Prom season in Flint, Michigan is more than just a high school dance. It’s a yearly cultural tradition. These photographs were made at Northwestern High School, one of only two remaining high schools in the city of Flint, where there are simultaneous issues at play: a celebration of the student body’s incredible sense of swagger and style, and underneath, the very serious problems affecting these high school students. Flint has suffered without clean water for more than 1,000 days. Graduating seniors are affected by the circumstances that come with generational poverty and a lack of resources; the city has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. As such, the students from Northwestern High School are proud and strong, but also have undeniable odds stacked against them.
I believe photography is about discovery. My photographs show the extraordinary side of everyday life, and humor in the extraordinary. Color and gesture influence my work, as does the belief that no one moment is decisive. In fact, I am drawn to moments on the periphery of events, where nothing is really happening but where the comedy or beauty of human nature reveals itself.