In my lifetime of almost 24 years, I have been blessed to know some pretty amazing women. I am so glad to know I have shared laughter and memories with each and every one of these women I photographed for this series. The time line of knowing these women in person range from just two weeks to the day I was born.
This series holds a special place in my heart. All of these women have supported me through my photography from the very start, and it was amazing to share a few moments with them back home because of photography. They all live in the Lexington/Richland County area of South Carolina, which is the area I grew up in. As graduation from the Art Institute of Charleston nears, I am not quite sure as to where I will be going next, but I know Lexington County will be my home base and I will be going back every so often no matter what. In the beginning when I tried to move out of the midlands of South Carolina, I never wanted to go back. As the years passed and the semesters and quarters had come and gone, I realized my home was in the moments I'd spend together with those I love.
(click here view the series large)
From Left to Right:
Obviously, I have known my mother, Elizabeth Ann, since birth. She has always been by my side through the best and the worst. She is the closest one I know in my life and who knows me the best and still loves me with all of her heart. With all that she has been through, it is in her eyes where I find a great strength and beauty not many can see by just looking at her. I would not want any other woman to be my mother. She is quite the southern looking lady, but she could make a sailor blush with how she curses sometimes, which very few know of this fact.
I have known of my best friend, Heather, since fifth grade, but we became best friends in yearbook class senior year of high school. We've been through many things in our late teens and I've seen her get married and have a beautiful son. We do not get to see each other as often as I'd like, so when I do get to spend time with her, just running errands in town is treasured. Even when we have not seen each other for months, when we do hang out after that, it is like we have not skipped a beat and still feel close. She was my first model to do a photo shoot with and we have grown together as model and photographer, and I find this beautiful. This is a girl I can say the craziest thing to, inappropriate or not, and she'll laugh and still be with me in public. Ever since I can remember, she has loved ducks.
My great friend, Lisa, and I met off the internet almost seven years ago because of poetry. She was someone who at first I thought would be stuck up because of how tall and beautiful she is. She has one of the warmest hearts I know and very family-oriented and her family pretty much immediately accepted me when we first started hanging out. It has been nice to see her when she got her driver's license, then her high school diploma, and last December her bachelor's degree at the University of South Carolina. She is a driven lady, and the number 311 haunts her.
I met Sharon through Lisa a few months after I initially met Lisa. We got along really well from the start. She has a great sense of humor and I'd love to have the bluntness this girl has. She is one of the smartest people I know and for a random fact, she is quite the gamer.
Anslie is Heather's younger sister, and it has been amazing to watch her grow up from when I first met her when she was in 8th grade to now at the age of 19.
My friend, Kirstin, is the one I have known the longest. I have known her since first grade. My first memory of her was in first grade at Gilbert Elementary School when we were at recess. I was minding my own business and I then saw a group of girls running my way and they chased me, and when I fell, they all crowded around me. A small little girl with blonde crimped hair with half of her hair in a sideways ponytail came up to me and said, "I've got you now." She is the girl who originally designed my forearm tattoo and was there for my first piercing.
Sari-Catherine has been doing my hair for about five years, and it has been great to grow with her in friendship and as business women alike. This was the first time I got to photograph her, and I have always wanted to, but our busy schedules always conflicted. She is the girl with the most tattoos I know who I am proud to call a friend.
I met Alison through Lisa, and their friendship is very similar to Heather's and mine. She is a very quirky girl who out of every 20 photographs, she'll crack a smile. The other photographs she has she usually has an uncomfortable facial expression looking like she'd rather be digging up bodies than being photographed. She would enjoy the last line I just typed.
Kakki is Kirstin's sister, and I wish everyone could spend time with those two together at least once in their life. They are the tweedle dee and tweedle dum in my life, and I am grateful I can laugh so much with them and at them that I almost pee in my pants. I will admit I have almost lost my breath laughing with them. Kakki loves Tom shoes.
I met Gaia in person only two short weeks ago. She is a very inspiring girl and I enjoy the creative spirit I feel when I am around her. I cannot wait 'til I photograph her again. She changes her hair color every two months, and it has been every color from hot pink to lime green.