I cannot tell you how strange it feels to be writing this.
There are a lot of emotions that I can’t explain that have occurred during this project. Every day after school that I walked into the forest behind my house with my camera and tripod I was immediately relieved of my constant stress. There is something almost magical about being able to express yourself and creating art you are proud of for the first time.
On day 1 I went outside and took a self portrait with my dog, Cleo. As much as I hate looking back at my early work, I now realize that in that moment I was starting something life changing.
This project became my life, it engulfed everything around me. I learned to adapt to my surroundings and I experienced such incredible moments with such bright human beings that I couldn’t even fathom occurring on day 1.
This project was a healing process. I lost some friends, learned to appreciate the ones I have, and made new ones. I am just now grasping that I am no longer the person I used to be a year ago.
I am happy, genuinely happy.
I hiked to the tops of mountains, laid in tide pools, flew across the country (twice), walked on glaciers, ran through abandoned factories, jumped off sand dunes, froze in snow covered forests, and watched the sunset above Los Angeles. I have met my inspirations, and now they are some of my best friends.
I feel such a cocktail of expected emotions mixed with nostalgia. I never would have known that the year I documented would happen to be the best year of my life.
There are so many people that I owe thanks to, so many inspirational and outstanding people. I want to thank you all for witnessing a full year of my life. Thank you to those of you who changed it, there is not enough gratitude in the world for you. I was going to make a huge list, but you know who you are, you don’t need a tag to know that I love you all so much that I feel like my heart is overflowing.
I don’t know what is to come in the future, but I am certain about one thing. I am no longer afraid. I don’t ponder about what I might do later in life, because I’ve found my passion. I feel brand new.
The song Holland, 1945 fits really well with this photo. In the Areoplane Over the Sea is one of my favorite albums, and I have always been interested in WWII and Anne Frank. Her story is such a tragic one, I wanted to use it as the inspiration to this photo. Jeff Mangum’s lyrics flow so perfectly, they always seem to influence my style.
Thanks to my dad, who makes surprisingly well crafted barbwire crowns.
My grandma is has been battling cancer for the past 8 years. She has been a survivor for so long, but she has been declining in health, and last night she suffered a stroke. She is currently at the hospital and is not expected to make it through the night.
My grandma has always been there for me and I love her so much. She is truly an amazing person, and I wanted to dedicate this daily photo to her. I got out all of her old photo albums that she gave me a few weeks ago, and found some photos of her.
She was born in Texas, but moved to Southern California in the 50’s. She went to Excelsior High School (Where Grease was filmed), and throughout the 50’s she surfed, cheered, and modeled. In college she won Homecoming queen and Miss California.
In the 60’s she met my grandpa, and in the 70’s she had my mom and my two uncles.
Her life is so full of amazing stories and experiences, and she has been one of the best people in my life.