Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas for the first time last summer with the intention of taking portraits of people with my medium format camera.  It was 114 degrees outside— a type of heat that makes it feel like your eyelids are melting. As I walked up and down The Strip, taking in the people, the buildings, the billboards, I tried to grasp what Las Vegas represented within the larger American psyche.

Las Vegas' sensory overload is a thinly-veiled cover to make money off of us by providing an experience or commodity that we are led to believe is desirable and necessary. A leech disguised as a rainbow fish. What I still don't know is if everyone is in on the joke, if we know that the promises aren't real, our dreams won't come to fruition, but it still feels good, and so it's worth it in the end. A collective act of suspension of disbelief is required in order to fully partake in Sin City without questioning it. 

Las Vegas' inauthenticity and intentions are on display in a way we don't typically see in the U.S. anymore. Nowadays, advertising and marketing tends to take a more subtle approach when convincing us how we should feel and think, and therefore buy. Not on The Strip. A billboard for an entertainer who is supposed to be a "tough guy" can be quickly dissected — he's wearing a fake leather jacket, his tattoos aren't real, his cigarette isn't lit. In the flesh, women wearing almost nothing dot the streets and people can pose for photos with them for a pre-determined price.

Perhaps by inundating us with copious amounts of food and alcohol, promises of sex and money, and lights and music that are sensorily consuming, we are being put into a stupor that diminishes our sense of free will. And maybe, especially since we're on vacation, we don't mind.

In my photos I hoped to capture the juxtaposition of the glitz and the gloom, how quickly gold can turn into something much less shiny. Ultimately, everyone is trying to make a buck, whether they are playing the slot machines, selling bottled water on the streets, wearing attention-grabbing clothing, or holding signs of desperation. Our desires don't change in Vegas, they just become more concentrated, more transparent. As I walked around, I was repeatedly told by men I passed by that I should smile more, didn't I realize, I was in Las Vegas. In order for the facade to remain intact, we all have to look like we're having a great time.

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East Austin Churches in the Austin American-Statesman

A nice start to the year! The Austin American-Statesman featured my East Austin churches project in their paper. I had been in contact with the reporter Michael Barnes for almost a year in regards to publishing this piece, so it was nice to finally see our efforts come to fruition.

As I wrote my list of goals for 2018, one of them was to either complete or continue this project. The Statesman's recognition of the photos reinforced the feeling that I'm not quite yet done. 

Below are some snaps of the actual paper. Here's a digital version too:

Northern California

In Northern California, the outdoors feel too large to be contained within a frame— the trees, mountains, and ocean envelope you in their quiet magnitude. They are challenging to fit into squares, and while I almost always prefer using my medium format camera when traveling, it was a bit limiting this time around. But of course, not so limiting as to squelch the excitement of developing and scanning film from one of the most beautiful places in the country. 

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Eyes on Texas - Fantastical Taxidermy

My photo of the taxidermist Rachel Ahern was spotlighted in the August 2017 issue of the Texas Observer. The magazine's Eyes on Texas column features Texas-based documentary photography, and I was pumped to show some love for my project on Texas taxidermists, one of my favorite assignments to date. 

Check out the virtual edition here:


“I think people who are involved in taxidermy look at animals in a different way,” Ahern says. “As much as I love them and love them alive. …At the same time I can look at a dead animal and still love it just as much in a different way. As morbid as it sounds.”

West Texas

A ritual of mine is taking my Yashica twin lens camera with me whenever I go on trips and finding ways to fit large landscapes and small town buildings in squares. Shots below are from a recent trip out to Big Bend National Park. 

Helping Families Move Out of Homelessness: The Children's HOME Initiative

This month I photographed families that are a part of the Children’s HOME Initiative (CHI), which has helped over 450 families move out of homelessness. A unique program created by the organization Foundation Communities, it offers greatly reduced rents for extremely low-income parents with young children and provides intensive on-site case management services. 

The kids were so much fun to be around and their level of cuteness made my job super easy. The photos will be used by Foundation Communities for print and online materials. The families will also receive prints of their family portraits.

Zoey's Story

For their recent luncheon, my client Texans Care for Children commissioned a video to help illustrate the work they do on behalf of Texas children. Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services is a statewide program that helps children 0-3 with developmental disabilities. When the state decided to cut funds to ECI, Texans Care for Children published a report to shed a light on how the cuts negatively affect children who need these extra supports to learn how to crawl, eat, and walk on their own.

Getting to film Zoey and her mother for this project was a great reminder of why I do what I do. The assistance Zoe received from her ECI therapists made a tremendous impact on her life,  and I love to document and share important truths that need attention.

A Drive Through East Texas

With a small budget and an itch to travel and take photos, My friend Jo and I headed east during Christmas. As a photographer, I love exploring small towns and finding people, spaces, and moments that I can capture on film. Since our trip was specifically meant for photo-taking, I felt like I could linger longer or stop at places I usually would pass by. Several of these photos were taken when we decided to halt mid car drive and get out along the side of the highway to photograph a cow, or a person, or a dilapidated house. I definitely want to take the time to do trips like this throughout the year, where I can focus on honing my skills as an observer and photographer.

Photos for Cap Metro - The Austin Collective Project

Since I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, I have always been a huge proponent of public transportation. I even lived in Austin for 8 1/2 years before getting a driver's license! I recently teamed up with Cap Metro as a photographer to collaborate on their Austin Collective project, which highlights the stories of public transit riders through portraits and interviews. I was really excited to be able to work on a project that combined so many of my interests— public transportation, visual storytelling, meeting new people, and exploring different parts of the city. A few photos and quotes below. The Austin Collective will be exhibiting photos from the project during East Austin Studio Tour at 507 Calles Street, and I will be participating in a panel discussion about the project in the same location on November 12, from 4-5 PM.


“I don’t think about stopping, but I know there’s going to be a time. It’s probably going to be due to injury. I expect to get hurt in a way where I really can’t recover well enough to play again. I’m going to hate it. I just like the competition and the game itself. So I’ll be very unhappy. But I’ve got the gym. I can continue going to the gym and getting exercise that way. But it’ll be a sad day.” - Abe 

“I have children. They’re my world and everything I do is for them. I’ve had employment to where I had to catch the bus two hours to work, two hours home. It wasn’t a good paying job, but I had to do it. My children are my biggest job. Just to better myself in any area.” - Jason

“I’m sort of a pessimistic optimist. Things are going to get bad in the next twenty or thirty years, but at some point we’re going to be able to turn it around. Once we have more solar panels, we change our lifestyles, and we use less resources. I think we can do it.” - Pedro

“I was at an emoji-themed birthday party and they wanted the poop emoji all over their face. The whole face as a poop emoji. They made that decision and I was like, ‘alright, we can do that. I mean, your parents might be upset with me later on, but it was you that picked this.’ They loved it. I gave them glitter and everything. They were happy.” - Ruth

“I specifically want to work in gene therapy. You see a gene and it’s messed up, and because it’s messed up it’s causing some kind of neurological or biological problem. If you can go in and fix the gene somehow, then the problem is solved. I think if we could do that for Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s or other degenerative diseases then that would be the best thing.” - Victoria

“I started taking the bus and trying to ride my bike and do all that after five years of commuting to Texas State. I was just driving so much and I could tell it was negatively affecting my life. Being stressed out on the road, not having time to do things I needed to for school or for work. Just spending lots of times on the road and feeling frustrated because I was just driving so much.” - Sarah Beth

Voices of Recovery Video

I just wrapped up a video I collaborated on with the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and peer support specialists from the Austin State Hospital. This has been one of my favorite projects thus far— the clients were wonderful to work with, I was able to explore new-to-me video techniques, and the subject of mental health and sharing your story is one that is crucial and inspiring. Check out the video below!

Trump Rally

When I heard Donald Trump was coming to Austin, I knew I had to go. I was curious to meet people who like the presidential nominee and ask them one question— why do you support him? Photos and responses below. 

"I have grandchildren. A good country must have a military man. It must have a commander in chief." - Marcos

"I don't believe in politicians. Politics has never changed my life in any significant way. But Trump said what do African Americans have to lose by voting for him. And he's absolutely right."

"Trump has a lot of the same values as me. And my husband is a small business owner and I think he could help him." Annette, Ashleigh (quote from her) and Rebecca

"Trump isn't a politician so he's not going to put up with any of their shit." Tim

"Trump is the best candidate that has ever run." Ariel

"I'm a Republican." Art

"Trump is a complete departure from everything going on. I want a totally new effort." Beth

Lunar Nourishment

I recently took photos of Lydia and Marlena Jarjoura at one of my favorite spots in Austin. I stumbled upon the jungle-like oasis during EAST one year, and like to return to it regularly when I take walks. 

Lydia is the owner of Lunar Nourishment, which offers women moon cycle and self-care guidance so they may live healthier lives. Below are a few photos from the shoot.

Slack Capital Album Art

Slack Capital is a compilation put out by Austin Townhall Records that features twenty local bands. It was really fun collaborating on the CD art design and using my photos in this new way. All proceeds of Slack Capital will be donated to Anthropos Arts, a local non-profit organization which provides music lessons and musical instruments to at-risk youth. You can buy the album here and get involved with the nonprofit at A great project to work on and the album is worth a listen!

Dallas Museum of Art Grant

This spring, I was awarded an Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough grant from the Dallas Museum of Art for my East Austin church series. What a wonderful surprise! I'm excited to continue and finish this project with the help of the museum. It's been a really important part of my growth as a photographer over the past several years, and the award is a much-welcomed motivation to keep at it. Click here to see the rest of the photo series and hopefully I'll be adding much more in the near future.

Open Circle Healing

I recently had the privilege of photographing Brooke Binstock, owner of Open Circle Healing. Her new business offers a full package of services to help lead clients on a path to a healthy, self-compassionate way of being. She is an acclaimed yoga instructor, massage therapist, and health coach who knows firsthand how difficult, yet rewarding, being kind to ourselves can be—her own experiences help guide her work as she nurtures and heals others. Below are a few of the images from our shoot together. She will use the photographs for online and print materials.

SXSW Spredfast Shoot

Spredfast, a social marketing company, hired me during SXSW to photograph a video shoot they were doing with Brian Nunnery, Social Media Manager at National Instruments. It was a really fun shoot—below are a few takes from the day. 

Youth Homelessness in Texas

I am currently working on a project for Youth Count Texas! an initiative to do a statewide count of youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability. Using the data collected from surveys and these photo portraits of youth, participating organizations hope to advocate for necessary funds to help this vulnerable population. Below are a few photos taken during a trip to Houston. Shot with a Yashica Mat 124G using Kodak Portra 120 film and a Canon AE-1 using Kodak Portra 35mm film. 

East Austin Studio Tour 2015

I'm showing some new work during the East Austin Studio Tour this weekend, alongside some wonderful Austin artists. We're located at Satellite Studios, 1109 Shady Lane. Below are some new images of mine that you can come and see in the flesh Saturday and Sunday from 10-6. And on Saturday we're having a party with beer, brisket, and bunnies!

Though I've lived in Texas for almost a decade, I still feel like an outsider looking in, and the images I'm exhibiting are a slice of that continuous exploration of what looks and feels unfamiliar.