Galleries :: Anna-Rhesa
I believe in sharing, especially stories. My favorite stories are funny, poignant, or thought-provoking, and nearly every image I love is part of a story that has meaning for me.
I was born in Manila, Philippines and was a toddler when my parents brought me and my brother to the United States. My dad was completing his medical training in psychiatry in Raleigh, NC when Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, preventing our return. My parents decided not to risk going back so we never did. I promised myself to take my kids and husband to explore my birthplace.
My strong sense of curiosity led me to pursue journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I reported stories for newspapers like the Boston Globe, Dallas Times Herald, Charleston Post-Courier, and Raleigh News & Observer. After years of chasing crime stories and breaking news, I went to graduate school at Duke University where I combined interests in cultural anthropology and health policy research. I began working in the medical and pharmaceutical industry and spent another set of years chasing different stories. I interviewed HIV-positive pregnant women for research. I photographed families and medical facilities in the West Indies with editors from National Geographic and The Smithsonian Institute for a project through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I spent a summer in Costa Rica interviewing women about barriers to childbirth services. My final master’s project was Cultural Barriers to Health Care Access among African and Latin American Women in Durham.
Today, I am happy to be working as an independent contract photographer and videographer. I do a lot of work with Tamara Lackey, who is a Nikon Ambassador and photography rock star! I met Tamara when I was finishing up my two-year treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer. I had been laid off from my corporate job during chemo and Tamara made it possible for me to redefine my career and to rebuild my inner confidence.
I consider myself an emerging artist and visual anthropologist. I especially enjoy storytelling portraits, cultural experiences, and traveling near and far. You can find me in and around Chatham County, NC where I live with my super cool husband and talented daughters.
Check out the program I founded! Southern Mix
Check out my first magazine cover! Endurance Magazine
Check out the book I co-authored! Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey Around the World