When Joey and I found each other via instagram and were discussing doing a shoot, he mentioned he wanted to be photographed in a white dress by an abandoned building and I was immediately sold. I want nothing more than photo photograph real people showing their truths and challenging social standards.
We left Boise for Oregon in search of a 100 year old abandoned concrete factory and instead found part of it, collapsed into rocks, ash, and thick wires. It was nightfall. We made it work.
sony a7rr ii / sigma 50mm and 35mm 1.4 art lenses
processed in lightroom / color graded in PS with Infinite Color Panel / no retouching
“Whoever you are, you leave an impact wherever you go. It does not matter if you are the most important person in the world or not: the energy you put into this world affects more than just you.
Showing my truth is the only way people can truly get know me. I have struggled my whole life finding a place to which I could belong. My skin was too dark, I was too flamboyant, I was too tall. All these fact about me that people would use to crush me. At times I could not look at myself in the mirror, because I did not know the person looking back at me. I would try and change to fit in, do anything in my power to be normal. In the end I never could.
It was not until I began to understand my own identity that truly felt alive. I stopped caring how everyone else saw me and started caring more about how I felt. Looking at myself now I’ve learned this is the person I was born and there is no one that can take that away from me.
To be of color In a place that people don’t match means you have to work harder to recognize yourself. I have to be okay that I was born with beautiful black skin and the fact that people only tore me down because they did not understand the power that came with.
I do not let other people define be my my skin nor my sexuality.
Tough on the outside to protect myself, an energy inside was ignored; this feeling that I did not have the same feelings as those around me. Being true to myself meant accepting all parts, masculine and feminine. Looking at them separately, neither are who I am, but together they are the way I can express myself. Naturally I lean towards the more feminine side of the spectrum. For a while I was shamed into thinking that a true man would never reveal his softer side. It’s taken me the majority of my life to finally come to the realization that everyone is different, with different emotions and different feelings. We cannot all be the same but no one should feel ostracized for expressing who they truly are.
I chose to wear a white dress as a statement to the world that I don’t care. I don’t care about the stereotypes or the negative comments. I care about showing people that are afraid to stand out that it is okay to be completely different than everyone else. Strength is not always measured by being masculine, its by letting go.
The idea of showing vulnerability in an environment hardened by time, was echoed throughout the series. I am proud to be have my black skin and I am proud to express my femininity.
I am proud to be myself in a world that continues to tell me I do not belong.
This Is just the beginning.