A Beautifully Dirty Four Letter Word

"Imperfection is beauty. Madness is genius. It is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

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As I sit here trying to write this blog post on a topic that I feel very passionately about, I look around and see blankets not folded, dishes in the sink, a pile of mail on the living room table, a vase full of flowers that have long since died, the damn cat hair that won’t go away, and the medicine that I take in the most terribly monotonous and routine way every day.

Look up any of your favorite company’s social media accounts. Hell, look up some of your friend’s social media accounts. What do you see? Normal life? Or is it full of the latest wearable trends, accompanied by the latest and refreshing drinks, the most beautiful places you could only dream of going, a gross amount of smiling, or posts promoting anything for their own gain? Has anyone taken a selfie at their absolute worst? I mean REALLY their absolute worst? Yeah, me either. I’m guilty too.

Do I sound cynical yet? Sometimes I am, definitely. I like to think I balance it out with a healthy “glass half full” mindset. But that’s neither here nor there.

None of this would disturb me to my core if I didn’t come across so many amazing people that are insecure about showing how they look, their living situation, their relationships, their hometown, etc. All of this “virtual reality” (as I like to call it) crap would be OKAY if it didn’t negatively affect how people see their own lives. But this is 2017, and we have everything in the world at our fingertips, inside our tiny pocket computers built by the newest digital conglomerate and the brand is Irony.

The absolute best things in this life you will not find pictures or words for. We might try, and we might get close, but we’ll never nail it. You should never EVER feel less of a human on this earth for the things you don’t have or the places you haven’t been.

So how does all of this relate to photography?

Many many times I have been planning (or winging) a shoot and I hear things like, “oh I can’t use my home for pictures, it’s awful.” It’s their HOME. Not a house. Not just four walls. It’s their HOME. Whatever your home or your happy place looks like, it’s yours. It is deserving of love, the same as you. Your home is the place you get to celebrate, the place you go to safely cry, the place you get to tuck your kids in at night, the place you share with the people and pets you love, the place that brings you joy the moment you arrive. The photographs I’ve taken inside homes have always been my favorite. Not as a result of decorations, size, color, or location, but as a result of the energy that the people I’m photographing bring to their own space. It’s something entirely unique and always worthy of celebration whether privately or with the world. I also acknowledge that not every house is a home. Not every house is jam packed with all of the happy things listed above. But I believe each person has a home. Each one different from the next. Sometimes homes look like houses and sometimes they look like fields, bars, and bookstores.

So when I say, let me photograph you in your home. That’s what I really mean.

Life isn’t glamorous. It’s more exciting and more meaningful than that. Life is hard, challenging, full of surprises, and downright awesome in the very definition of the word. YOU alone are a reason to celebrate. I want to give that experience and that gift to as many people as I can, including myself, because let’s be honest, it’s easier said than done, and I’m no movie star in a mansion either.

I guess we’re in this together.

Let’s go h-o-m-e.