I have never considered myself a “beauty” photographer, yet I have always searched for beauty even when I didn’t know that was what I was doing. Now when I pick up my camera it is so obvious I am just searching for that place that I find everywhere – where beauty lives. Beauty is living in places that are supposed to be dark – like sadness or loss. Beauty is hiding in plain view. I have found beauty on girl’s wrestling mats in-between the blood and tears. I have found beauty on the football field where they are trying to make warriors out of young men. I am seriously overwhelmed with all this beauty.
Freddie D., the man who does the cleaning knocked on my office door as I was editing late one night. He recognized the people on my monitor and could not believe I had photographed his friend Coach Hank. Freddy was more beautiful in his t shirt at 60 years old than I could ever describe. The conversation, his positivity and the light he radiated. Beautiful.
Those who know how to build community are much more beautiful than people who hide in fear. Natural is more beautiful than botox. Generosity is more beautiful than selfishness. Fairness is more beautiful than cheating. The common good is much more beautiful than your side or mine. Losing can be as beautiful as winning. Reflections and shadows are more beautiful than sunsets. Being bald is something that doesn’t need to be fixed.
I like to discover the beauty that you missed so I am able to share it. I use beauty as a tool to beat down hatred. Even though I used to photograph the commander in fear back when he was just a joke, I am not laughing anymore. Truth is more beautiful than lies. If love and beauty are not the answer what is?
Someone told me yesterday that if I write something in a book no one will read it, but if I speak the same message out loud I will be heard. They also told me I was the icing on the cake, and the icing between the layers. That made me feel…beautiful.
Shot the night of July 26th with Hill District Rebels at Kennard Park.