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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 what this bulky contraption I had slapped together would produce. As we watched his likeness appear in real time, sloshing-about in fresh developer, I realized said clunky box provided a photographic experience I needed.

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

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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