Just Like Me – A MFA Photography Thesis

In May 2017 I graduated from the Academy of Art University with a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography.

The entire program was a labor of love. A 5 year labor of love that I would not change for anything. 

Earning a Masters Degree in Photography was in no way to validate me as a photographer. Many will argue that a degree in photography is unnecessary and to a point I do agree. A degree in business would be much more beneficial. However, I did choose to go to school for photography. I very selfish choice. I chose to earn this degree 110% for ME not to advance my business or career – those were only an added benefit.

I learned so much about myself during the program. The growth, confidence, and self-discovery I endured is unmatched. Yes I learned quite a bit about photography, all the different genres, how to teach, how to create a business plan, etc. All tools that no doubt help me in the photography industry. But the most helpful and beneficial part was learning so much about myself.

Personal Growth

The personal growth is something that cannot be foreseen. I had no idea the path I would end up on during this program nor how much I would grow and learn about myself. I have always been an emotional person but I have never known how to express my emotions let alone allow myself to express them. Being vulnerable is not something I like to be. On the other-hand, I LOVE creating vulnerable and intimate portraits of my clients. I have learned that is it is OK to be vulnerable. It is OK to be emotional. And it is OK to be myself. And it is OK to open myself up to hurt so that I can actually FEEL. So, I am still learning how to feel and still learning how to open up. I am still learning how to be myself. It’s been a very hard road to travel. Im not where I want to be but I am farther than I once was and it has already proven to be so rewarding.

Just Like Me 

pro·jec·tion (n): Projection occurs when one person unconsciously transfers his or her feelings onto another.

Where do children get their temperament? What influences their responses to change; to obstacles? Genetics determine more than physical traits, they also contribute to behavior. The variety resulting from the same two genetic sources is remarkable and further complicates the persistent debate of nature and nurture. What can be learned by considering a single genetic source and the parallels between one parent of multiple children?

Just like me is an expressive Fine Art exploration of the bond between myself and each of my 3 children, as we experienced, together, a significant life change and our reaction to it. A roller-coaster of emotions and struggles of adaption before, during, and after an international move from our home of 7 years in Okinawa Japan back to the United States.