It Takes Us: Stories of Gun Violence from Across America is a long-term documentary photography project and series of traveling, comprehensive exhibits about the impact of gun violence on survivors, family members of victims, and witnesses to these horrific acts.
It began in the middle of 2014 - right after a mass shooting in Isla Vista, CA. The cover of the then current issue of PEOPLE magazine was about a celebrity wedding and there was a blurb in the upper right corner about the incident... with a subhead saying, ‘Another school shooting: How could this happen again?’ I was struck by both the naivety and irresponsibility of that language. ‘How could it NOT happen again?’ was my reaction - why should we be surprised when - at that time - there had yet to be a collective shift in our national consciousness?
I set out to travel the country to hear, photograph, and bear witness to diverse stories of grief, sadness, and lasting trauma. The project has since grown into a body of work that has allowed the stories of over 100 families to see the light of day. The goal is to start conversations throughout the country and show how we are all just one or two degrees of separation away from this epidemic.