Olivia is a journalist who covers urban topics like housing and transportation, local politics, education, and culture for HuffPost, The Atlantic, and local publications like Spare Change News and DigBoston.
These photos came about after reflection on the smart phone camera as a form of archiving our lives. All of these photos were taken on an iPhone over the past few years because I could not afford an actual camera, the accessibility of this form of photography is very important. Whole revolutions, lives, and performances are now all documented through our iPhones, Snapchat, Instagram, and eventually on Facebook, in a way that is so easy to do that it's accessible to people of all backgrounds and experiences. I've been in parts of the world in which people didn't necessarily have direct access to clean water or food, yet they had smartphones in which they could document their lives. This documentation of our daily experience is what brought this project around, thinking about how grateful I am for my friends and being able to be a part of their lives. All of these photos are pictures of my friends existing and allowing me to document their existence in the most accessible way I know how, through my iPhone.
growing from ashes
Cacti and palm varieties some how sustained life on Caladesi Island despite being torched. The purposeful flames provide regrowth to plants and even though they are surrounded by death and decay, many still thrived.
"The inspiration towards my photography usually comes from the rawness of human nature, adventure, and of course nature itself, and how they intersect. I have an appreciation for documented memories, and within that, bold details and realness, and in these photos I hoped to capture the joy and solace felt in adventure, plus the beauty in black boy joy."
"The project of a summer began with the notion of freezing different objects and photographing the results under different lighting conditions to attempt to preserve the purity of colors as they may be seen in nature. I was restricted to a very small area of land, and had to use found objects in my proximity. After collecting flowers in the garden and freezing them, obtaining better results than I expected I began to add found objects, such as three abandoned and broken windows, old books, as well as different utensils. The purpose of the study was to observe the interaction of all these objects in different situations, under diverse lighting conditions, in the studio, and in the case of the images here, mostly natural light. "Church," is a photograph which I took at Salisbury cathedral in England, printed, then placed into water and subsequently froze. "Later," "Staining the View," and "Window Pain," use one of the windows at different stages of the study, as I later painted it with a number of found paints. The project thus began with a simple idea, and because of the restrictions of space, allowed me in fact,\ to further explore possibilities by including a number of other objects."
"Overall, I would describe my work as 'tongue-in-cheek environmentalism', where I pair the clear beauty of nature with the less appealing effect humans have on their environment. I'm not trying to take a stance of an educated environmentalist, but merely a person observing how we leave a mark on the world. In my most recent work, such as 'Artificial Habitat', I make more of a conscious attempt to place these elements into one image, while my other projects are meant to be viewed as a series. 'Artificial Habitat' is an ongoing body of work, documenting the world around me through the lens of a 21-year-old mentally ill college woman on the verge of graduation, and her entrance into the 'real world'."
what is girl plus ___?
"girl plus ___ is a project that aims to explore spaces & the women that live there. i started this photo series as a way to share my girl gang with the world. all of my friends were doing really incredible things, spreading light in their own way and fulfilling creative endeavors that spoke to them, and it felt like someone outside of our circle should know. it’s a cool thing to create a little corner of the internet for “your kind of people,” and then make connections beyond that. definitely something i had not taken advantage of prior to this project!
i really hope that with these photos and interviews, readers/viewers can visit the world of each person, make connections, bridge the gap, and hopefully see a little bit more of their own potential in the process. what started as a fun side project has become much more purposeful, and i’d love to keep moving in that direction. as always, i’m super thankful for each visitor and whatever impact (if any) these stories have on their lives. my beginning statement has always been the most important truth of this project and i think it’s the best way to give you the gist: we embrace both the mundane & the extraordinary. each person is a tiny, incredible star in the universe. "
excerpts from girl + brooklyn
head over to http://girl--plus.com/ for more photos and interviews from brooklyn, austin, manhattan, dallas and san luis obispo.
at the whitney museum of art, meatpacking district, manhattan
i spent my first month in new york roaming around the city aimlessly, totally solo and without a clue. enter christina: the saving grace i met one sunday after church who heaved me out of my solitude and into the frenzy that is her nyc social life.
christina is currently in grad school at colombia studying arts administration, & she'll probably be running coachella and acl one day so keep an eye out for this one...she's rad.
"After working as a fashion/lifestyle publicist for a couple of years, I decided I needed a change. So I went back to school. It has been amazing. I feel like I'm exploring new interests and possibilities I had never considered. I am excited about the future. However, having to do homework after thinking I was done with that part of my life can be annoying, but it's only for a short time. I'll deal."
where are you from? I spent my formative years in Cincinnati, OH, but I also claim Houston, TX and Richmond, VA. It depends on who I'm talking to.
what do you do? I am a graduate student at Columbia University studying Arts Administration, which is basically a nonprofit business management degree with a focus on the arts. I'm hoping to work in music festival planning and programming one day, but recently I've been obsessed with idea of working at the Brooklyn Museum or BAM.
style is...mixed prints, bright colors, funky African prints.
i start every morning…by checking my horoscope. If it's positive, it's like a pep talk. If not, I'm like these are all lies! Haha
one thing i couldn't live without...my planner. I'm a Virgo...
3 women i admire: Erykah Badu, Solange Knowles, and Cipriana Quann of Urban Bush Babes on the basis of their style.
i am most well-known for...being the social coordinator for my friends. I really enjoy bringing people together.
vintage is...for mixing with new pieces.
i like it when girls...can accept a compliment without feeling the need to reciprocate or deny it. It really is an art.
i like it when guys...are feminists.
lipstick...should be bold/make you feel bold.
the best outfit i ever wore...navy loose top with white polka dots tucked into my favorite high-waisted paisley pants with black booties. I wore it to the BK Museum Artist Ball recently, and I got compliments all night long. I felt like the belle of the ball.
everyday…is a new day.
the best thing about Brooklyn is...diversity. Diverse neighborhoods, diverse people, and diverse things to do. I can't get enough.
currently reading: White Teeth by Zadie Smith
currently listening to: Mean Lady, Tei Shi, and Tennis
favorite phrase or quotation: "You are who you think you can't be."
i'll never forget...the day I moved to Brooklyn. August 16, 2012.
i'll always...have my nose ring. I'd feel naked without it.
at her home in greenpoint, brooklyn
joy is defined as "a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated; elation." i think it's safe to say that, for anyone that knows her, joy is so far living up to her name. no small feat!
truly, i've never met anyone that is so full of life and laughter. it's easy to photograph someone with so much gusto and i couldn't have enjoyed my visit to her home more. thanks for having me!
"I have filled my room with things that make me happy. I like to call it my Tacky Nightclub. I have weird things everywhere, pink flamingos, SNL prints, a 7’ inflatable shark, a disco ball and a whole ton of color everywhere in between. You can find wigs and costume pieces under my bed just in case there is a parade outside that I need to run out and join.
It feels pretty good to wake up every morning under a disco ball. I don't want my main environment to be serious. I want to laugh and for it to feel like it’s truly me, so a jumbled mess of crazy things that somehow maybe work together. It helps me feel more creative. I like how bright it is. My mood lifts when I’m in it. My whole apartment is like that though, bright. I don't have a closet and I used to not love that all my clothes are hanging on a rack in my room, but now I love it. It’s like art, but I get to wear it everyday. My favorite thing about my place though, is the amount of people that are in it. I feel like it is a great place for friends to come and hang and laugh. I always wanted to have a place that friends want to come to and now I think I do. So come over anytime!"
where are you from? Germantown Hills, Illinois.
what do you do? Wardrobe for film/ tell dumb jokes.
style is...whatever you feel like so that you are no longer naked
i start every morning…telling myself to freakin get out of bed already Joy!!
one thing i couldn't live without...deodorant (being honest here).
3 women i admire: My mom, Tina Fey, My past professor Dr. Brunson.
i am most well-known for my...very loud voice…and laugh.
vintage is for...everything but underwear.
i like it when girls...are unafraid to tell risky jokes.
i like it when guys...laugh at those jokes.
lipstick...I start with it on, but somehow it never stays.
the best outfit i ever wore...I have one of those very large t-shirts with a bikini painted on it, whenever I wear that and roller blades, I feel pretty damn good.
everyday…I watch something that will make me laugh, most likely an SNL clip.
the best thing about greenpoint is...the amount of old polish men always drinking on their stoops.
currently reading: Yes Please by Amy Poehler.
currently listening to: Killin the Vibe by Ducktails.
favorite phrase or quotation: “Life’s short. Stunt it.” –Rod Kimble aka Hot Rod (and every other line in that movie).
i’ll never...say no to ice-cream.
i'll always...stop for ice-cream.
in greenpoint, brooklyn
tiffany: one part production coordinator, one part editor, one part creator, all parts texan. she's a fellow austin ex-pat turned new yorker, incredibly busy 24/7, and has a funny obsession with this chris isaak music video (it's fantastic, if you were wondering).
she's also the creator/editor of voyeur, a personal project that takes a look at the daily lives of people via disposable cameras, so she's no stranger to the film game. lucky us...
name: Tiffany Diane Tso
where are you from? Texas!
what do you do? I work in production for PHHHOTO and am the Features Director for LADYGUNN Magazine.
style is...better than fashion.
i start every morning...by trying to bargain with my alarm clock for more sleep.
one thing i couldn't live without...laughter.
3 women i admire: My grandmother, for raising six children of her own and still having the generosity to take two more in. My mother, for coming to this country without much and making a career for herself. Women writers.
i am most well-known for my...disgusting humor and tiny hands.
i like it when girls...are chillers.
i like it when guys...are Southern.
the best outfit i ever wore...was probably patterned.
everyday...is the worst/best.
currently reading: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.
currently listening: to a lot of Wiz Khalifa.
favorite phrase or quotation: "From my rotting body, flowers will grow, and I am in them, and that is eternity." - Edvard Munch
i’ll never...smoke cigarettes.
emma is a writer & photographer currently living in new york city.
you can see more of her work here: www.emmacbanks.com or say hi on instagram, @emmacbanks.
MRCZ (Marcos) is a Brazilian artist born in 1991. He was born into a small town of ~3000 people and lived for years in a countryside house with his parents, which he believes to have changed him forever. He currently lives in the large city of Porto Alegre where he works in publicity. He started his artistic work in 2015, creating daily between college design courses and work. His main objective was to make something he could pour his entire heart into - to immerse himself completely. His productions are a way of expressing the challenges that come with the responsibilities of adulthood in a grand city. His inspirations include comics, music, the human mind and its gimmicks, philosophy, fiction and science. You can find more of his work here.