How do you photograph the unseen? The past? Emotions, thoughts, fears? The invisible scars that only you can see? How do you photograph mental illness, which all too often goes unnoticed, swept under the rug, strategically hidden from the rest of the world?
Though mental illness is elusive, it leaves traces in the tangible. Through these tangible traces I share my own story and my battle with depression and anxiety; through pills and puppies, coloring books and cigarettes, friends and family, highs and lows, I show not only how much goes into this fight, but also that this fight is one that can and should be discussed openly and honestly.
All images for this project are made using my smartphone. Using my phone means that, like my depression, I carry these images with me everywhere I go, though they often go undetected.
It is curious, how something can be both public and private; how a strip club can sit right on a highly trafficked road, its parking lot and its customers in plain view of all who drive by. The second you step inside, however, you are in a completely different world, a world of anonymity and aliases, a world where the private is made public. In photographing these adult entertainment centers and the dancers who work in them, I explore the relationship between the shared and the intimate. While all women are objectified in some way at some point in their lives, one could argue that exotic dancers make a career out of it. These images combat this notion of objectification. They strip away stereotypes and judgment to find the beauty in this art form, to show that these women are not to be pitied or looked down upon. These are women whose confidence and power is to be admired and celebrated.