How did your interest in your medium begin and how did you arrive at your current style?
It's difficult for me to pinpoint exactly when my interest in photography began, but I do know the first time I ever felt truly inspired to photograph wasn't until my third year as a photography student at Savannah College of Art and Design. My grandparents had died within a few years of each other, and I watched my parents go through the devastation of losing their own parents and all of the (for lack of a better word) shit that comes along with it. Through my own grief and confusion, having held my grandmommy's hand as she died, I felt inspired, and for weeks didn't know where to place it. I had spent so much time thinking of what they left behind, their home and worldly possessions, and honest to God I dreamt myself photographing that space. I spent months going back and forth studying, photographing, and breathing in their still furnished, just lived-in condo. Up until that point I never felt that I'd made a photograph that had any real meaning to it.
Since I made that work at the condo—which was systematic, calculated even—I think my style has become much more rudimentary. Film is such a blessing in that we even still have the option to use it and ways to develop it, I don't take that for granted, and therefore I tend to take things as they come. The only real guideline I have at this point is to make sure I have a camera full of film and the light to support it.
How do you feel about the relationship of an artist to their city or surroundings?
I think that good or bad, we are all products of our environment and this affects not only our social or political views but our views as creatives as well. For a few years after college, I moved to NYC and probably made less than 100 photographs, and I think that says a lot about what inspires me. It always takes being away from what we love to realize we took it for granted and that's what happened with me and the South. There's a reason for all of those phrases like, "you can take the ____ out of the ____, but you can't take the ____ out of the ____."
How do you choose your subjects?
Commonly, I choose what is familiar to me, what explains who I am and where I come from. I grew up with faith in God, seeking an answer to what I belong to through Sundays at church and the words of others. As I have gotten older and relinquished that faith that bred me, I find answers in my surroundings and support them with a roll of negatives.
Do you feel creatively satisfied?
Am I inspired? Hell yes. Sometimes so much so that I could burst. Between living as a woman in the current social and political climate of our country, the sheer beauty of my surroundings, and the joy and sadness of life, there is no shortage of inspiration. But creatively satisfied? No, I'm not sure that I am, and I think that's okay. Being creatively satisfied, for me, would signal a lack of hunger and thirst.
Tell me about a recent, current, or upcoming project or exhibition.
Ending things is incredibly difficult for me to do and so I pretty much consider every project I have as "in progress." With my series Belongs To, I have been applying for grants in hopes of going to Lufkin, Texas, and finishing the work enough to start working on my first book.