Returning to North Carolina has afforded me the luxury of familiarity while simultaneously seeing how people and places have evolved.
But not all change is for the better.
Along my daily commute is a home that didn’t burn to the ground, but burned beyond habitation.
The dwelling isn’t easy to miss, but is easy to ignore - unless you see the beauty in just about anything.
Which meant I wanted to use this home for a shoot.
And I wanted Marissa for that shoot.
I’ve worked with many models during my previous 12 years in North Carolina, but for some reason, Marissa and I never linked up for a shoot. Such bothered me because as artists, collaboration is mostly based off of being attracted to one’s aura, and Marissa seemed like someone I would work well with.
So even before I was fully settled upon returning to Durham, I put her on notice that I wanted to shoot with her.
Creating art is also very intimate. As a creative, you’re expressing yourself through your work. Which means it’s key for anyone involved in an artistic project to be one with your vision.
And there’s nothing wrong with bringing a little silliness as well, even on a cold Sunday morning.
I converted the photos in front of the home to black and white because eliminating color can really isolate a moment. Pictures are inherently frozen moments, but I wanted to draw the viewer even further into the moment.
And the flowers emphasized the beauty of that moment, even in front of a burned-out home.
Photographers are not only trained to capture moments, but they also have the power to redefine how we see things.
I no longer see the house an an eyesore, but another canvas in which to create moments of beauty.