Photography is my first love. Behind the lens of a camera is where I began to experience and understand the power of visual stories, and above all, their capacity for fostering human connection. My documentary work has been internationally focused, exploring themes of culture, family, livelihood and community around the world. Some of the stories shown here were done for clients in the nonprofit and humanitarian sectors, and a few are personal projects.
I've carved out this little corner of the web to share some of my favorites.
Note: I book a very limited number of these projects each year. If a high-impact documentary photo story is exactly what's needed to capture the heart of your mission and take your visual communications to the next level, don't hesitate to contact me to find out more and discuss how we might work together!
"If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive."
- Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams
(Be patient, the galleries take a few moments to load due to the large number of images!)
Algeria: Sahrawi Refugees
December 2010 | Sahrawi Refugee Camps outside Tindouf, Algeria
Funding Organization: Defense Forum Foundation
The battle over the disputed North African territory of Western Sahara has created not only one of the most prolonged refugee situations in the world today, but one of the most tragically overlooked. For the Sahrawi people living in a cluster of refugee camps in southwest Algeria, decades of conflict have required generations of families to find ways to recover and rebuild, even as they strive for the chance to return to their homeland.
After traveling to the camps near Tindouf, Algeria, I was captured by the lives of the tenacious and beautiful Sahrawi and their prolonged struggle for justice. I'm particularly fascinated by the place of women in Sahrawi society, and the roles of feminine leadership and family structure in rebuilding the Sahrawi culture and community while in exile. I'm eager to return to Algeria to continue and build on this visual advocacy work.
Kenya: Agricultural Lending and HIV/AIDS
December 2008 | Nyanza Province, Kenya
Client: World Council of Credit Unions
An agricultural financing program funded by the USDA aimed to help small farmers in western Kenya to improve their crop yields with new technologies, agricultural training, and access to fair loans through local credit unions. The program targeted farmers impacted by AIDS, many of them elderly "grannies" cultivating small plots of land in order to feed as many as 10 orphans in their care. Beneficiaries of the program also included tea and stevia growers and an orphanage, Busia Compassionate Centre. I documented this project in December 2008, working with World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), the development organization that administered the program.
Kashgar: The Uighurs
August 2010 | Kashgar and vicinity, Xinjiang, China
On the western edge of China lies the province of Xinjiang, a rich tapestry of Central Asian ethnic and cultural groups including the Uighur (pronounced "wee-gur,") Tajik and Kazakh peoples. The city of Kashgar has served for centuries as a vital crossroads of the region, part of the old Silk Road route linking China to India and the Mediterranean. In 2009, China named Kashgar a Special Economic Zone, unveiling plans to subsidize development to "modernize" the city as a strategic hub for future expansion...in the next five years, China plans to destroy much of Kashgar's Old City, including mosques, markets and centuries-old homes, replacing them with grey block apartments and office buildings. To the Uighurs, this reality is threatening their homes, livelihoods, and the very structure of their lives as an ethnic and religious community.
Sri Lanka: Sea Dance
March 2011 | Southwestern Sri Lanka
Client: World Council of Credit Unions
In the fishing villages along a stretch of coast between Kalutara and Galle in southwestern Sri Lanka, men harvest fish just as they have for hundreds of years: some in traditional catamarans, others pulling enormous U-shaped nets to the beach, and a few perched on tall wooden poles in the ebbing tide. A tsunami in 2004 destroyed many coastal towns and fishing vessels, and it has taken years to slowly rebuild. I photographed a group of fishermen and their families on assignment for World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), a microfinance organization that was helping to provide affordable loans and sustainable financial services to these fishing communities through local branches of the Sri Lanka Women's Co-op.