Moments of Being is a photographic exploration of how American fantasies regarding femininity shape gender identity and relationships of those I’m closest to. I photograph friends and family as I’ve been reflecting on youth, gender identity and sexuality. I began consistently working on this series in 2014 and cannot foresee a strict timeframe on the series. I’m interested in the relationships my family and I form and want to explore them continually over time. The photographs have been made so far in Connecticut, New York and Vermont. I will continue to travel and photograph depending on where my family and friends are.
Influenced by Naomi Wolf’s idea of The Beauty Myth, I photograph my family and friends in order to question the societal norms imposed on the female body by mass media. I am interested in the way photographs can pull from the subconscious and illuminate the point where dreams coincide with reality.
I combine a diaristic documentation with more staged pictures; a technique that allows me to capture both the public and private personas of my subjects. I view the staged pictures as a collaboration; a place where my subject can freely represent themselves within a dreamlike narrative. This fusion of the psychological fantasies my subjects and I create with a documentarian approach exposes the tensions and subtle links between our bodies and minds. I want the pictures to question fantasies of femininity and offer a queer counter-narrative to societal norms.
When looking at our image-saturated culture, photography has helped me and my loved ones to detangle what it means to be a queer woman amidst all the fragmented views of ourselves in American culture. Above all, I want this project to evoke a truth about my subject’s psyche — a way for my subjects and I to understand and relieve the weight of identity in our interpersonal relationships.