If you include my early years as a loathsome, cringe-worthy, and insecure (self-portrait) photographer, I have been shooting for approximately eight years. Eight years of endlessly finding my style, perfecting my aesthetics, and growing as an artist and as a feeling individual.
I do not think I was born a photographer.
I was lost. I held a camera, felt its weight, and I found purpose.
I do not go to rallies. I do not engage in cultural immersions elsewhere. I do not go from one neighborhood to the next hearing people’s stories. I do not volunteer at hospitals, shelters, nor schools. I do not go to the murky, messy parts of my country.
I may be selfless but through my own, personal, quiet way. I shoot people – in all their beauty and glory – and I am finally okay with that.
It took me almost a decade to etch that in my heart.
I shoot portraits, I shoot editorials, and I am reveling in my talent. I refused to do so before because I was afraid that others contributed more from their vocations than I do but this is my path, and I have finally made sense of my calling.
There is nothing that makes me more joyful than capturing others to show them their capacity to (actually) be beautiful. Beauty is not shallow, beauty is a gift, beauty is power.
I matter, I touch lives, I bring light. I finally know that now.