DOWNTOWN CROSSING (DTX),
JUNE 2018 - JUNE 2019
Perhaps one of the hardest things to do is to confront your fears. Talking to strangers was a big fear of mine, and to this day I still feel my heart race as I approach a person on the street. More than making photographs, Downtown Crossing (DTX) is a photography project which allowed me to overcome that fear. I believe that fear is what gets in the way of following our intuition to make a strong photograph. Often times when I see a character on the street or a scene I would like to photograph I respond by turning away because I fear rejection. However, building up the courage to talk to the community around me made me realize that most people like to be photographed.
While I strive to document the life, people and built environment at Downtown Crossing, the main purpose of the project is to connect with the community that surrounds me. Upon graduating from Clark University in May 2018, I moved to Boston to start a new chapter in my life and began searching for a photography project to develop a more personal connection with the city.
As I photograph and meet people on the streets I am often reminded of a quote by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá from Paris Talks, “Do not be content with showing friendship with words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.” In many ways this quote has shaped the way I approach photographing people on the streets and has allowed me to open my soul to the community around me.
This is part of the DSLR Storytelling workshop I attended in June 2018 at the Maine Media Workshops + College. The goal of the workshop was to shoot and edit a character-driven video (2-4 minutes) about someone within the Maine community. All shooting and editing was done during the span of one week.
My character-driven video was based on Courtney Naliboff who is an teacher, writer, musician, and so much more on the island of North Haven, Maine. For my video I focused on developing interview questions about her transition from the city of Boston to the remote island of North Haven. I was fortunate to visit Courtney on the island, to shoot her playing music at home and at the school as well as capturing details of her life and how this environment has shaped her music. Furthermore I focused on Courtney's musical journey from childhood to adulthood and explanations for the music she was writing on the island. I hope this video inspires people to reflect on the unexpected opportunities life presents to us and our own artistic journey.
This was my final project for the class Foundations of Image and Sound at Emerson College. I chose to do a non-fiction project because I was interested in telling stories about real people and looking into their daily lives. My project consists of a character-driven story of José, whose job is working as a hotdog street cart vendor in Downtown Crossing, Boston.
The video, José, investigates ideas around a character who wants to interact with his community and give back to people by preparing food that people will enjoy. This story elevates the status of making a hotdog and people who work at street carts. What might seem like a job that is generally overlooked by the public is given a voice through this story. We are able to see the motivation for why someone would choose to work at a street cart or how they feel about the food they prepare.