My work is about death – the hard lessons it teaches us and the ways it gives new meaning to life. I create as a direct expression of the stories in my life. Though deeply personal, my work speaks to the emotions and experiences we all are faced with when death touches our lives… fear, anger, confusion, sadness, despair, love, determination, surrender, peace. Creating helps me to find balance and meaning out of death by allowing me to look at it from a different vantage point. When you are inside of it – it can be hard to glean the lessons. Put it out in front of you though and stand back to look at it, and I find that is where I am able to gain something from it.
I often implement various layers of expression when I work – creating a photograph first, and then writing poetry or journaling about the image (or perhaps an encaustic combination of the two) to dig deeper. This helps me to understand and explore my experience and emotions more fully.
I currently shoot all of my photography digitally – but am itching to try my hand at some alternative developing techniques hopefully next year. Many people ask how I create some of my images – particularly the self portraits. With the exception of just a few, they are all created in-camera as you see them, with only tonal adjustments made in Photoshop. I use a very simple setup: Nikon D5000 body, 35mm f/1.8 lens, 18-55mm f/3.5 lens, Manfrotto tripod, a wireless remote and a CamRanger system for the trickier self portraits. I work entirely with natural lighting – shooting in the brief moments of dawn and dusk, or on a rare day when the wide Texas skies happen to be overcast!