The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

In many ways, Volume III is, in essence, a reboot while simultaneously being a continuation of the story that began in the Summer of 2016. George Miller’s 2015 magnum opus ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ may be a big budget, “spiritual reboot” of the cult classic franchise that began in the late 70’s (even so far as having a new lead and expanded mythology), but it is very much a continuation of a story that began almost 40 years ago. It is his vision fully realized.

I have to take the time to acknowledge the greatness of that action extravaganza because there is no ‘Vol. III’ without it. Around February 2016, during my 4th or 5th (I’ve lost count now in 2020) viewing of my favorite film, I began to realize two things: I could use photography to tell whatever story I wanted, and that women were the driving force of my creativity.

May Beth and Journey from the Volume I collection, ‘Muses’

Later in the summer, I made a commitment to use my art to encourage and uplift women of all backgrounds. Women have always made it easy for me to create; they are so effortlessly beautiful, so void of the violent egos that plague our men today that I couldn’t help but want to get ahead of the curve in showing the world that we are nothing without our women. That if ‘God’ is to have a gender-specific pronoun, it is ‘She’. 

I recognized immediately that the broadcasting of such a message could be controversial and dangerous, particularly in an area of the country where gender roles are so forcibly instilled in the youth. But I have never relented. The fire in my heart burned even brighter upon the reading of a verse from Jeremiah 31:22 “...for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.” I am not here to preach religion to you, but I do believe that if this ideal was written in one of the world’s most revered holy texts, then I must be on to something. My first Volume was titled ‘Muses’: a series of bold and effectual portraits featuring the energies and faces of my beautiful friends, inspired by the dynamic frames and themes found in Fury Road. (I must again reiterate that I am nothing without George Miller’s classic.) Four Septembers ago, I knew that I would have to dedicate my life as an artist to showcase and uplift ALL women...this was part of my divine charge.

Adrienne, in a portrait from the ‘Muses’ collection

Volume II: Personifying Divinity

After my first and only art showcase on December 31st, 2016, I began work on Volume II, ‘Godd’. This was prompted by my first listen of Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’, followed by the discovery of another verse that transcended me to a new plane. Psalms 82:6, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most HIgh.” I recognize that this is not meant to be taken literally, as we are all merely mortals. Or, is it literal? As Julia Cameron discusses in her book ‘The Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice’, being a creator, expressing the dreams of your heart in whatever medium, is “seeking to forge a creative alliance, artist-to-artist, with the Great Creator.”

Toni, featured in her Volume II collection, ‘Thunder’

To some, this may seem like spiritual mumbo jumbo, and to others, this will resonate deeply. I express this to you so that you can wholly understand my approach. While I do charge for my services, my photography is how I communicate with the Divine. It is my way of expressing my admiration and adoration of the world I am allowed to live in, and of the beautiful people of all cultures, genders, and religions, who inhabit it.

With Volume III, the theme is excellence and ownership. An excellence that can only be achieved through humility, and ownership of my creative and intellectual property. With this in mind, I can express myself fully. This website, this platform, is me walking in my purpose, without being held back by the limits of our favorite centers for social media. I hope you enjoy what you see before you. This is the culmination of 6 years of work, and the beginning of everything I dreamed and visualized for so long. Today is my birthday, and my boundless expression is my gift to you. And remember, I am both a photographer AND a filmmaker...