Amie LeeKing is a queer photographer who lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Their work explores queer identities, vulnerability, and connection. Amie has great interest in other people’s stories: how they present their identities to the world, what they hang on to, and how they make meaning in between. Working exclusively within their expanding social network, intentionally inspired by the relational and interdependent, Amie’s work seeks to center selves that have been pushed to the edges. They work with their subjects to uncover new ways of taking up space, new ways of seeing self. Amie’s work has shown nationally and internationally.
As a non-binary person, I created the series, Becomingness, as a way to explore stories from other queer and trans folx about their bodies, gender, identity, race, and lack of representation of similar selves in media. I photographed people who all see themselves outside of traditional beauty norms – people who are on a non-linear path in relationship with their bodies and what the world projects on to them.
In the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, the river is a destination, and often a sanctuary in the summer. A critical component of the project is the one hour drive we take to the river together. During the drive we build trust, get to know each other and talk about the vulnerability and struggles of being in our bodies. Building a relationship with the person in the frame based on consent and collaboration is crucial. This is part of being in a queer community.
At the river, a quiet spot with few or no people is chosen. This is so the subject can breathe into themselves. As we explore the area, the shoot is a responding to and a seeing of the person and the environment rather than directing or executing. Being in a queer and/or trans body is often a becoming; and I meet folx where they are. Becoming in to our bodies is a powerful act of survival, thriving, and resistance.
To view more of Amie LeeKing’s work please visit their website.