Take One

I don’t exactly know how I got here. There are bits of memories here and there. Being pissed when some of the dark room chemicals stained my favorite jacket. Laughing with fast friends while looking through street photography stills I had just taken of them. Being so fixated on a game winner in the NCAA tournament I forgot to take a photo. Or the unforgettable look on the face of the Walgreens photo attendant when I would ask if my rolls were ready yet (it was always a mix of pissed and indifferent.)

I was 14 when I started shooting film and annoying that poor man. Now I’m 25 and an Adobe Creative Resident focusing on photography+video.

*Queue surprised gif, swiftly followed by applause gif.*

Why does this matter? Well, it’s all kind of bizarre. For as intense as I am, I don’t plan much. I’ve always been able to move, pivot and grow within the chaos which has allowed me to be an effective photographer.

“Well, you were effective enough to get this right?!” *Brushes proverbial dirt off of shoulders*

Yeah, but I have to believe I can be even better, like a ball player adding new skills every summer. That’s why I don’t consider this residency a birthright, or a reward for what’s behind me, but an opportunity. If you told me at 14 that I could travel the country to interview people about how their sense of place matters, I would have jumped at the chance, but balked at the responsibility. Now, with this residency, I have true infrastructure: people that care (Libby, Heidi, Mac and JM Harper), residency classmates, deadlines, expectations, but at the same time a deep sense of freedom.

I am an appropriate mix of hella excited and very anxious. This is an opportunity to stretch myself without the worries of finances or time; it is a pass to sidestep excuses and make something great.

My projects are focused on a sense of place.

  1. The Echo Chamber — My main project is focused on the question: How does location impact thought?I will be traveling to cities and towns across America to interview folks, and use video, photo and audio to create a full portrait of them. Here are a few sample questions: What’s the biggest scam in America? Why isn’t this the best place for you?
  2. Summer Friends — Summer basketball in Brooklyn through the eyes of its residents, namingly kids trying to make a name for themselves.
  3. G train — A street photography project documenting how the ridership of the G train will change drastically as the L train shuts down.

They will no doubt change somewhat throughout the year, but my goal will remain the same. I want to capture the essence of people and see if those learnings can ease the burden of existing.

I will be moving around a lot this year, but y’all are my community. In order to find and tell the best stories, I would appreciate your recommendations, contacts, and leads. Please don’t be a stranger.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you soon.

-Aundre