take the easy photography route, or I can start photographing the stories I believe need to be told, even if it is the more difficult route.
I want to tell stories. I want to capture life because life is all we have. Our experiences are all we have. People are all we have. Superficial possessions, money, greed, ego, sexualization, these are the things I do not want to photograph and I do not want my work to ever represent. I want my work to represent you. I want it to represent your stories. I want the broken to feel like they matter, and realize they aren't alone or forgotten at all (we're all a little broken, after all). We all are living lives and we all deserve a future and a chance to be heard. If my photographs can tell these stories and help give these people a future, through awareness and exposure, through truth, well, only this will let me sleep at night.
I have to admit that I almost gave up photography. My last few months since going freelance have been a complete whirlwind. I thought it would be like the first time I went freelance, but this second time was different. And I almost quit. But it was all of you. Everyone I know personally, and also all you Internet folks. You've helped me realize where my strengths are and that I do need to pursue this dream of mine.
I am so thankful for you all. Each and every one of you. For the ones I have never met, I hope to God I get to meet all of you. And for the ones I already know, thank you all for being so rad.