I photographed Sammy with the Dexter poster in mind. I know that this does not fall under the typical still life images that we see when we google “still life” but I decided to just go with my gut. In the studio I had Sammy lay down on plastic and pull plastic wrap over her face. It is a very morbid photograph, symbolizing death or murder. I had one light sitting on a fan so it would be slightly elevated off to the upper left corner of the frame. The fill light has a large soft box that is over head to the right of the frame. I was on a ladder to the left of Sammy, shooting with a 70-200mm.
Even after seeing two blue plus signs on the pee-riddled sticks in the bathroom at Mt. Pleasant High School it was still hard for Sarah Pool to accept that she was carrying her first child at age sixteen.
After dating Hurley Israel, Jr., 19 for three months and having unprotected sex, Sarah was faced with society’s pressure on what to do now that she was pregnant.
“My mom, at first was like, ‘well what about abortion’ and I said no, I could never do that. Then she was talking about adoption and I told her I could never do that either, I was just going to keep him,” said Sarah, 17.
The road has not been easy for teen parents Sarah and Hurley, before welcoming their healthy baby boy into the world they were faced with the difficulties of keeping a relationship together.
“We had our rough spots, because of me, mainly because of me, but we worked through them and we are here today,” said Hurley.
Sarah and Hurley are both currently not attending school, or going to friend’s houses or going to parties like they did before they were parents.
So I moved to midland, well not just because of that, that’s part of the reason. I think it will be easier to do classes online so then I can just stay at home and watch him [Bentley] and don’t have to get talked about at school,” said Sarah.
Aside from the having difficulties at school Sarah chose to move out of her mothers house and into her fathers, in Midland, because her mother, Bentley’s Grandma, was trying to raise him.
The choices Sarah and Hurley have made as a couple and the struggles of raising their son Bentley, 3-months-old, as teenagers are common in young parents.
The pressure society puts on young women once they become pregnant are troubling. The pressure to keep the child then the shunning that happens when you have a baby in high school. To terminating a pregnancy then to get backlash that she is being selfish. To the idea that you, the mother, are letting someone else raise your child without any input in adoption is careless. There are many assumptions and misconceptions that are talked about within our society that are not fair to the mothers and fathers. All decisions that come up once the plus sign emerges from the pregnancy test are ones that should be openly talked about in a non-judgmental manor with ones they choose to talk about it with. Young women rarely make this decision lightly and it is one that will be part of their life forever.
I loved splitting the class in half, challenging a dual, who can make the best photograph. Ready, set, plan! Wait plan, yeah plan, we made a general idea but man oh man did we under estimate how hard it is to make a multilayered image while painting with light. Our team, Bubagumpasaurses, decided to make a photo illustrating a circus complete with a ringmaster, ‘trapeze artist,’ tiger, butterfly and two face. Great idea, in our head. We had problems strobing each subject as well as having too much light that created each subject to blur. Also, our trapeze artist isn’t very convincing when you can spy the ladder on the first glance into the frame, the strobe needed a snoot and to be fired at the same level as the model.
This was a timed competition that we quickly felt was slipping away from us after each messed up frame. We decided as a last ditch effort to make an image that was tighter and well, safe. “Pile on the ladder and look interesting, you’re in a one ladder circus!”