I was raised in Florida where the beach was my second home. I grew an immense appreciation for the water as a place of recreation, renewal, and rest. When I moved to New Orleans in my 20s I longed for that water where I had found fun, solace and answers for so many years. The Mississippi River soon became my new oracle and I found enjoyment and rebirth along her levees, tributaries and surrounding land. In 2019, as a Northern Louisiana Artist in Resident, I traveled up to the Red River Valley to explore what the river and land could mean for me and observe and investigate what it has meant for several generations of farmers and families living along-side it. The photographic work included in the series Holding Lands highlights some of the rich land and even richer community I met while staying on a cotton farm in Gilliam, LA. The Red River has kept the land fertile- and allowed communities to continue to exist along its banks. Utilizing landscape and portraiture photography I had the pleasure to photograph the water, land, and some of the individuals who share a sacred appreciation for the ground they live upon. The community I became a part of for two short weeks told me their stories and histories as we explored water and land together by plane, kayak, tractor, vehicle and on foot. This area and community have now become a place of both restoration and joy for me as I continue to return and photograph.