For as long as I can remember, I've been one of those people who remembers their dreams. Bizarre, mundane, hilarious, horrifying: I wake up with the sense of them, but usually remember them most vividly as I lay down to go to bed the next night. The last few months have been a particularly introspective time for me, and I've found myself thinking a lot about the interconnectedness of dreaming and photography. It's not the most obvious connection - I think most people view photography as a representation of reality - but this moment's reality doesn't last, and in my mind, there's no difference between trying to recall the exact details of a dream and trying to conjure a perfect likeness of my child's face even just a few months ago... the details fade and shift and are replaced by new details. As I see it, therefore, the most important function my work serves is preserving those fragile memories of the people and events in our lives - be they big (weddings and births) or small (a family's morning at the park) - much like the snapshot recollections we often have of dreams. Unlike those mental snapshots, though, a photograph can be touched and preserved and revisited and shared.
But if photography were just about the preservation of reality, there would be little difference between a good photograph and a mediocre one. What I've come to understand is that the art of photography lies in the choice of which element(s) of reality to portray - beauty, pain, simplicity, complexity, connection, isolation, etc., etc.: how an artist sees the world can and does dictate the nature of the images she creates. The portraits I love most isolate a single one of those elements in such a way that it not only portrays that emotion, but draws it out of me when I look at it. There is a connection, across miles or time or both, and the photograph sinks in and colors my mood. Just like a dream.