" Some days I feel everything
Others are numbing
Can never find the in between

It's all or nothing

Never wanted to be here now
One foot in the grave, other on the ground
I can't process what I'm feeling now
This skin I can do without

Half my bones in the city streets
The other in my sheets
And I don't think they'll ever get
The chance to meet "



Anxiety/depression/grief can have this effect on you where it feels like you are only half alive. For me, I spend a lot of my time wanting to achieve things, but the other half of my brain screams "no" so loudly that I'm constantly at war with myself. It feels like many things. Somedays it's a rope tied around you being pulled in two opposite directions. Other days it's like you are separated from yourself, you have this film over your body and it's numbing.  I don't share my heart or words online very often, but for this shoot, I wanted to explain the WHY behind it. 

Taking your emotions out on something that you can build from has always been a therapy for me. For some it's writing in a journal, writing songs, painting, or anything you can create. It helps tremendously to get those ideas out of your head and into the world. Whether your audience understands the end goal or not, it doesn't matter. Create the art that you FEEL swelling up inside of you. I make this type of art to help me, and others so that they may feel something stir in their heart and be inspired. 


The lyrics at the top of this page are from the song Half by Pvris ( https://youtu.be/lE67nYqzlNQ ). This shoot was based off those lyrics, as well as many emotions that I have kept pent up inside of me over the past several months. I've learned that dealing with grief is a very long, slow process and I'm not sure if it ever really stops. It's something you have to talk to someone about or else the heavy heart just gets worse. It's okay to scream and cry, but at some point, you have to pick yourself up in order to face another day even though it's not easy. 

The one thing that has helped me cope with grief has been this: continuing to do photography no matter how bad I want to stop some days. July of 2017 was brutal and I thought then that maybe I should stop taking pictures. But that's not what my cousin Sebastian would have wanted. He would still want me to create because we understood each other so well. He understood my art and that meant, and STILL means everything to me. We GOT each other. Sebastian was the coolest/best friend/cousin ever and I want the world to know that. So anytime I feel like quitting, I remember that Sebastian would never want me to stop. 


I hope that this shoot, in particular, stirs up emotions in your heart.



Waverly Hills Sanatorium

A year ago, I thought of how cool it would be to photograph a session at Waverly Hills, but I knew there was no way it could happen because they don't allow large cameras / detachable lenses. So I looked for abandoned places where I could take photos in louisville, but I could not find a thing. 

Last month, my mother found that Waverly was allowing for the first time ever for photographers to bring cameras with detachable lenses, and I flipped. I never thought that this shoot I had planned out in my head could ever happen, and this past Sunday it did. I am so happy with how these images turned out since I rarely ever do self-portraits. This is a different editing style for me, but I am proud with the end result. Many of the images are inspired by a variety of lyrics. I will be posting some of them on my personal Instagram (@the.commanded). 

Some freaky stuff happened while I was walking around Waverly. I was outside room 502, the room where a nurse hanged herself, and there were about five birds that dropped dead around me while I was finding the right spot to set up my camera. Also, when I was taking pictures near Timmy's room I felt something scrape my leg. I kicked the purple bouncy ball that sits outside Timmy's doorway and it came rolling back at me really fast. At about this time I was ready to leave the building. Walking around Waverly for three hours ALONE was scary, but so worth it. 

I would love to hear what some of your favorite photos from this set are. Thank you all for your massive love and support.