I took my first black and white photo classes while finishing a Biology degree from the University of Arizona in 2000. One of our assignments was to document a family, so I chose a family of Harley-Davidson riders and that was my introduction to documentary and street photography.
After enrolling at the International Center of Photography, I found myself taking theatrical portraits of performers and landscapes typical of vintage America, like diners and motels. I then traveled throughout Latin America for three years to expose myself to other cultures while sharing stories in the spirit of documentary photography.
With the help of PENTAX, I co-founded OJOS nuevos, a digital photo workshop for at-risk Chilean girls. In Costa Rica, I worked as a Staff Photographer for The Tico Times. And upon returning home to Phoenix, AZ, I worked at Casa de Sueños, a network of transitional homes for unaccompanied refugee minors seeking reunification with their families in the U.S. Hearing the children's stories about why and how they crossed the border was the catalyst to go back to school to learn more about social work.
While studying for a Masters of Social Work and Public Health from the Washington University in St. Louis, I co-founded Humans of St. Louis (HOSTL), a platform that shares an intimate look into the lives and struggles of the people of St. Louis, one photo and story at a time. By engaging strangers in insightful personal interviews, my hope is to produce photostories that represent part of the larger community conversations and regional development taking place in and around St. Louis.