Every year seems to speed by, 2013 was so chaotic I almost can't believe it was only 365 days long. It felt like I lived a short lifetime within it, if that makes sense. Age and time are things everyone thinks about constantly, people are always trying to come up with different ways to accept and understand time. I took a theoretical physics class in college, we spent a solid month talking about time and what Aristotle said really stuck with me: time is the measure of change.
2013 was a year of serious change and transition:
I worked as a production management intern with Redmoon Theater, a coordinator with a non-profit, and as a freelancer all while finishing up my last semester of college. I started work on Discovering Zalman, a long term documentary project about finding my father. I won my college's annual senior photo competition. I graduated college. I started living with a boyfriend for the first time ever. I got hired then fired from my first photography internship (it was a positive thing in the end). I drove with a friend around the entirety of lake Michigan in less than two days. I worked a stereotypical post-grad hipster barista job and discovered what it was like to be 'free' from college. I re-evaluated my life, goals and decisions. I got an internship with an amazing commercial photographer. I spent September in North Dakota working on another long term documentary project, this time it was about the oil boom. I got an additional internship, with an award winning documentary photographer whom I had looked up to for years.I started practicing yoga and running.I left my coffee shop job- poor, terrified and unsure and started working full-time as a freelancer. My relationship ended and I had to learn what it was like to rediscover myself and be alone and just before my twenty-fourth birthday I started working as a junior writer for one of the largest online publications dedicated to photo and video news.
Twenty-three was a serious year for me and I'm excited to have twenty-four be even better and more rewarding. Below are photographs taken in 2013 chronicling important events and the people who I cherish and love dearly. I want to thank you for being a positive influence in my life and helping me become who I am.
(If you don't see yourself below it's probably because I haven't found the perfect photograph of you, but I'm definitely thinking of you.)
Peter in the kitchen, against my fridge.
On September 8th at 3:30am Rick, Will and I set out for Williston, North Dakota. We'd been planning a trip centered around documenting how the oil boom had affected the once small town of Williston. The 'boom' as many people call it happened in late 2008, new technology in hydraulic fracking had allowed Americans to gain access to oil that had always existed in our country, but was too difficult to reach. Williston is a full day of driving from Chicago; especially if you plan to explore, nearly fall off a cliff, get stuck in a monsoon or find yourself in the middle of a lightning storm-which we did.
As dawn approached we found ourselves in a vacant tourist destination : The Wisconsin Dells. The beginning of September left this city empty, and we ate it up. The unicorn was one of many cheesy hotel gimmicks leftover from the 70's.
As lunchtime approached we were in Minneapolis, Minnesota...which was AWESOME. No joke, Minneapolis is one freaking cool city. We popped into Triple Rock for lunch and met up with a friend who was determined to show us something off the grid. We drove to an area filled with trees, right above the river and decided to disregard the nature trail and head straight down the ravine. I scooted my way down the steep hillside until my phone fell from my back pocket, at which point I released my footing and flew down the hillside after it. I soon realized I was coming to a drop-off. Looking around I reached for a tree branch to save myself.
After making it down the ravine our friend brought us to a sewer that was filled with graffiti.
Nearly falling down a ravine was completely worth the urban spelunking. We left Minnesota in the late afternoon with ten more hours ahead of us.
As the sun set we headed out from Fargo, North Dakota. Six more hours of drive time on a two lane highway in pitch black darkness...and then the lightning and rain started. We stopped at a gas station to collect our bearings and met a new friend, a tiger salamander, native to North Dakota.
The rain began to pick up...
Then it got worse...
The water got deeper and deeper on the road and after the fourth time hydroplaning we pulled off and waited it out. We'd been on the road for over twenty-hours and began to feel as though we would never make it back.
"Guys... I think we're driving into hell!" I said, pointing to the fire burning orange into the sky. It was a rig burning off the natural gas before it began active drilling. We had finally made it to the outskirts of the city. We were finally in oil country.
In an effort to purge my archives and provide insight to viewers of work I've produced in the past, I'm beginning my own version of Throwback Thursday. Every Thursday, I'll choose a theme and post images from past excursions, shoots or travels revolving around that theme.
This Thursday's theme is Abandoned.
Last summer I had the opportunity to work on a film set in the world's longest haunted house attraction. Tucked away in Canton, Ohio, The Factory of Terror is in an old abandoned copper factory. The haunted house takes up a small fraction of the old warehouse. The rest of the warehouse is composed of forgotten offices, rooms and ladders leading to the roof.
A small detail from the larger image above.
To most, Chicago is known for being the largest city in the Midwest, home to four major sports teams, deep-dish pizza and the Blues. For artists and adventurers, Chicago is a desolate wasteland, filled with abandoned buildings and places waiting to be explored. One of the most popular is Brach's Candy Factory. This is a still from a trip there three years ago.
On July 2nd I had a fantastic morning on the abandoned train tracks (Blooming Dale Trail), photographing this lovely actress named Yana.