I met Eden when she had turned eighteen while working on a project about strippers in San Francisco, CA. She had just flown into the city to live out her fantasy of becoming an exotic dancer; a dream she's had since she was thirteen. This along with her desire to travel the world and support herself financially gave impetus to her cross-country move. After a few years of stripping, she graduated to prostitution. While I began this project to document the world of prostitution, this project is ultimately about a woman's struggle to find herself. It has now been seven years since I began documenting Eden. This is only a small selection of the project.
"I always joke that I “grew up in a strip club,” and although I never worked in one until I was 18, what I mean is that I went through the process of experimentation and self-discovery that leads to adulthood while I was working in the sex industry. Since I was thirteen years old, I read memoirs and autobiographies written by exotic dancers, and always dreamed of being one. Soon after graduating high school, I made that dream a reality.
What turned out to be more poignant than any memoir were the relationships and friendships I formed with other dancers once I got there, most of whom, unbeknownst to me at first, were prostitutes. Those relationships softened the preconceived notions I had about prostitutes and started to normalize and humanize the profession for me. Over the first two years of my life as a dancer, the boundaries I set for myself in the beginning became blurred, and at a time in my life when I felt lost, I turned to a veteran dancer who I had a wealth of respect for and she led me into the world of prostitution."