Companylori pond photography
PhotographerLori Pond
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

My Aunt Inez is dying of ovarian cancer. She has refused all treatment, and is living out her last days in her long-time home in Oregon. I took my Mom, her sister, to visit her one last time.


I recently took my Mom to visit her sister Inez at her home in Oregon. My Mom is senile and doesn't particularly understand that Inez is dying of ovarian cancer. Inez has decided to wait out her days at home rather than continue any medical treatment. She is all alone--her younger son is a meth addict and sees her occasionally, but isn't fit to help her out. She hasn't spoken or seen her oldest son in many years. I wanted to bring the family together to rally around my aunt at the end of her life. I was shocked when I entered her home--the once sparkling clean, happy place I used to visit as a child has been reduced to a pile of unpaid medical bills, clothes piled on the bed and ants crawling on the kitchen counters. I arranged a lunch with my aunt and her estranged son, which was awkward and sad, especially when she turned to him and said, "I was a good mother, wasn't I?" On her mantel, my aunt preserves the memories of her two sons with photographs of them taken when they still allowed her to love them. When I got back home, I realized Inez has the same expression on her face as a portrait I found in her home of her grandmother...

About Photographer

Lori grew up in the shadow of Mickey Mouse’s ears in Anaheim, California. She shared a love of music performance and photography from a very young age with her father, who encouraged and inspired her in both areas. Lori studied Flute Performance and Spanish at Indiana University, graduating with honors. She continued on to USC, where she got a Master of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism. For the last 25 years, Lori has worked as a graphic designer/operator for mostly live television productions. Her work has appeared on award shows, such as the Grammys, Academy Awards and Emmys; reality shows, (i.e., Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance) talk shows and industrial productions. Currently, her work can be seen on Conan. All this time, her interest in photography never abated, but took many forms. Black and white street/ documentary projects eventually morphed into intimate studies of the natural world. Her many travels throughout the world produced a large, vivid body of work. Lori’s more recent work examined herself while going through a divorce--this body of work was presented in 2012 as a solo show with accompanying exhibit catalog at The Artist Corner, Los Angeles. She completed a video project this year which looks at both mortality and life’s rich pageant. She is currently working on a long-term project about the Wiccan community and she just started a new body of work that looks at menace and irrational fear via taxidermy. Lori’s award-winning photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in the permanent collections at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado and the Center for the Arts in Los Angeles. She is also widely published online, in magazines and books.