Snow Days

Makala, October 2018

Makala, October 2018

As I was sitting in my office today (the umteenth snow day of 2019), I got to thinking about the amount of control I have over my day to day life. I was looking forward to a day of work and photography but knew by last night’s weather report chances were good that it wouldn’t happen.

 I recalled this shoot with Makala from last fall. I was in Belmond working on Uprooted when Makala (and her mom) agreed to let me photograph her. At the time I was photographing teenagers, with a preference to photograph them in their rooms. As an environmental portraitist, it’s a great opportunity and privilege to make a picture that speaks to the subject’s identity in a such personal way.

But here’s the catch: Last June while the family was away, an accidental electrical fire burned their house down; Completely gutted, it was a total loss. When I asked Makala about making a picture they were staying in a rental, and her bedroom was not technically hers. So, we decided to make some pictures outside in the yard.

 Come the morning of the shoot – snow! Inside their temporary home there was not a suitable setting for a teenager with a talent for basketball. But the basement! Plenty of space! And unusual enough to make you question what she is doing.

Because of snow.