I am a photographer and documentary filmmaker. For the past three years I have been making short documentaries that focus on everything from sheep shearers, bee keepers, poets, and Icelandic horsemen. I’ve always been interested in the power of labor especially concerning the human body.
My documentaries aim to achieve awareness by simple observation and calling attention to the mundane and seemingly unimportant. My goal is to give each place its own time and memory by simply documenting its existence for a short period of time. In my work, each person is important, their existence is important.
Lately I’ve been focusing on the relationships between people and animals in the working environment. Observing workers and animals together I have so many questions: Are they working with us or for us? How does the feelings of a dog relate to the feelings of the cow she bites? Does the farmer act as a conduit to those feelings? Do bees benefit from our involvement? Or is it our involvement that has hindered bees? Does a sheep appreciate being sheared as much as we appreciate it’s wool
My research process is observation more than imposition. I’m interested people who can tell a good story. I’m comfortable talking to anyone, I’ve made most of my films by just being interested in something and calling around to find more information. A lot of my time is also spent being very still and watching a particular space in time. I use simple still wide compositions to emphasize the environment. I wait and anticipate and set my frame so that the action to comes into my frame naturally instead of the camera imposing action on the subject.
My shooting practice is greatly influenced by the Maysles brothers. They mostly worked in a two person team, one on camera and one on sound and they make a point to never interview anyone. They are there to capture events as they happen and, as filmmakers, choose what they consider to be cinematic or important to the story. They believe in a method called direct cinema that wishes to eliminate as many obstacles between the viewer and the subjects as possible. My ultimate goal is not to filter but to focus.