Happy Valley is an intimate yet quirky photographic family history stretching back over a decade. This on-going series chronicles my nieces and nephews in Utah and Colorado growing up as typical middle-class, suburban white kids. They live a seemingly average and modestly privileged life. Theirs is the cloistered world of fast food chains, big-box corporate retailers, and cookie cutter housing developments that epitomize America’s “flyover country.” Here, the receding American Dream offers a safer, quieter future with the promise of ever increasing home values for them and their family.
Through love, tenderness, awkwardness and loneliness, we witness personal fragments of the life stories of my nieces and nephews unfold, strung together by piercing portraits and candid moments. Being a long-form document, Happy Valley creates a rich and complicated historical tapestry of the children’s personalities and relationships and reveals them in all of their mysterious and distinctive beauty. From the uneasy simplicity of childhood through the uncertain complexity of adolescence, they come of age in the changing but sheltered milieu of contemporary suburban America.