New Beginnings

By Ruby McVicar

Suburban Apathy

This summer, I lived with my father in the suburbs of Denver instead of my usual home in a small mountain town. At first, I was really excited to be living closer to the city. I soon realized, however, that I am terrified of driving in real traffic. Most days I stayed around the small suburban area I was confined to and passed a lot of time doing nothing at all. I found the suburban lifestyle to be very different than my usual routine and was marked by a feeling of apathy brought on by the hot temperatures and lack of a social life there. I thought about the way that we as humans compartmentalize our lives, buying expensive homes in safe neighborhoods to create a sense of security.

While I felt very safe in the neighborhood, it felt somewhat artificial and almost too sheltered from the outside world. I felt that the culture there was one of possession and materialism, and found myself wondering what the point of it all was.

I took these photos in order to illustrate how strange the suburban lifestyle really is, and the way that I felt like an outsider in the neighborhood. I wanted to show that the mundane can be unusual, and how deeper meaning can lurk beneath the surface of an everyday scene. Walking around my neighborhood at dusk, I felt inspired by the structures surrounding me and what natural elements such as trees and plants were allowed in. At night, even very mundane and safe places like my neighborhood could become mystical and even a little scary. When I look back on these photos, I feel conflicting senses of apathy and restlessness.

By Carly Hough


By Patrick Thompson

Safe Space

This piece is about growing up (and not wanting to do so). It's about how simple things can seem when you're young-- how you think growing up will give you more freedom and fewer rules, when in reality, it's the opposite. It's about the lack of a safe space in growth.

By Esther Vdb

Slackers: An Early Photo Diary

Last year, most of my friends and I were exiting our high school phase into the idyllic post-adolescence of adulthood, which of course, is strife with malaise, a perpetual confrontation with inadequacies as both artists and people, and ultimately, without proper guidance or assurance whatsoever. As we tried to come to terms with our new, “mature for our age” adult selves, I don’t think we could ignore that we ended up becoming even more like the high schoolers we wanted to be back then. We hung around each other’s houses until 3 AM watching movies and laughing, all the while knowing we had our typical minimum wage jobs to run off to a few hours afterward. We ran around our plastic suburbs and quaint valley towns taking goofy pictures until the hours became their dim, melancholic blue, and we drifted around the empty city streets in each other’s cars, watching the clementine lights whir by as we tried to set aside the malaise we were all secretly feeling.

There were, of course, those rare, magical, moments of intimacy that happened every so often. One night, Sequoia and I talked for hours around our valley town, right into the cusp of nightfall. We ended up at an abandoned baseball field across from her house, passing the camera around, taking pictures of each other, until finally all of our goofiness subsided for a few moments. The way she spoke, and how we both opened up all of these vulnerabilities and wounds in front of each other, was beautiful. She seemed so poetic, and even for as long as we were together that day, it seemed like she was still brimming with emotions and stories about her clouded past that she wanted to reveal to me.

There are so few moments in my life when I can look at someone and feel completely astonished, in love, and grateful to have a given person in my life, let alone sitting beside them. Everything felt warm and full when I was around her.

In the end, I think that year was about dealing with an intangible aimlessness, and a certain permeating dissatisfaction we had with ourselves. I hope that these pictures remind us that we were just slackers back then, trying to make the best of what we had.

By Brian Zau

In a World Full of Giants, I'm Still a Superhero

By Andrea Lux

Fortress of Solitude

As a kid, I always made forts out of blankets and pillows. Embarrassingly, this lasted for a long time-- up until I was 11 years old. I went all out, too; I may as well have built a castle. I was also afraid of monsters up until the age of 8 so I would put all of my dolls and stuffed animals on the outside of my forts as if they were my guards. Needless to say, they did a pretty good job at keeping me safe. I felt protected as if nothing in the world could hurt me.
There is, however, a specific incident I remember. It was freezing cold outside, which meant that in my poorly ventilated room, it was also freezing cold inside. At the time I shared a room with my sister, but she was out at a concert, so I was left alone for the time being. When it was time to sleep I turned off the lights, cuddled up in the blankets, and closed my eyes . . . then opened them again because I realized how seemingly terrifying the room was.
To this day I can tell you what it is that scared me so much because I still have problems with it today: darkness. The shadows splattered against the walls, the deafening white noise that fills the room, and the open closet door that seems to lead to an endless abyss -- everything is more terrifying in the dark.
So what did I do? I made a fort. It was one of the saddest excuses for a fort I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t in the living room so I only had flimsy pillows, a Powerpuff Girl blanket, and my stuffed animals. Being the young genius I was, I managed to get everything to stay upright by letting the blanket hang over all of the pillows (and a particularly large teddy bear) and had the objects leaning away with my blanket tucked underneath my mattress so I could climb in. However, the blanket wasn’t the largest thing in the world and there was a cold breeze coming through the cracks. Worse yet, it was the only blanket I had; I therefore had nothing to try and warm myself with, leaving me curled up in a ball trying to survive through the night.
Why would I put myself through all of this? Why didn’t I just ask for a nightlight like every other young child? It was because of my room’s inescapable darkness. Yes, it was even darker in the fort I created, but it was different. That was a darkness I created and understood. I knew how far the blanket went and what was inside. I felt safer in an icy, dark, cave-like setting than snuggled up in a blanket comfortably. Underneath my blanket, I definitively knew that I wouldn’t look over my shoulder and see a monster looking back.
Today, I still have troubles extending my comfort zone and taking risks. I have come a long way, but I still run towards my room when turning off the last light in the hallway. I don’t feel the need to hide from things, but I also have a hard time exploring and proving to myself that those monsters don’t exist. I believe one day I’ll be able to tear down my metaphorical fort and embrace the darkness-- not something scary, but as something unknown that’s worth exploring.

By Alana James

The '90's Are All That

This makeup look is inspired by my favorite childhood television network, Nickelodeon. Even those I'm the last of the 90's babies (I was born in 1999), I grew up watching a lot of 90's Nick cartoons and TV shows. I was always a fan of the bright colors and whimsical feel of the shows and wanted to pay tribute to something that made my childhood so fun. 

By Parker Halliday

My Nephew

I believe that childhood is one of the happiest times in a human's life; expectations from life and the people around us are very simple. There isn't much a child is really responsible for and therefore, they never really have to worry. They can truly enjoy their daily lives. In other words, their minds are free. I hope to capture this essence of childhood through the photos I create. 

By Soani Velez

The Jacket

This series started with a jacket that was given to me by my father, and it just represents nostalgia and childhood to me. Its bright colors seem to give it a childlike innocence and it looks really cool against a blank background. The model is my friend Ansley (@ansley.elisabeth), who is the epitome of childhood in my opinion. 

By Maggie Hill