I tell stories.
I do it with every medium available to me: film, theater, writing, and photography. But it is photography that allows me to be both invisible and brave in my pursuit to capture humanity as I see it every day.
While I have a traditional camera, I prefer to shoot a majority of my photographs on my iPhone SE. The SE is small and unobtrusive. It does not mess with the scene laid out before me or make people feel self-conscious during more candid or sensitive moments.
It took me several years of shooting to realize my theme. While the world consumes images of celebrities and keeps their collective head in their phone, we gain a new, strange sense of privacy in public. This is what I have been documenting, the private moments played out in public spaces. Every form of life unfolds in these moments, every action, inaction, and emotion. It is a reminder to pay attention, to be observant, and to appreciate what is around us.
The moment I realized these are the stories I wanted to tell occurred during a visit to the MoMA. The actress Tilda Swinton happened to be staging a piece of living art at the museum that day by sleeping in a glass box in the middle of the museum. Photography was not allowed. There was no artist statement. It was simply an actress asleep while a giant crowd formed around her watching. Without knowing the artist's intention, it was a pretty boring thing to watch. The crowd grew larger, I grew more annoyed and slipped out of the room and down the stairs where I sat in a chair for a moment, planning the rest of my route through the museum. While I was thinking, I noticed a woman sitting across from me knitting. Next to her was a man asleep with his head tilted back. Her needles clicked. He started snoring loudly. As she turned her head to glare at him, I snapped their picture. This was the real art. It was life, humor, and the mundane all in one. It was glorious. While everyone thought they were getting a show upstairs, the real one was a floor below them. And I was the only one watching it.