Trans photographer April Hartford came up in Maine working in the insurance field. In 2010, while training to be a field guide in South Africa, the artist had an epiphany: It was time to transition. The rest, she says, just kind of clicked into place. In 2013, after weighing options between Bend, Oregon, Boulder, Colorado, and Santa Fe, Hartford came to town and continued her project, Transgender: One Person's Journey. Hartford illustrates the educational and emotional through black and white self-portraits, often demonstrating the inner and outer journey of her transition and life. The gorgeous images can be seen this Saturday July 29 in Hartford's studio from 1-7:30 pm (539 Old Santa Fe Trail) with artist talks at 2 pm and 5:30 pm.
Was there a specific impetus to this project?
It kind of organically grew as I was trying to find my voice in photography. I was dealing with gender issues and they started emerging in my photos. One of the big things I wanted to do was to focus on education. There's a huge lack of education and it makes cisgender people scared or timid to address or learn for fear of doing or saying something wrong.
Was the educational aspect a part from the beginning?
My goal of doing photography was completely for me, to help me get through the transition and understand it better. But when people would see the work, they were taking something away with them, and that's how it came to be a part of it.
Did you have an outline or plan you followed?
Many of the images are executed to a strict plan. I've set out to execute or depict certain things or areas. Other images happen because you happen upon a place, the ideas comes to you and you just execute them.