"THE UNTITLED CHILD"
wet plate collodion photography
Statement for THE UNTITLED CHILD, 2019
I still can’t say, ‘I have a trans son’.
I have changed his pronoun, call him by his chosen name, and enrolled him in a high school known for their supportive LGBTQ community. But after saying “daughter” for 14 years, the muscle memory of it is slow to adapt.
This collection celebrates the powerful changes happening in our household while honoring the child he once was—the child that made him who he is today. Because that little girl should not be forgotten as we embark into this new world.
Within Native American society, the term Two-Spirited is often used to describe gender-variant folks within their culture. I like this term, and the positivity it carries—it seems to represent having a foot in both worlds and thus a more thorough understanding of our collective world. As an artist, my hope is that by combining images of THEN with images of NOW, I can create a bridge between the past and the present, and help him carry both sides of himself into adulthood.
This collection is created using traditional wet plate collodion photographic processes. The top image is developed directly onto glass (known as an ambrotype) and many of the shadow areas remain purposefully absent in order for a second image to be seen from below. The bottom image is developed on blackened metal (known as a tintype) and is printed onto the collodion plate using a traditional enlarger, from slide film.
This is a collection that accurately portrays the current state of our lives—a family in transition, navigating an immense gray area of new topics and decisions, watching our kid figure out who he is. I have spent the last couple years making sure my child’s mind is healthy and happy, and that he is ready to tackle every great thing he has coming his way. But perhaps I have overlooked my own mental health in the process. THE UNTITLED CHILD is the most personal collection I have presented to the public, and for me, the act of doing so has been healing.
And so I’ll say it now, for the first time in print: I have a son. His name is Danny.
ABOVE // BELOW
underwater photography, digital & darkroom printed
This is an on-going project focusing on the dual personalities of water. The chaos above and the solitude below. The manic above and the loneliness below. Spirituality above and the weightlessness of the body below. Images from this collection have been published in Black & White Magazine, and Black + White Photography Magazine.
BABES IN WATERLAND
underwater photography, digital
This is a great in-progess series I doubt I'll ever tire of. Shot within a handmade water table, these images celebrate the slight disfigurement of traditional beauty using water refractions and miscellaneous yard debris.
THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S PLAYBOOK PROJECT
This was a fun project I did with my long-time friend and frequent collaborator, Jen van Kaam. We used the book, The Photographer's Playbook, to plan 3 joint challenges with one another in an effort to push each other creatively. Below are my responses to each project.