This past week has been one for the books! Having an amazing friend joining the project that has taken my heart, soul and sleep. To connecting with a new participant and amazing friend. I been able to create a schedule set for the project, thanks to the new member of the team. This will help me stay on track with deadlines and important dates. SO THANKFUL FOR THEM!
The Project I have been working on for the past months is coming to life! I don't know if its an artist thing or it is just that the time is not right to release images from the project. I have kept myself from sharing anything other than the description and BTS of the project because I feel that everything needs to be complete before any eyes see the work we have created. I have been collecting content the past seven months and have worked with seven amazing POC UNDOCUMENTED QUEER individuals. I feel so grateful to have created spaces with them all to connect and share similar experiences. As a UNDOCUQUEER individual myself I still have moments of disconnect from my LGBTQ+ community. With this project I hope to educate and bring awareness to the sub-community that is in there. As if we didn't have enough. Its still important to recognize these issues. Honestly I feel that I need to create a separate blog post about the project. Keep an eye out for that.
During the months of collecting photos and interviews I have gone through several days of insecurity and uncertainty. It has been taking a toll on my work ethic. Even through these feelings I manage to get up and continue the work. In every Lyft, bus, or walk to a location where my participants might be. I give myself time to check in with myself. I ask myself whats bothering me that day and offer myself a positive thought. I reflect on the many blessings that I have received in recent times. I also think of funny/crazy things my friends and I have encountered. It grounds me in a positive state of mind. When I get to my destination I arrive in positive mood ready to work and listen.
This past week I was able to photograph my new participant and friend with her Mother and Father. Which is one of the rewarding parts of the project that I have been enjoying. Connecting not just with fellow DREAMERS but with the original DREAMERS. The parents who came to US looking for better opportunities for their children. In Maria's story (pictured above) she shares how her family is the most important thing to her and it shows. After photographing them during a sunset outside their home in Lemon Grove, California. They invited me to a meal and some conversation. Honestly felt as if they knew me for a while. Her parents shared stories about their hometowns in Mexico and some pretty funny jokes. Although their faces may not be shown in their daughters photo story, their hard work will be highlighted.
Although lack of sleep is prevalent in my life lately, I pushed through and met with my new consultant and friend Christina Chomut. GOSH! can I just say how incredible she is! She literally gathered my thoughts and helped me see the light. (yes, I will be getting over dramatic on here! get use to it, its my website!) We agreed on a schedule and will be tackling down the projects missing holes. I'm so excited to have her be part of this project. Our friendship has flourished through photography and I think its such a beautiful thing!
I ended the week with more portraits in studio with the newest participants. Stress is inevitable but if you have enough love and support you can get through it.