Ever since I got my first plastic 35mm camera at the age of 9, I knew I was meant to be a photographer. I was that obnoxious little kid running around commanding everyone to pose for a picture. There was something magic about the translation from the real world to film that captivated me; something magic about the idea of saving a moment forever; and there was something magic about how putting life into my tiny little rectangle - just the way I wanted - made me feel so relieved. I have always said I want to live a hundred different lives, and I am well on my way. Photography allows me to put myself in any place and feel like I am part of something bigger. It has become a part of my identity; it helps me explain who I am. 

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My work from Ghana is my most important to date. In 2012, as a result of a Google search (literally "volunteer orphanage africa" for no other reason than I felt it was something I needed) I quit my jobs, moved out of my apartment in San Francisco, and signed up to volunteer in Ghana (West Africa). I lived in a small village called Ofaakor on a compound with Good Shepherd School and Orphanage where I taught 6th grade. The rest of my waking moments were spent with all these kids. I read stories, helped with homework, played anything (often barefoot soccer), tucked them into bed, and cared for them when they were sick - often with Malaria. I became a mom to a village, and it was incredible. These images serve as a visual collection of the kids and the place that taught me so much more about life than I thought I would ever know. 

If you would like to support my efforts to send select teenagers I met to high school (an endeavor I already took on), and my return trip to help those wonderful little humans across the world, you can do so here, and I will be forever grateful. 

The blog I kept detailing my adventure can be seen here.

 

You just have to live and life will give you pictures.
— Henri Cartier-Bresson