The ROOTS project | River travels: Detroit, Nevada, WPPI | Atlanta Wedding Photographer and Visual Artist

So let's take a moment today to talk about roots. Everything grows from something. For me and photography, my roots are in two places: storytelling (a pursuit and pastime I've loved since childhood), and black and white film. Even though I hold a degree in English literature, I studied photography in college as an elective because I was intrigued by the visual aspect of storytelling I felt represented by images. Now, college happened about a million years ago for me. So long ago that digital was just becoming commonplace. I started with an SLR film camera and black and white film. I remember long hours spent in the darkroom - the smell of fixer on my hands long after I left the darkness of that place. It's sad to say that I was a half-ass student and approached all the photography assignments from a place of laziness and barely-there inspiration. I had yet to find my voice and to take the bull by the horns, so to speak.

These days I have been shooting for almost nine years professionally. Always growing, learning, failing, and working on becoming the photographer and storyteller I have for so long yearned to be. And this year, I am returning to my roots a little bit. Shooting more for myself and for the sheer joy of seeing things differently. Preserving life, but in a way that makes you look at it differently. I purchased a little Pentax Q mirrorless - a digital camera that gives very film-like results. I left it on black and white and took it on its first trip a week ago. I took photos that speak to me because they're gritty, and real, and nothing created/manipulated.

It is so important as artists to do things for yourself. Create things you want, not just create for those who hire and pay you. This year I'm doing that and will be sharing along the way. xoxo