I am a misplaced California girl who came to New York City for college and never left. After getting my BFA in studio art, I realized I didn’t want to be a professional fine artist and so I redirected my dream of being a painter and became a writer. But I knew I wanted to continue making images, so I bought a camera and some how-to books – that was almost 25 years ago.
At the time I was roaming around the world whenever I could and did a lot of travel photography, and just kept doing the same thing whenever I returned to New York City. After taking some time off when I had kids, and then being introduced to digital thanks to my iPhone, I started taking photos even more. I didn’t know that all along I had been doing “street photography” until I stumbled into the street photography community on social media. It has become a defining part of my life; a secret side door into a creative practice that I never expected.
Since I photograph strangers on the sly while in public, my photos are usually classified as street; but I’d say I skirt around the edges of the genre. Rather than trying to document everyday life, I like to push the narrative a bit. My photos are true representations of what is before me, but there is always a certain essence that I try to extract from a scene.
I have a lively imagination that is often fueled by fairy tales and Victorian literature, and that imagination acts as stage director for a lot of my photos. I like magic and mystery; timelessness and emotion. Most of my images are quiet and a bit moody; I think of them as a collection of memories or short stories about beautiful strangers.
Morning, day, night. Sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy. Hot, warm, cool, cold, windy, still.
Since I live in New York City, mostly here; and especially in neighborhoods where there are still wafts of the city’s early splendor – Grand Central Terminal is maybe my very favorite place. Most of the city is so visually hectic that I’m drawn to places where architecture dominates or where light and shadow can set a quiet stage. I love the city’s deep pockets and I love its glass canyons; its gilded moments and its gritty ones. I have walked thousands of miles on NYC streets and it never loses its enchantment. That said, I am thrilled to take photos wherever I find myself.
I suspect that most street photographers are familiar with this: That simple yet deep hunger to go out and find photos to take. There is a pull that draws us out of our homes and onto the streets to hunt for that next shot.
For me that drive is about the need to make images, something that’s been a part of me for as long as I can remember. But it’s also about interacting with the world and being part of the organism that is the city; and in that way it is very life-affirming. It’s about throwing myself into the beautiful chaos that is NYC and opening my senses to all of its complexity and its incredible diversity of humans. It’s about noticing the details and drinking in the moments that live so briefly and are forever flying backwards. To be able to be there, to be present and witness it all … and then get to freeze the ephemeral is a magical and profound privilege.