When I was seventeen, in my first photo class, I remember opening up my textbook and asking myself, "What kind of photographer do I want to be?" I had the sense that I wanted to be a photographer before I even started the class, though I knew little about it. The only question was what kind. I wanted to be an artist, but I thought that I needed to be practical. Photojournalism intrigued me, too – I would get to learn about different people and cultures, making pictures of the real world as it was happening, without interference from me. I could observe and record what I saw.
In between being that 17-year-old student and now, I earned my undergraduate degree in photojournalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. I then moved to New York just before September 11th (where I photographed the Twin Towers falling from five blocks away), and San Francisco, where I lived for eight years. In addition to being a freelance shooter, I have worked as a studio manager, photo editor and photo producer in both the editorial and commercial industries. In 2012, I fulfilled a long-time goal of earning my master's in teaching. Being the daughter of an art teacher, I always thought teaching would become a part of my life at some point. For three years I had the opportunity to teach some incredible young people photography and art at my old high school – in the same room where I first began learning the craft.
Which path are we each to walk?
For me, in this short life, I want to pursue my passions.
Life is love, art, and getting lost in the joy of it all.
Tracey Haynes Photographs
St. Louis, Missouri
All photographs and paintings © 1998-2017 Tracey Haynes. All rights reserved.