One of the greatest pleasures of this weird line of work is that everyday I get to meet new people.
In my short time as a freelance photographer back in Boise the lack of this type of daily interaction left a void in my life. But what I learned from that experience was that my love for photojournalism was deeply rooted in the joy I get from a shared human experience with a subject.
Although I love the act of recording life through pictures, what I love more is sharing a moment with a person, in a place, with the hope that we both walk away with something.
Even before I discovered journalism, photography has always been a way for me to preserve the memory of a personal experience. It is this personal investment that hopefully makes my work interesting to others. And if it doesn't, well that's okay too, because it means more to me anyway.
"Pictures hold life's experiences. And I feel that with every experience you learn something. Therefore, you learn something with every picture you take."
Rebecca and Dennis Pallwitz consider themselves middle-class Americans and although they identify with conservative values they don't believe Republicans or Democrats have the courage or capacity to change the course of the country. "They don't stand up for the truth" said Rebecca. "They've lost touch of what really matters to us." (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)
Greta Degen, program director for Joppa Outreach, checks her phone before stepping out of the office on Monday, October 23, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa. Degen, an R.N. serves as a health advocate for local area homeless. (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)
Jeanne Zeitler, 50, pauses while talking about talking about her life in an encampment under the Martin Luther King Jr. boulevard bridge seen on Monday, October 23, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa. Zeitler has taken up residence at this location since March but remains hopeful that she will soon find more permanent housing. (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)
Greta Degen, program director for Joppa Outreach, shares a hug with Jeanne Zeitler, a local-area homeless woman, inside the encampment Zeitler shares with one other person under the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard bridge as seen on Monday, October 23, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)
Julie Heck plays with her son Lucas Nichols, 5, inside the family home on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 near Pleasantville, Iowa. As a single mother of three and a student at Simpson College Julie Heck, of Pleasantville, stays very busy but finds refuge in her close relationship with her sister Jill, who helps juggle the day-to-day duties of the family. (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)
Emily Nichols, 8, gets a push on the tire swing from her mother Julie Heck on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 at the family home outside Pleasantville, Iowa. Heck, a single-mother, works full-time and takes classes at nearby Simpson College and gets help raising her three children from her sister Jill Heck, who lives with the family. (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)
Sgt. Jason Halifax is the new public information officer with the Des Moines Police Department. Halifax has served with the City of Des Moines since 1996. (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)
Lincoln High trombone player Nicholas Croy, 14, stands along the wall in the band room prior to a performance in the All City Jazz festival on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 at Lincoln High in Des Moines, Iowa. (Charlie Litchfield/The Des Moines Register)