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 to high school, build facilities on their compound, or 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