Last January will have been the fourth trip our family has made to Miami to spend time over the holidays with my husband’s family. His parents live in the Dominican Republic but often head to their daughter’s home in Miami at Christmastime. With my husband’s mother fighting metastasized breast cancer, it was imperative that we spend New Year’s with her in Florida. Having just completed a round of chemotherapy and her defenses low, we spent a lot of time inside the house, where germs are manageable. As tired as she may have been, she found energy to cook the Dominican food we love – pernil, moro, tostones, and my favorite, yuca.
Last January was also the beginning of time spent in collective with four other women photographers – Verna Pitts, Katherine Emery, Kari Herer and Beth Lloyd. They are women I hold in great esteem for their personal awesomeness and their vision in photography. Right before I shot these photos in Miami, the ladies and I began shooting at the same time one day a week, wherever we found ourselves on the globe. What I found through this arrangement was: (1) Regular practice (2) Motivation to shoot and share with a trusted audience and (3) Honesty in my work. These were phenomenal things to reconnect to, and it really shaped the beginning of a very full year of professional and personal work.
As I begin 2015 with a project/website launching and an ‘open house’ at my studio of photojournalistic portraiture, I’ve taken time to look through my photographic journey this past year. The process is mostly painful, as I tire easily and quickly of what I’ve shot and then feel convinced I’ve wasted years on a career path in which I don’t belong. That being said, whether there’s aesthetic achievement or not, you can never take a wrong turn documenting family or the stirrings of the soul, dark as they can sometimes be. So, I’m happy to publish these images from the first weeks of last January.
Thanks to my husband’s family for allowing me to bring my camera to our gatherings and thanks to the ladies for support and inspiration in my growth as a photographer.