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Growing Up

Lauren Welles
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Entry Fee: Free

“I am convinced that most people do not grow up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.”    

Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter    

I make candid photographs of people in my surroundings, without any preconceived ideas.  Only later on do I notice the photos that are trying to speak.  In this case, they were the ones with the children. They spoke of childhood memories: not of the carefree, magical, innocent times (though I am sure I had some of those) ‚ but of the tug-of-war emotions I experienced.  The comfort of a parent as protection versus a longing to discover the world for myself. Wanting to be left alone versus feeling like no one cared.  The fear of authority versus a (silent) defiance. Discovering things that frightened me, but afraid to tell anyone. Often, the only time I felt comfortable being myself was when I was alone. I yearned to escape into a world where I didn’t have to hide. I carried that rope with me well into adulthood; I pick it up less and less these days. Perhaps, I am finally growing up.

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Lauren Welles is a freelance photographer and former corporate attorney who left an unfulfilling, 16-year career, to follow her passion for photography. Her work has received several awards and has been exhibited at various venues around the world, including “The Fence” at Photoville, NYC & Atlanta; the Museum of the City of New York; PhotoLeiden in The Netherlands, Umbrella Arts Gallery in New York, Arsenal Gallery in New York, HistoryMiami Museum and Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco. Her images have also been published in the New York Times, La Repubblica, Adore Noir, New York Law Journal, PDN Online, Rangefinder Magazine, World Photography Organization, Women in Photography and Street Photography Magazine, among others.

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Entry Fee: Free
© Rob Johnston

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