I shoot tintypes with a crown graphic 4x5 camera that i've been using since 2010. I modified a film back to become a plate holder, and process the plates immediately in a portable darkroom/trunk if I am not near my normal darkroom. Most of the gravure prints in the 'On Weathering' series were also shot with this camera, on 4 x 5 film and developed by hand.
Notes on TUFF ENUF
(featured on The New York Times LENS blog)
"Taken as a whole, the body of work is art as activism rewriting history, but also simply exalting people as they are." - Jake Naughton, The New York Times THE LENS
Tuff Enuff is an homage to queer love, friendship, and the strength of chosen family. A series of collaborative tintype portraits of the family I have found and those who have found me. This portraiture is an ongoing and ever evolving project to give back to the people who make me feel strong; those whose struggles and triumphs I witness as they shepherd me through all of mine, and have held me while I have cried. Together we create backdrops and find locations - gathering in city park, my back yard, an unregulated shore of Lake Pontchartrain - to play with and against historic photographs and archetypes to embody the strength we inhabit and provide for each other. We look for ways to celebrate the sense of self amidst many binaries; exalting the idea of dwelling in a place between man and woman, gay and straight, butch and femme, punk and professional, parent and adventurer. The photographs are a celebration of the moment where one can say, “Enough. I’m fine here: in-between.”
Shooting tintypes and printing them as large-scale photogravure prints grounds this project in two historic photographic processes, allowing us to create images that can appear timeless. I am excited to create a family album that is centered around a model directed process, and is guided by a queer dyke gaze. The focus of Tuff Enuff is to represent my chosen family the ways that they want to be seen and also to reflect how I see them: handsome, strong, beautiful, vulnerable, powerful, and transcendent