When I was two and, needless to say, unable to voice an opinion, my parents uprooted me from sunny above the smog Los Angeles to cold and dreary Belgium. My mother’s whole family resided in Brussels and my parents had decided that my sister and I would benefit from being raised amongst kin rather than run the risk of us growing up to become carefree beach bums. My father had yet to realize just how colorful the Belgian family truly was.
My cousin Valerie, at the tender age of five, dismembered Barbie dolls the minute she received them and found pleasure in collecting miniature suitcases of heads, torsos, arms and legs under her little bed. This should have clearly given everyone a clue that the child may pose a certain danger to others. Not in my family. Our nuttiness is not quite to the degree described in “Running with Scissors”, but damn close.
Today, my security blanket consists of an ocean between me and the rest of the gang. I don’t surf. I grew up to be a responsible person with a regular job, the person on whom you can always count. Then one day, I woke up. I quit the job, the comfort zone, and its financial security, and followed my heart. This is how I became a photographer. The passion was always there and it even runs in both the American and the Belgian sides of the clan. Both my brother Christopher in Brussels and my cousin Marc in Chile are professional photographers as well.
Today I am much poorer than I used to be… but much happier. I have traded the Prada pumps for a smile. I look good from the ankles up.