Portland, Oregon.

I used my hometown advantage in Portland, Oregon to photograph as many different women in as many different locations as I could finagle. This experience allowed me to create a wide variety of images to present to the team at NY Mag and establish an approach to unify the portfolio. 

When the boxes and trunks of clothing arrived, I invited some of my most fashion-forward friends to help me unpack and (gleefully) try on some of the looks. Like it or not, there is something truly transcendent about adorning yourself in the intricate creations of designers like Gucci, Versace, Prada, Hermes, etc. As my friend/wardrobe stylist Ragen Fykes reminded me, these pieces are works of art and the inception of styles that ultimately trickle down to inform the clothes/trends that fill our closets today. 

Harsh sunlight, injured goats, a stroll around the neighborhood, a Prada jacket ALMOST crossing a sacred fire pit... these small and subtle moments helped bring to light the cinematic stories that I wanted to echo through this entire series. The United States would be a massive soundstage, with every city a new scene, and every subject a different character. 

Lauren Gonsalves, 24
JEWELRY-MAKER, ILLUSTRATOR

“I’d say I’m akin to Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway in Contact, with a mixture of Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar from Wayne’s World. I try to not take myself too seriously.

“The strip of grass my bedroom window looks out at we call the kitty-cat highway. There’s a bunch of neighborhood cats, and I happen to have the loudest. Recently, I came home to find a group of three young people taking selfies with my cat, Noodle, and he was absolutely loving it.”