Jennifer Shaw is the heart and soul of PhotoNOLA, an organization that creates opportunities for exposure for emerging photographers, but sometimes we forget that the people behind the curtain are also photographers and on their own photographic journeys. Jennifer wears many hats in the New Orleans photo community – organizer, curator, inspiration, photographer, educator, cheerleader, mother, wife, and friend and each position she holds with grace and enthusiasm. I am featuring a personal series of her work about parenthood, The Space Between, an evolution of her earlier well-celebrated project, Hurricane Story, about giving birth during Hurricane Katrina.
Jennifer earned a BFA in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her photographs have been featured in B and W, American Photo, Shots, Light Leaks, The Sun, and Oxford American magazines, online publications including NPR, Fraction Magazine, One One Thousand, Lenscratch, and Brain Pickings, and are included in two recent monographs: Hurricane Story (Chin Music Press, 2011), and Nature/Nurture (North Light Press, 2012). Her work is exhibited widely and held in collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
Jennifer is based in New Orleans, Louisiana where she teaches the disappearing art of darkroom photography at the Louise S. McGehee School in addition to chasing after two young sons. She is represented by: Guthrie Contemporary (New Orleans), Jennifer Schwartz Gallery (Atlanta), Soulcatcher Studio (Santa Fe), and Kevin Longino Fine Photographs (Connecticut). Silver gelatin prints from The Space Between are currently on view at Guthrie Contemporary in New Orleans. Her work will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Baum Gallery of Art, at The University of Central Arkansas, in September 2013.
This ongoing series is about childhood, but it is also about the complexities of being a parent. While my two sons and their circle of friends navigate the playgrounds of their world, I watch with camera poised, balanced between protection and permission.
Motherhood is the hardest job I have ever had. Photography allows me to embrace the chaos and connect with my children. As they explore the elements with carefree abandon, I marvel at their intensity and document them in all their wild glory. These images chronicle the adventure, traversing the spaces between shadow and light, delight and despair, dreams and reality.