The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.
— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
The beauty of diversity in our world is something that allows me endless opportunities to learn from individuals and places, different from my upbringing. The power of photography to influence and inform public opinion is something I find extremely fascinating, especially in a world where we encounter hundreds of images on a daily basis. I want to bring the viewer into the lives of the people I photograph, and allow them to have access to different emotions and places, creating a richer understanding of diversity in our world.
The first time my camera gave me exclusive access into part of someone’s life is something that I remember vividly, truly recognizing the uniqueness of this field and falling in love with the ever-changing opportunities to learn and tell stories. Sharing the story of Kailee Kwiecien and her family over the past 4 years as Kailee continues to endure cancer treatments has allowed me to grow as a photographer, but also as a person.
Through my degree in psychology, and time living abroad in Germany, I have gained a better understanding of myself and diversity. I’ve always been drawn to how photography allows me to express emotions, feelings, and to process my own thoughts while sharing stories I feel need to be more prominent. Continuing my education with photography has allowed me to combine psychology and art to break down and challenge stereotypes that limit the progress of our society.
In addition to my photographic and journalistic education at RIT, I have volunteered at the Kalish Picture Editing Workshop which has enhanced my understanding of the importance of collaboration in a modern newsroom and across storytelling platforms and the continued need for strong ethics in visual communication. I was a student at the 2018 Eddie Adams Workshop, where not only was I inspired and re-affirmed of the power of journalists, but also created a life-long family of amazing editors and photographers in the business.
After graduation, I worked at the Dubois County Herald in Jasper, Indiana. Working for a family-owned, community-based newspaper has shown me how the foundation of trust built over 120 years has allowed this paper to be visually successful as so many other newsrooms lose their visual journalists. Nationally recognized in photo contests, The Herald continues to focus on local news, personally telling in-depth stories of its’ neighbors. Immersing myself in the daily lives of the community has allowed me to feel at home, despite being 700 miles away from where I grew up.
Currently I am a digital content producer at The Rochester Post Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota.