• Welcome

I had an amazing opportunity to take creative, dusky, low-key, juicy portraits for some beautiful people in honor of the first anniversary of The Co-Op Shop Philadelphia. They’re an amazing hair shop/art gallery in Chestnut Hill who embraces creativity, diversity, and autonomy of their hair artists, (who are each wonderful). Kelsey, Angel, Sean, and Brianna did the hair of each of these models, and I got to photograph them. This was such a great collaboration of artistry – hair, photography, and the expressions of these wonderful people.

Some of these photos are up on The Co-Op Shop’s wall throughout May. Go get your hair cut and check it out :)
(Seriously, Kelsey is one of the few people I’ve trusted to cut my hair. These people are great).

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I have been so wonderfully supported as a photographer in Pennsylvania, but it’s time to continue moving forward: I’m headed to the west coast. As explained in the video by the wonderful Kristian Golick Films, I’ll be getting my masters in Art Therapy Counseling.

I’ll be taking PA photos through July 2017, and will continue to take photos in Portland for at least the three years I’m in school, and I *cannot* wait to photograph people within the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

I don’t see photography and Art Therapy as all that different life paths for me; all of my passions are driven by compassion and creativity. I’ve known I belong as a therapist since I was 17, yet have given photography most of my time, which of course, I do not regret. Last year I began taking less photos to make room for a job as a support staff for adults with disabilities, and I have been thrilled to balance both photography and social work. I’ve joked that I’ve always wanted “two part time jobs,” or in other words, there are too many things I must pursue to ever follow one career path.

What I love is giving people the space to experience whatever it is they’re going through. Finally pursuing Art Therapy is simply the next evolution: I’ve been sharing in people’s joy and celebration, and as an Art Therapist, I’ll also be present in people’s pain. With both photography and work in human services, I have the ability to be present for both.

See you soon, Portland.

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  • March 17, 2017 - 6:35 am

    Cindy Godshall - These pictures are great! I love the little guy. Always enjoy looking at your pictures – even if I don’t know the people! You have a real gift Cynee!ReplyCancel

    • March 27, 2017 - 10:31 am

      Cyneé - Thank you so much! That is so kind of you to say.ReplyCancel

When I find my life in pieces and begin to reassemble, there is unique opportunity to pick up each fragment and keep only what I want. When we shatter, we can put ourselves back together with purpose. I’ve had the fortune of never staying in one piece for long, so what remains of me is intentional. But with every revision, there’s a period where I’m put together, but the glue is still drying. This is when I travel. The experience questions, “am I still my best self here?” and the answer is always a confident, absolute yes. A new environment gifts me the freedom to be un-apologetically myself; it solidifies the work I’ve done thus far. From the moment I step into the airport, I feel a satisfaction that is mirrored in few other places in my life. I am more receptive, and I see beauty and opportunity in everything. (Okay, that’s kind of all the time… just a little extra then). I find new places to photograph, to run, to write, and each interaction with someone feels poignant; I remember every conversation in vivid detail.
I was so grateful for the opportunity to meet one of my favorite people in the world in San Diego last July, a few months after the end of an intense relationship. Alicia was there for work, so I had plenty of time to wander independently and test the waters with my newly minted self (a little softer, a little harder, a little bolder, a little wiser). When she wasn’t working, I had the best adventure buddy, who is up for anything, and doesn’t mind all my continual photo taking or taco eating (I had a personal goal to eat as many different types of tacos as possible. It was glorious). I loved all of our explorations and conversations as we walked and Ubered and ate our way all around. Alicia is one of the people with which I always feel Home. I adore you, ‘Licia.
I came home confident, inspired, a little more experienced and a little more myself – exactly what I’ve come to expect of travel (is it the west coast, or is it just travel?) The photos I took are an expression of my gratitude for everything I was experiencing – the adventure, the feelings, the musings. Enjoy.

PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PINLife’s always a little poetic. Erik and I had always discussed a road trip from San Diego to San Francisco. He had been to San Diego before and wanted to return (as with me and San Francisco)…but  I didn’t seek out this trip here, it came to me. It ended up being beautiful, peaceful closure.

PIN PIN PINThanks for the photo, ‘Licia! This is my Idontknowwhattodowithmyface face.

PINAlicia is the best for bending our schedule around sunsets. We caught ’em all.

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PINThe cliffs of La Jolla at sunset. Every moment of this is burned into my memory.

PIN PIN PIN PINWhat a beautiful, natural moment. Just kidding. In reality I was directing her with awkward hand signals across the floor of a swanky bar, muttering to myself about how badly I want to photograph a wedding here.

PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PINCrumbly cliffs.

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PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PIN PINJust after these photos, at a sidewalk restaurant table, a homeless man walked up to us. I don’t remember what he originally asked, but when we turned him down, he motioned for a handshake. In a split second, I wondered when the last time he was touched kindly, and considered how we all need touch. I figured the least I could do was shake his hand, but as my skin brushed his, he leaped back with satisfaction, then horror, then confusion streaking across his face. He stared at me for a moment while backing away, then left. I assumed whatever he experienced in his reality was far different from my mine, and my heart broke that there was really nothing I could do to help him. Then Alicia, in all her keen observations, informed me he had wounds on his hands that I neglected to see. While still primarily concerned about his mental health, I was now convinced I was going to die within 30 days of an unknown blood born virus, because I know to always remain calm in all scenarios. I washed my hands for at least a ten minutes and obsessed over webmd while we waited for our food. Eight months have passed. So far so good.
(But for real, where is he today? Is he well? How many nights has he spent outside, in a hospital, in jail? When was the last time he was touched? Can he access medication, has he been offered any stability? I don’t even know his name. My heart.)

PIN PIN PIN PINThis bathroom light was great. Not sure what’s up with the claw hand, though. It’s not like I had a mirror to notice it.

PINI’m only 60% convinced this city is real.

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