I am a first generation Iranian-American born in the small city of Carbondale, IL. When I was 2 years old, my father, mother, older sister, and I moved to Tokyo- Japan. My father earned his degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at SIU, so living in the U.S. didn’t really make sense to him. So there began my life, and all the reason’s I am who I am.
When I was 9 years old, we took a routine trip to visit family in Michigan for winter break, and well… just stayed there. My father retuned back to Japan and their marriage was over. Because I attended regular Japanese public schools, and spoke Farsi to my parents in the home, I had to start from zero when it came to learning English. I sure did confuse my classmates, though. My American classmates could not figure out why I looked Persian, but was a foreigner from Japan.
I moved to Wisconsin 3 years later, and when I was 15 years old I began having the itch to go back to Japan again. After crying and nagging to my mother for months, I moved to Chiba- Japan as a foreign exchange student for a over a year. Wearing a Japanese high school uniform and all, I tried to blend in as much as possible. I was still looked at like an alien walking amongst them.
My love for photography began when I traveled back and forth from my independent/happening life in Japan, to my suburban life in Wisconsin. I started filming/photographing my life in Japan, with my friends in the US in mind. Most of the time I never showed my friends the photographs or videos, but my love for the subject really grew strong from then on. I feel I get the most out of the experience of shooting when I plan nothing.
Soon after high school, I moved to Chicago and earned a degree in Digital Photography. I worked for a portrait studio from 2008-2014, but eventually, the intense cold of the windy city chased me away. In the summer of 2014, I moved to Southern California to begin the next chapter of my life.