a little about me

photography has granted me the life-long wish for a sense of belonging. i tend to be a bit on the loner side of the world and like it. solitude is like a drug for me. but like all drugs, they are not good for you when misused.

through film photography i have found a tool to express myself, emotionally, physically and visually-without having to have words to explain what i might be feeling. when i look back at my pictures i remember the energy of the moment i was trying to capture in that shot. it can be elating. it uplifts me and makes me feel healthy anticipation. i feel connected to something bigger than myself when i am out shooting pictures. when i am not shooting pictures, i am writing short stories and working on my first book. i am a published, emerging author.

i am a Two Spirit person of Metis, Cree and Romanian Ancestry. i am deeply spiritual but not religious. i do not follow any particular practise of Belief. I Believe in Everything.

i shoot on a Pentax SP 500 and a Polaroid Land 100 Instant camera as well as a few other film cameras. i do all editing in-camera and have no idea how to use digital editing software. i have no desire to learn to digitally manipulate my film images. i work incredibly hard to teach myself how to get the shots i create and feel intensely protective of my effort and work. for me, this is part of the process of healing my trauma. the effort a shot takes, makes me think about what i am doing and how i am doing it and ultimately, about the affect on my emotions and recovery process. 

film photography is the thing that gets me going. though i have been shooting pictures for as long as i can remember, i consider myself a self-taught, beginner photographer. film photography is my craft. my art. my main thing that i do. which gets me excited and terrified all at once.

i do not see complex post traumatic stress as a disorder but as persistent repeated  injuries. i am interested in the neurological studies that are happening regarding brain development and repeated traumatic injuries during the developmental stages of human growth.

i was born into a trauma life that not until 2010 did i begin to understand the true depth of devastation and destruction experienced, throughout my entire lifetime. with the most crushing experience occurring when i was coerced into giving my two children, age 3 yrs and 9 months old, up for private, open adoption – except for the fact that once the papers were signed, the verbal agreement of an open adoption, was denied to have been made. the loss of my motherhood is something i am not sure i will ever be able to get over. there is simply too much sadness for such an indescribable, seemingly intentional injury. nor should i be expected to try to forget what legally was a crime and violation of not only my human rights, but the rights of my children to be raised by their mother regardless of my poverty at the time.

in January 2015, i finally found myself beginning to fully understand and experience what complex post traumatic stress is for me, personally. it was then that i began to see life through a wider, more empowered lens. and it was at that time, when i fully realized the scope of exciting work ahead of me. 

all in all, i love my life, challenges and grief included. that is not to say that what happened to me is okay or automatically forgivable, if ever at all. i know i am allowed to feel and express rage over the theft of my motherhood and children.

i am not going to hide these feelings any more as it no longer serves me to suppress the upset i feel over the things that were done to me that were unjust, ruthless and devoid of love and compassion. my soul has no more room for worrying about people being angry with me for speaking my truth to how i have experienced my life. i am the one who has lived it.

i feel ready now to talk about my suffering, because i can do it from a place of legitimate gratitude for the life experience that i choose now, to make me a better person. i choose to not be a person who uses the fact that they were abused, as an excuse for why they become the abuser.

i hope to show you the layered ways  that i see in the world, as someone who lives with complex post traumatic stress. i want to show you a person who works their ass off to give them-self a good life in the present. because as you probably know, there is never any getting back what was lost in the past, no matter how hard we might try. 

thank you for being a witness to my journey.

with gratitude,

princess shredder