Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Portrait Project: 2014.

The idea for this project came while I was playing with my nephew one day. My brother came outside to see us behind the big oak tree in the backyard, he commented, “he let you behind there, that’s his secret place.” We all have something, or someplace that makes us happy, and that’s where I wanted to photograph these portraits, in each individual’s “happy” spot. I set out to take one portrait a week, 11 total, prior to leaving the country. However with an overwhelming response, it turned into more. Their only assignment: take me to your happy place. Once there I recorded the conversation so I could focus on capturing them in the moment. Join me on my quest to find where people go to find happiness.

Meet Katie Golden, “Happy” place- Her Room.

I knew that someone would say their room was their happy place, but why was it important to Katie? After living with many different roommates over the years, Katie quickly came to realize that as much as she loved her roommates, she loved personal time even more. Growing up in Ohio as an only child, Katie had her room as her sanctuary. Twenty-four years later, Katie’s room is clean, bright, and airy, something she needs to provide the necessary zen and peace to rejuvenate herself.

Adopted at birth and meeting her biological mother at the age of 18, choosing happiness in each moment has been a theme well-embraced throughout Katie’s life. We never know how much time we have with anyone or anything and choosing to be happy in all moments leaves us regretting no moments. Five years after their first encounter, Katie abruptly said goodbye as her birth mother left this earth. Sitting alone in her room, Katie has time to remember this beautiful woman and their brief time together but knows they will meet again one day.

With a beautiful pillow upon her bed stating: Choose Happiness, and her father’s 1960s guitar, obtained while in the military in Japan, lightly strumming between her fingertips, this light came across her face and I knew that she indeed was truly happy in this spot.

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