Photographer. Writer. People lover 💁 // Sharing stories of our common humanity through travel & the underrepresented 🏳️🌈
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Tomorrow I head to Japan with @sashafoto until 12/5. This will be the longest trip I’ve taken outside of my walk on the Camino. I’ve wanted to see Japan for over a decade, and I am so thankful we’ll have enough time to explore at a slow pace. Now I’ve gotta get through the 14-hour flight
'Safe Space' has, strangely, become a buzzword. Every August I escape to 'Camp' Camp ( @campcampbte ), a weeklong summer camp for 250 LGBT adults. Ages range from 20's to 60's and it is a rare opportunity for intergenerational connection within our community. People ask me why queer spaces (bars, festivals, camps) are important. I often present this thought experiment to my straight friends: Imagine everywhere you went was gay. Every book you were told to read, every movie you saw in the theater, every couple you ever saw holding hands. Every bar, parade, coffee shop, mall. Gay, Gay, G-g-gay. Would you feel a little out of touch? Like it's nice, but you just can't relate? That's the world I live in, except everything is straight. At Camp, I have six full days where I can be my truest self. No checking my voice. No stiffening my walk. No second guessing myself before talking about my love life. I am finally free. On Thursday, 'Camp' Camp hosts the Tea Dance and rolls out the red carpet. It's basically a gay Halloween party. Everyone crafts their best lewk and walks the runway, ending the showcase in an all night dance party. Over the past four years I have been a part of cabin RuPaul, a small home where drag is the norm, and our newbies often try it for the first time. This year I took Polaroid portraits. Hope you enjoy this peek into my Wonderland.
Hey everyone! I am super excited to be a portfolio reviewer at next year's @collectivequarterly Portfolio Showcase. There's a lot of information below. Let me know if you have any questions! Applications are now open~
This annual showcase takes place in late March at Montana's @chico_hot_springs Resort. Alongside directors from TIME, Conde Nast Traveler, Out Magazine, Entrepreneur, and ESPN, we walk through attendees' portfolios, hear lectures from an all-star panel of speakers, and network over beers at the saloon. The trip connects photographers and visual artists to some of the most experienced minds working in visual art today.
Speaking this year: @paulmoakley @toddhido @_calebbennett @greggarry @melissa_catanese @edpanar @nataliekeyssar
This is for working photographers and visual artists who want to connect with the industry professionals who hold the keys to the next chapter of their careers.
Application process is competitive and requires a portfolio submission. Check out @collectivequarterly for the relevant links!
Photo by @jesselenz
Today I survived another circle ‘round the sun. I see my birthday as a chance to step back and give my life a checkup. What relationships have formed and fallen? What goals have been achieved and what others seem miles away? What days were my happiest? What work fulfilled me the most? Adjusting daily habits, and friendships, and love doesn’t happen all at once, but I find writing it down gives me a little push in the right direction. My birthday is always slower than any other day. I don’t rush to wake up, or stretch, or shower. I let all of my daily routines last for as long as it can, and I feel the morning unfold into the afternoon. This year was a big one. Too many close friends moved away. I fell (deeply) in love. Work and weddings and distant friends took me on the road 45% of the time. I attempted to eat every scone in Scotland, and discovered a part of Portugal I didn’t know existed. I realized RuPaul’s Drag Race is the gay NFL and have celebrated the community endlessly. I (did not) eat all the cheese in this photo because I am lactose intolerant, and this is just a random image that kind of related to these thoughts. But! I hope the next year is brighter for the marginalized in the USA, and that my work will contribute to that shift. I hope to strengthen my community and drop deeper roots in this little artist hub of Brooklyn. I also hope to take better care of myself and buy time, not things.
Sunlight is scarce in the Financial District. It was built before zoning laws limited buildings from turning streets into lightless canyons. I have always loved how this creates dramatic slices and shapes of harsh sunlight, and I always dreamed of working with dancers to highlight this phenomenon. Luckily, two of my best friends ( @sam_and_brian ) are always willing to help bring my vision to life.
Life on Squashington Farm is meditative. The old house sits on a ridge that clears the air for the morning and evening light. Breakfast is made with eggs from the chickens out back, and Butternut (the farm dog seen here) is often itching to go for a morning run. After a good sprint, she plays with her volleyball and often disappears into the sea of tomato vines. There are distant sounds from neighboring cows, and the occasional hum of a pickup truck. Hours slip away as we dig for potatoes, snip the squash, and sort through the carrots.
Walking by the port, I saw this dog swimming in circles and then diving down to the inlet floor. After snapping a few photos, his owner walked up to me and told this surprising story: Bodie is a border collie that has lived on a sailboat for over a year. His owners decided to travel the world, but they knew Bodie would need constant exercise during the trip. Border collies are extremely active and, instead of playing fetch and running, they taught him to dive for a small piece of yellow rope. At that point, I noticed the yellow in the darkness below and understood why Bodie looked a little frustrated. “This area is deeper than I thought,” his owner said.
I’m visiting one of my besties from high school on her farm in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. This morning we harvested heirloom tomatoes, fed the lil chickies, and gorged ourselves on donuts. Some ~information~ for y’all who are interested: Squashington Farm was started in 2016 and is focused on staying small, minimizing inputs, using natural additions (like animals) for nutrients, and they are generally working to better the local food community. Check my story for some behind the scenezzz! #squashingtonfarm
This weekend I had two ~dreams~ come true. My first shoot for @teenvogue, AND it was a chance to celebrate and give voices to the queer youth. I setup an 80's Yearbook Style photo booth at RuPaul's DragCon and interviewed 20+ young fans. I asked them about everything from their stunning lewks, to why straight people are so boring (lol jk). No exaggeration, one of my favorite jobs I have ever done. Read the intro, read the interviews, and get your life feeding off this fashion inspiration. Huge thank you to @jackclarizio for believing in me. See the link in my bio for the full series
I boarded a small boat to capture a perspective of a restaurant from the water. On the way, the sun began dipping behind the Island of Faial, casting a gold gradient on a rock in the water. We approached the rock after the sun was gone, and found a cacophony of birds hunting for fish. Their cries echoed in the small cave you can see in the center. For more images from my time in the Azores, visit the link in my profile!
@airbnb sent me to the Azores Islands to document the landscape, locals, and cuisine that make these volcanic islands unique. Though they are technically part of Portugal, the islands rest in the middle of the Atlantic (a 5-hour flight from Boston). This was the most challenging and rewarding shoot of my career. Sixteen hour shooting days, driving, flying, boating, and tuk tuk-ing around at increasing speeds. I am so happy and proud of the work we produced. If you visit the link in my profile, you can see the full gallery I just launched on my site. Would love to know what you think
After spending some time on São Miguel Island in the Azores, we hopped over to Pico Island. From the roof deck of Cella Bar, you can watch the sun set behind Faial. Quoted from @airbnb, "with its barrel-shaped wooden extension inspired by traditional island wine vessels, Cella Bar has … put Pico Island on the map by nabbing a prestigious international architecture award." The Bar is surrounded by rocks, small swimming pools, and a sleepy small town that provide a beautiful atmosphere as you stare off into the ocean. Of all the nights on our seven-day visit, this was my favorite. Check the link in my bio to see my full story on the Azores!
It takes up to a year for a single pineapple to grow. In this image, two men are harvesting the plant before moving it into another greenhouse for the final stage of production. Once replanted, the workers will light a fire inside the greenhouse to trick the plant into thinking it is dying. When that occurs, the plant will begin to fruit. The Azores Islands have been known for their pineapples for decades. I traveled with @airbnb to meet one of their local hosts, André, who grows the fruit on a property where travelers can stay. To learn more about this process, and the Azores, visit the link in my profile! #NotYetTrending