A dear friend of mine runs a local girls group, The Bluebelles, and she approached me with this idea. Children get picked on in school every day, so we decided to do portraits to build self-esteem and raise awareness about bullying. In these diptychs, the other girls write nice things about the other without them seeing. The first photograph is taken before the girl reads the banner. The second is taken immediately after they turned around and read the comments. "Niceness is Priceless" is meant to show the effects words can have on people, especially when you're young, and teach the effect that positive words can have against negative words. In this day and age, with school shootings and teen suicides increasing at an alarming rate, it's nice to know that you can always find love somewhere. It may take time, but the light of love will always keep you afloat in the infinite sea of darkness.
If you would like to donate to a local NEO organization that deals specifically with this, Rachel and I suggest Values In Action (http://viafdn.org). Their Project Love mission is exactly in line with this project. Promote the values of kindness, empathy, and love – not hate, grudges, and grief.
An Excerpt of Various Photographs Strewn About the Room
In these photographs, I explore the struggle of my generation as we grow into the people we will be, in the world we are given. Frankly, I’m scared to death of growing up and growing old, so I photograph it, I capture it. I find my friends, often in squalor, and I set them up, I pose them in these simple moments, and watch as they slip through our fingers so simply.
Our lives are transitional, we’re caught in a period between young adulthood, maturity, a career, and the rest of life. Our homes are our hideaway from this; a physical extension of our identity. By capturing these characters in moments of isolation, consumed by their surroundings, I glimpse into the bond between a person and a personal moment in time that will determine the rest of their lives, and how a home can allude to it all.