Re-imagining self is a collection of self-portraits over the years. Self-portraits have been used since humankind carved on the sides of caves. The three most common ways to take a photographic self portrait is by photographing a reflection in the mirror, photographing one’s self with the camera in an outstretched hand or setting the camera on a tripod or surface then setting the camera’s timer or using a cable release.
Searching for the Few
An Inauspicious Demise
I was in NYC in 2002 and visited the International Photography Center. In the gift shop, they had a children’s toy that was a plastic kaleidoscope like lens on a cardboard camera cutout. I picked it up and the second I looked through it I noticed how the world was framed in a completely different way. That’s how this series started and it is ongoing.
This series started when I was only 16 years of age and ended not long after high school. The photos are of my grandparent’s farm near Plymouth, Wisconsin. The buildings began to deteriorate in their later years. We visited the farm often as I was growing up and I stayed with my grandparents some summers. I’ll always remember what it felt like to be there and these photos were a way for me to document and preserve that experience.
Wisps of Simplicity
When I was 14, I applied to an art school in Chicago wanting to attend classes in photography. My father drove me down and I took the entrance exam. My score was 98 out of 100 on the photography exam, but when they found out that I was only 14, they said I couldn’t enroll until at least 16.
I was disappointed, but kept making little films and shooting photos anyway. Fortunately Waukegan Township High School offered a yearlong photography and filmmaking class when I was a senior. David Whitmore and Phil Lawrence were my teachers. I began shooting in earnest, won some awards and even freelanced for The Waukegan News-Sun. It really was a great jumping off point for everything I do today.