I had very few friends growing up in Cleveland, OH. It could be that a quiet awkwardness kept me from making lasting connections, but it would be best to say that the slow pace of my thought process and lifestyle placed me in a different rhythm than my peers. Aware of this, I often tried to overcome this slowness by having much to say, even if I didn’t know what was being discussed. In the end this only made it harder to reach those around me, or for them to welcome me into their lives.
I moved to Columbus, OH in the beginning of 2015. With a clean slate and few connections, I had great hope for the new faces I would meet and the path my life could take. Fear of repeating old patterns was balanced through prayer and a strong faith that by the grace of God, things would be different this time. I didn’t know it at the time, but those prayers would be answered in ways I could never have expected or planned.
The three and a half years I lived in Columbus were marked by meetings with extraordinary people, many of whom have become lifelong friends. I now find myself richly blessed with these friendships, holding each closely and with the deepest appreciation. These friendships live on, but this season of my life came to an end when I moved across the country to live in Portland, OR. As I start over in a new city it seems fitting to honor those I met during this important time.
I began taking photographs around the same time I moved to Columbus, and learned more about the craft each year. Portraits felt like the best way to preserve the memory of these new friendships, but my technical skill early on made capturing those around me difficult. I am grateful that many of these friends also practiced photography, and this shared passion grounded much of the time we spent together. Through their support and advice, I learned a simple method of portraiture I began to put into practice.
The following photographs are meant to honor the people I met during this time. There are so many images I didn’t take, held back by my timidity or a lack of the right moment. I’ve learned looking back that often the only way to get the photograph you want is to make the right moment for yourself. Regardless of the ones that got away, the following images represent a small collection of the people I met during the past four years. I hope for opportunities to continue making these images in the years to come, both portraits of old friends I have yet to capture, and the people I will continue to meet in my lifetime. To those reading this who came into my life during the past four years, you mean more to me than I will ever be able to show you.
To the many faces not seen here, I give another thank you. I regret so many of the portraits I never took. Know that if our paths crossed, I am grateful for you and for your life. To those in Columbus, OH above and abroad, your friendship has meant more to me than I am able to show you and I hope we meet again. Until then, I’ll see you when I see you!