Entry Title: "So, What Are You Anyway?"
Name: Samantha Isom , United States
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay and Feature Story, Non-Professional


Entry Description: Long after hangings, McCarthyism and civil rights; ethnic cleansings, genocides and religious divides; people are still asking, "What are you?" – despite history’ s tale of the dark and deadly side of classification. America, the cultural melting pot, how can you have so much room for religious freedom, colored skin, different languages, cultures, foods and still leave so much room for ignorance in these very areas? Must you demand that we fit into one race box, when so many of us belong in two? This photo essay contains the true stories of people who don’ t fit into one box.

About the Artist:

Inspired by her parents' need to document every waking moment of her family life, Samantha Isom's camera is never far from her hand. Her talent for connecting with people from all walks of life has instilled her portraits with a depth that few can capture. "Everyone is interesting in their own way… and I want to capture that," she says about her portrait work. Her images have appeared on several independent record label CD covers, as well as a variety of publications and websites. While Samantha worked toward her bachelor's degree in music, she found her interest shifting from musical scales and chord progressions, to documenting people in the music scene and sub-cultural movements in America. While this South Jersey (Philadelphia-area) native completed her degree in Music from Trenton State College, she knew that her life passion was in photography. Samantha’s portraits -- evocative images of sprightly fire-twirlers, praying motorcyclists, hip-hop musicians in preppy clothing -- show diversity and humanity, the story of an individual's life, an ironic situation that someone faces.