Raffi Freedman-Gurspan was the first openly transgender female in the White House. In 2016, President Obama appointed Raffi as The White House's primary LGBT liaison. Raffi stayed in that position until the new administration came in. On her last day in office, I photographed her at The White House Executive Office Building for BuzzFeed News. The published story is here.
Over the past several months, I had the opportunity to work on several major productions for National Geographic Channel. My role on set was to document production and make portraits. On the television series Years of Living Dangerously, a show that brings celebrity correspondents to the forefront of climate change issues, I worked with Bradley Whitford and Arnold Schwarzenegger on separate occasions in Washington, D.C. National Geographic Channel also produced a documentary film titled Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric. For this film, I was in Gloucester, Virginia, where I worked with Katie and Gavin Grimm, a transgender teen whose case for a bathroom bill was sent to The Supreme Court.
During the summer and autumn months, I had the privilege of working as a photography expert and instructor with National Geographic Expeditions, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Student Expeditions. Over a seven week period, my journeys included Alaska (Anchorage, Denali and Seward), Scotland (Highlands and Caledonian Canal) and The Canadian Maritimes (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Gros Morne National Park and Quebec). Above are some images made throughout the expeditions.
In the summer of 2015, I had the pleasure of leading a National Geographic Student Expedition to Iceland with M Jackson, a great friend and dedicated climate researcher. While hiking on Svinafellsjokull Glacier, we discovered a moulin, a shaft inside a glacier formed by running water. After descending into the glacier's depths, M looked up to capture its details and colors. The image I made of her at that moment is now on the cover of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Annual Report.
The video series about LGBT Catholics in Baltimore, Maryland was screened at the Human Rights Campaign Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Members from the LGBT community, the Catholic Church and employees of HRC attended. The films were used as a platform for discussion, action and collaboration.