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The Default World

vs Black Rock City

A Burning Man Photo Project

In 2015, I attend Burning Man for the first time. The festival had long been on my radar but I had never made much of an effort to look into.

When a friend told me how she had been before and would not be going back in 2015. It was then I begged her to brave the desert one more time and take me with her, she eventually agreed.

As a photographer it can be a debate sometimes as to how much time, and how you spend time, with your camera when on "vacation". It is hard to take an image the way you normally would when you are generally limited on time, in crowded places, and often have little control over what time of day you will be somewhere. So knowing all those things I decided my first year at Burning Man to have limited camera time. I wanted to really be present to the experience and not be distracted by my camera or allow it to become a barrier. Often times with photography we become observers and I wanted to be a participate all the way. 


What I personally experienced at Burning Man was amazing! The sense of expectance, and community was overwhelming in the best way imaginable. Not to mention all of the amazing art, music, and people. A few days into the week I was already making plans to come back in 2016.


For this year, I have decided to take my camera on the experience with me. Not only because of the yearlong Project 365 I am currently doing, but also to bring to life this photo project that has been in the mental works since I left the playa last year.

The Idea Behind "The Default World vs Black Rock City"

Burning man begins with the creation of a city in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. This City is called Black Rock City.  The people who live in this city for its short annual existence refer to the communities outside as The Default World.

I have seen a number of photography projects being done on and about the playa, the people there and the art. I wanted to take a look at who we are in The Default World vs who we allow ourselves to be in Black Rock City. For each individual the journey is different, but I believe still transformative.

While I am no videographer I have decided to also include a small video component to this project.

Interested in Participating?

Requirements to participate:

1. You must be attending Burning Man 2016.

2. You must be 18 years of age or older.

3. You must be available to be photographed/video taped in Portland,OR prior to Aug. 23rd, 2016 (this date may possibly be extended to Aug. 26th).

           I will also be Lynnwood, WA Aug. 7th-9th (with possible stops in Renton, and a possible extention on Aug. 10th

           in Everett, WA)

3. You must commit to meeting at the DO-MORE-NOW camp at 7:30 & B to be photographed/video taped on playa.

           We will work together to pick a time, likely Wed/Thur

Click here to contact me and set up your appointment.

Test Session

For this project I needed to do a test session to decide what lighting I want to take with me and so forth. I put a call out for a model and Jessi McPete replied. I had a guess Jessi was a Burning Man virgin, and I thought that would make a perfect first and test subject. So only knowing I needed someone to sit for me and having no idea what the project was about she showed up to the studio outfits in hand and ready to roll.

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