We spent the last 9 months as gypsies, traveling from National Park to National Park. We started in Utah, went across to Colorado, up through the Dakotas and Minnesota, and east all the way up to Acadia. Then down the east coast - stopping in Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. Then down to the tip of Florida and even a flight to the Virgin Islands. We started this journey after a mental health diagnosis caused us to pause and ask ourselves if we were living the life we always wanted for ourselves. We also went in search of a homeland that called to us.
As we prepared for our travels, we purged SO MUCH STUFF. At one point, I found a journal from fifth grade. As I flipped through it, one paragraph stopped me in my sorting. It was so indicative of who I am, who I want to be at the core that it made me emotional. I was writing about what I envisioned my life to look like when I was older. I wrote: "We'd live in Montana with 70 acres. One room the whole wall would be a window and it'd overlook 2 mountains and in between the mountains would be a creek running into our land. To the left are the horses' pasture and to the right is a pond with a rope on a tree to jump into the pond. The house is a log cabin. The room with the big windows is my writing room because I want to be a writer and a photographer."
I was ten years old when I wrote that. Young, naive, and full of dreams. I didn't need to travel thousands of miles across the United States to find where I belonged. So now, here we are, tucked into the hills of North Carolina - it's not Montana and it's definitely not 70 acres (yet) but at the heart of it, I wanted country. I wanted to write and take pictures and tell stories. It's everything I wanted it to be. It fills me up to the brim and runs out and over.
I'm a photographer because I believe that photos have the power to change our story. They bring us back to each other when times are hard, they cross the barrier of time & memory and land us back where our hearts belong. I shoot weddings & anniversaries because I love marriage and I've made it my mission to protect my own marriage, as well as help others protect theirs. I photograph families because it is a natural extension of marriage, and therefore has eternal bonds too. Having family photos on your walls reminds us of that, and gives us the courage to love deeper, speak kinder, and be each other’s best friends. Ultimately, I'm a photographer because I believe photos strengthen the relationships within marriages and families, deepen our connections with each other and future generations, and instill a greater amount of kindness towards ourselves and those we love most.