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In the summer of 2016, during a bout of inspiration and quest for a different photographic experience, I built an 8x10” paper negative box camera. To carry this notion of inspiration through to subject, I contacted Jacob Salzer, a Milwaukee artist, who has inspired me.

On a muggy summer evening, Jacob obliged my request to sit for a portrait. I wasn’t sure where the bulky contraption I had slapped together would produce… but, as we watched his likeness appear in real time, sloshing-about in fresh developer, I realized that bulky box provided the photographic experience I had searched for.

That night, we spoke of art, the creative process, and collaborative initiatives in Milwaukee. I thanked him for providing inspiration in my life. “Why don’t I share this sentiment with people more often,” I thought. Near the end of the session, I asked him if there is a person in Milwaukee who inspires him… indeed there was. “Rebecca,” he said. The next day, I contacted her — a stranger to me— with the request to make her portrait. To my surprise, she obliged. And so it goes, on and on.

I began this project to meet and greet the inspired and inspiring individuals of Milwaukee. I am continuing this project to share them with you. Milwaukee: Inspired aims to establish a visual web of positive energy I hope will radiate beyond my apartment darkroom. As my quest for inspiration remains energized, my Milwaukee family expands.

This is an ongoing project that features silver gelatin prints and audio interviews.

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