My whole life I’ve dreamt of spending time in the Amazon. I used to create elaborate stories of the adventures I’d have in the jungle. I thought I’d become a botanist or some kind of ethnographic explorer that worked with endangered plants or indigenous tribes.
Of course, none of that came true. But my love for the lush, thick jungle never left me. Now, I’m a writer and photographer, which are two passions that I love deeply.
Last year, I spent time near the Sierra Nevada mountains in Colombia. Let me just say, the jungle I found there is one…
I began my ayahuasca healing journey about six years ago, just before it became a common household name. At the time, I’d never heard of this plant medicine and had never taken a psychedelic in my life.
But I was desperate for change and healing after having been through years of constant depression, anxiety, and alcohol addiction. The people who come to ayahuasca have often tried everything and are dangling on the edge of survival. This rigorous medicine is usually the last resort.
I’ve made many friends in the ayahuasca circles that I’ve traveled in. All of them have a…
It began in 2011 after a painful breakup. The rumblings of change had been stirring for years before, but I ignored it. I didn’t want to change, the thought of it nauseated me. But suddenly, I found myself unable to continue.
I thought all that was needed was to end my relationship and start over. So I set out on my own, got a cute apartment closer to work with new dishes, a new cat, and a view of the lake. I thought all was well, but it wasn’t.
First the headaches, then the body pain, then copious amounts of…
*Written in August 2019
I’ve had some time to contemplate life this past year. Along with travel, getting married, living in limbo, preparing for a giant move to yet another country, and starting a new business; there’s a lot to take in. All of it is both beautiful and terrifying, and I’m one hundred percent “in” it if you know what I mean.
What I wasn’t prepared for is the slow, meandering, panicky presence of grief. It’s not a grief that has a home in one place; it’s the overarching grief mysteriously embedded in day-to-day life. It began last year…
A while back, I wrote an article looking at the ways that male photographers have more access and safety when it comes to travel, street, and environmental portrait photography.
The comments were mostly constructive and interesting. I appreciate the men and women who politely gave me their thoughts on whether they agreed with me or not.
However, not long after this article was syndicated to an online photography magazine, and things blew up. The amount of hatred and vitriol was quite astounding. …
I always hope that others will feel something through my photography. I know if I can evoke a sensory experience through my photos then others will feel something as well. But I know the best way to do that is to focus on whether I feel something first. As a photographer, you must get in touch deeply with yourself and pour that into your work.
If you can create work that makes you feel something, I guarantee you will find others who will connect with it. …
A few years back, I spent five months alone in a grass roof casita in rural Mexico.
The casita was located up a steep hill, away from town and surrounded in lush green jungle. I went out to visit friends from time to time, but mostly, it was just me and my dog and no one else.
I hadn’t planned to isolate myself but I wanted to do a deep soul dive, and I knew I had to be alone to do that. I knew I needed to get bored and even a little uncomfortable.
I consider myself a reasonably good photographer. Of course, that’s subjective, and some may disagree with me. But when I look at my photographs, I’m filled with immense pride. They continue to move me and touch the part of my brain where art translates to goose-bumps and emotion.
They say if you want to be a good writer, you must write, read, and practice over and over. The same is true for photography. I’ve spent almost a decade clicking the shutter, editing my work, and admiring thousands of other photographs.
The learning never ends, and that’s the fun part. I…
Two years ago, while traveling through Mexico, I began a portrait photography project featuring senior women. The project actually started organically after I had taken a few portraits of the women I met selling art on the streets.
When I did the editing of these portraits, I found myself overwhelmed with emotion at their beauty. I decided to make the photos black and white, which is typical for many portraits. But I couldn’t believe how beautiful the final images were compared to black and white portraits I’ve taken of other people.
Then, it occurred to me how under-represented senior women…
Photography with Indigenous people has always brought up some controversy. As a photographer, I find it challenging to know when, why, and how to do this. For me, I rarely take these photos unless I have specific permission and a goal in mind for why I’m doing it in the first place.
The role of social documentary in all media presents some crucial global education. Still, if not done consciously, it can also be exploitative.
In the case of my conversation and a quick portrait shoot with Mamo Camilo from the Kantanzama Arhuaco community here in Colombia, I feel we…
Writer, traveler, and photographer. Canadian living in Colombia. Moved by magic, daily life, and the beautiful and heartbreaking balance of dark versus light.