Category: Documenting Hardship

Make Your Loved One’s Story Come Alive In Grief: Lora’s Story

“I’m a photographer. How do I NOT have pictures of my dad? I had plenty of posed photos, but nothing that captured HIM as I know him. It was a sick feeling,” said Lora Wallenstein, participant of The Preservation Project. If you’ve ever experienced loss, you’ve feared the strong feeling of your bond weakening over time. […]

#038 – Saving Memories from Wildfire – Literally – with Nicole Miller-Cline

What do you do when you have to evacuate your home quickly — specifically, with choosing your preservation pieces (think photos, mementos, etc.), grabbing the essentials (undies, toothbrushes), and keeping the kids calm? This was a very real scene for a recent Preservation Project participant and photographer, Nicole Miller-Cline. She was two weeks into the […]

Paradise California Documentary Photographer

Lessons from an Undocumented Story: a Sunday Dinner Family Tradition

As people with cameras at arm’s length in today’s world, we habitually train ourselves to see frames all around us sans camera. Naturally, we *think* we’re on top of recording the important stories in our own lives. But are we? What *don’t* we see, because our own lens has become distorted from influence or simply […]

Two Ways to Leverage Old Stories That Linger in Your Life

Photographer Dreama Spence said, “In the work of photography, it’s easy to get bombarded with ideas from everyone else. My goal has always been to be my own self. DOCUMENTARY IS VERY PERSONAL. To dig deep and think about a feeling or story, THEN choose when to click the shutter has been very freeing + […]

Dementia photography

Iconic Photo Series: Dementia

This is a photo of my grandmother with my brand new baby boy. The photo doesn’t show that Dementia is slowly changing who my grandmother is to me, leaving me a little lost without the strong woman who, I knew, could do anything when I was a kid. I see that her face still lights […]

Using Photographs in Healing After Loss / Grief

#019 – A Story on Photographs + Healing After Sudden Loss with Brittni Schroeder

It was after 11 p.m., when I should’ve been sleeping, but instead I laid there, mindlessly scrolling Instagram as I was jolted into full focus on a stranger’s feed. I was so captivated and moved by her shares, that I got back up and wrote out about 20 questions for Brittni BEFORE even inviting her to […]

The End of an Iconic Toy Store Generation: Farewell Toys “R” Us

It’s weird how strong of an effect a brand has on people. Whether it’s Nike for athletes or Disney for families, brands have cultivated a staple in our culture. I’d argue that these brands hit a fever pitch during my childhood. Nike’s ads were plastered with Michael Jordan, Disney targeted families during a renaissance of […]

7 Photographers’ Perspectives on the #MarchforOurLives

On the days that news breaks of yet another shooting with fallen students + teachers + loved ones, my mind quickly drifts to ‘Will this ever happen at MY kids’ school?’ I imagine what that looks like; what that feels like as a parent. I don’t want to think about it, but my mind goes there anyway. […]

Documenting What Follows After Receiving “The Call” We All Fear

It’s always easier to tell other people’s stories, isn’t it? The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we got “the call.” My oldest sister Cathy’s battle with Lymphoma was coming to a much quicker-than-expected end. After a three-hour drive to Albany, my husband, my three children and I arrived rather frantically to the hospital in anticipation of seeing […]

A Story of Devastation + Miracle in the 2017 California Wildfires

Yesterday at 11am I got a call from my brother in law, Pasquale Mastantuono inviting me to document some of the story at Safari West. Located in the hills of Santa Rosa the 400-acre private wildlife preserve was in the direct path of the destructive and deadly Tubbs Fire that swept through the area on […]

Documenting Real Stories: and she would reply, “I’m right here.”

I went to school with Tina and her older brothers and kept in touch with her on Facebook throughout the years that followed. I’d been following her husband, Jamie’s, journey with stage 4 cancer. He’d been fighting for two and a half years. When I saw her post about Jamie being taken off of experimental […]

Photographing Employment Hardship + Lessons Learned

Weeks before I was married, a friend’s mother warned me that my marriage would never work. Little did she know that comment wouldn’t deter me. It challenged me. I think she meant well, really I do, because I was 19 and my husband, Joel was 20 when we were married. When I look back now, […]

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