I don't speak much about my work and what it means to me or what I want it to mean to others. I'm more concerned with just doing it. But for a while I've wanted to say something about people of color and their impact on what I do.
There's a lot to say and I guess if there's a time to start saying it, it's now.
I grew up in a place where there were no people of color. Movies and TV and music were the only venues where I encountered people that looked different from me, lived in different places, had challenges that I couldn't imagine.
Over the last 5 years I've been so blessed to be able to encounter and photograph people that I could only have met by the intermediary of media before. I live in a place now where I am surrounded by people of every color. Going back now to places where that's not the case I feel uncomfortable, unsafe in some way.
There are the unbearably loud and fatal impacts of racism (as we can see almost daily), but I wonder what the impact must be of the omnipresent, inescapable knowledge that every time you are seen you could be seen as "less-than" when you are a person of color. I don't know what that feels like; I'm at a blinded white distance.
For many people of color, choosing to be seen, to be conspicuous, takes courage: a courage I'm sure I wouldn't have. I'm so grateful to share with you these images of beautiful, courageous people. I'll continue to show you them because you need to see them and they certainly deserve to be seen.