About

       

      When I was nine years old, I received my first camera as a gift from my parents. It was pink and plastic, practically a toy- but the pictures it took were real, and became my first meaningful reflection of life in a foster home.

      I grew up in the suburbs of a large city, in a chaotic and overflowing family which was always growing and shrinking. There was no room for personal space or privacy. Our dark, wooden kitchen table seated twelve, but depending on how many children were living there at the time, we’d sometimes have to bring out folding chairs. I would look across the table and see both strange and familiar faces; children of different ethnicities and backgrounds, but all displaced from difficult beginnings.

      In a household where everything was handed down or shared, that pink, plastic camera gave me the ability to make something personal. It gave me a chance to be still amidst the chaos of my life and reflect on the swirl of faces and noise around me. I would lie on my bunk bed in the finally-silent night and look at the pictures I had taken, learning to find beauty in every frame.

      As a teenager, photography kept me out of trouble in my inner city high school. Instead of falling numb to the turbulence around me, I chose to stay free, awake and observant through making art.

      As soon as I turned 18, I hitchhiked across the country and later, spent years living and travelling in Europe and North Africa. Instead of keeping a journal I took photos of the things that touched me: a Moroccan grandmother bringing a tray of sweets to her neighbor, Romanian farmers harvesting black walnuts in front of their simple mountain home, the vivid red of a child’s flamenco skirt. Once again, I found myself using my camera to slow down time and process the spiral of movement and emotion around me. Through the photographs I made, I learned to recognize and appreciate what makes each of us unique, and to celebrate the larger fabric of life that we all share.

      I’ve been making pictures for over twenty-five years now. In that time, photography has given me the ability to reflect on life and taught me to find beauty in every scene.

      I am excited to share that experience with you.

      I am honored to walk alongside you, to capture the moments of grace and sincerity that are often unseen, and to give you a collection of genuine, artistic images that celebrate the very essence of this time of your life.

      Cathlene