The Moment She Removed the Mask – I had a seriously abusive childhood and as an adult I have suffered depression and suicidal feelings.
Although I live in a balanced way now, this story very much affects my photography. When I shoot inmate portraits I go back to my own roots and mine that inner territory. What I am always striving to create is authenticity. The moment that a mask slips or is removed and the person in front of my camera wants to be seen and valued for their true self. These moments are intense and to record them is my blueprint. I lecture half time and have lost three students to suicide. A guy, a girl; and last year a guy cut his wrists and I raised the alarm.
I am still deeply shocked. At college I support countless students with depression – this is a part of my everyday life. Recently I have worked as a photographer with two amazing trans women, Kim and Olivia. They have supported and cared for each other and I have been recording their transitions. Like them I transitioned from darkness to a lighter place, we share stories and talk about our experiences – we have learned to laugh a lot too. They are awesome, inspiring survivors.