The photography of Michelle Brooks seeks to capture the quotidian details of people and places in a way that forces the viewer to experience them in an emotional way. Her process is one not of discovery as much as rediscovery. She juxtaposes the natural world with the man-made one to create a tension between what has always existed and what has been created or discarded. As a writer, she has a narrative sensibility. Her photographs attempt to give a glimpse of a story that allows the viewer enough room to bring their story to the image as well.
She says, “With a camera, I open myself to the heartbreak, beauty, nobility, effort, and sorrow of people and places I only think I know. In The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, the word sonder is defined as realizing each random passer by has a life as complex and vivid as one’s own. Behind the camera, I become aware of the sonder all around me. It allows my heart to break open and stand still at the same time.”
A crop of her photograph is located on this issue’s masthead.