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I honestly wanted to leave this section blank; I did not know what to write. But here I am, writing away. I feel like I treat this magazine almost as a journal, keeping my thoughts and feelings about great photographers, great writers, and great artists. And I think that thinking as such will inspire me to push this magazine in a new direction. You’ll see what I mean soon enough. :) I hope you enjoy this magazine as much as I do. I really believe that. Sincerely, Sarah


Maggie Ann Re


Founder and Editor-In-Chief Sarah Nieman

Co-editors Staff Photographers

Caitlin Angelica Maria Kaffa Elizabeth Turner

Caiti Borruso Alex Phillips Jordan Tiberio

Graphic Design Sarah Nieman

Music Sarah Nieman

Featured Tamara Hijazi, Lauren Kristin, Alyssa Laricchia, Megan Leonard, Rebecca Montana, Paula Pire, Lauren Poor, Sarah Ratliff, Maria Sardari, Samantha Schmitz, Nichelle Singer, Jennifer Siu, Cait Spera, Alex Stoddard, Keyana Tahmaseb

Spotlights Paula Pire, Maggie Ann Re

General Information, Submissions, etc: racingminds@yahoo.com

racingminds.tumblr.com


08. Snapshot Contest

58. Taking Over Fall

Meet the winner with the most style!

Photographs by Sarah Ratliff.

16. Sleepyhead

62. Alex Stoddard

Cover shoot shot by Caiti Borruso.

Interview with Alex Stoddard, photographer.

24. Rebecca Montana

70. Lauren Poor

Rebecca Montana, writer.

Lauren Poor, artist.

30. Megan Leonard

76. Jennifer Siu

Megan Leonard, photographer.

Jennifer Siu, designer.

36. Alyssa Laricchia

82. Sarah Nieman

Interview with Alyssa Laricchia, photographer.

Photographs by Sarah Nieman, preface by Caiti Borruso.

44. Cait Spera

88. Maria Sardari

Cait Spera, artist.

Maria NAME, photographer.

46. The Indefinable Look

94. Samantha Schmitz

Photographs by Nichelle Singer.

Samantha Schmitz, artist.

54. Lonely Tonight

100. Edimburgh

Music playlist by Sarah Nieman.

Photographs by Paula Pire.

56. Tamara Hijazi

108. Keyana Tahmaseb

Tamara Hijazi, writer.

Keyana Tahmaseb, artist.


Lauren Kristin is Racing Minds first Snapshot Contest Winner! Checck out this laid back sixteen year old's interview for tips on her laid back style.


Racing Minds: Where are ya from? Lauren Kristin: Washington, D.C. RM: What is your age? LK: I'm 16. RM: What are you wearing in your winning picture? LK: High-waisted shorts from forever 21, a floral tank top from wal-mart and an assortment of summer bracelets :)

RM: What is your favorite clothing season? LK: Summer, because you never have to worry about grabbing a jacket or freezing your butt off. I love just running outside and not having to bundle up.

RM: How would you describe your personal style? LK: A little bit of everything and more. I dress entirely according to my mood and by what's most comfortable. I don't get why anyone would ever want to make themselves suffer by wearing uncomfortable clothing.

RM: What's your favorite color? LK: That also happens to change day to day. But I guess most of the time it's different blues and purples and blacks.

RM: What's your most favorite piece of clothing you have owned? LK: I love my converse, I wear them everywhere. RM: Where do you shop? LK: Everywhere, I'd guess. I love yard sales and thrift stores. I'm a huge miser when it comes to buying clothes, I've never seen the point in spending your whole paycheck on clothes.

RM: Can you give one key style advice that you live by? LK: Wear what makes you happy, and rock it. Wear things that make you feel confident and beautiful, and you'll find yourself feeling better about yourself.


RM: Do you have any brands that you really love? LK: Not especially, like I said, I kind of acquire clothing from everywhere. Brands don't hold much, if any, importance to me.

RM: Who or what is your main style inspiration? LK: I wouldn't say I have an inspiration as much as I wear what I want and know what I like. And that happens to be a little bit of everything.

RM: What is your favorite song? LK: Oh man, I have so many. Right now, a few happen to be The Story I heard- blind Pilot, the Passenger- Iggy pop, and Tear down The house- The Avett brothers

RM: Is there a question that you would like to ask the next interviwee? LK: Do you have the guts to be yourself? Feel free to visit her Flickr too! http://www.flickr.com/photos/lauren-zo/ Interview by Caitlin Angelica


Photographs by Caiti Borruso


18 | Writer


18 | Michigan, US | Photographer http://www.flickr.com/photos/meganleonard/ A young photographer, with a small town lifestyle, who is drawn to warm feelings and silly things.


Ontario, Canada | Photographer http://www.flickr.com/photos/lissyl/ Racing Minds: Tell me a little about yourself.

Alyssa Laricchia: My name is Alyssa Maria Laricchia (Luh-RICKyuh), born and raised in Ontario, Canada about an hour outside of Toronto. I read lots of books, I collect Knight figurines, and I can't sleep with my back facing the door. I have a birthmark on my left ear that my mother and my grandmother and my great-grandmother all have. I have OCD, and I have to hop over thresholds of buildings, count to seven before I step over cracks in the sidewalk, and stop the microwave with exactly five seconds left.

RM: When did you start photography? AL: Three years ago I had a friend who was doing a 365 project and became enthralled with the idea, and about a week later I started one of my own with the family point and shoot. I did about six to eight months of it and then grew tired of the same old macro photos of flowers and black and white photos of trees. Several months later I discovered Flickr (mainly Alexis Mire's photostream) and decided to buy my first SLR, all of a sudden inspiration came flooding back to me.

RM: What does your average day look like? AL: Reading, looking for a job, drinking lots of coffee, reading, debating whether it's too bright out to take pictures, listening to music, being on Tumblr, reading, browsing Claires but never buying anything, watching Scrubs, editing photos, writing, drinking more coffee.


RM: Do you think your photography has grown to have a specific style? If so, how would you describe it? AL: I do think I have developed certain traits that make my photos mine. But I'll be hard pressed to point out what they are. I use square format, painterly textures, DOF, and my photos all seem to have an underlined theme of childhood, the awkwardness of growing up, and escape, because these are all things I'm struggling with right now. I think that my photography has essentially stayed the same, but I have become better at expresses myself through it, as well as 'learning-as-I-do' technical stuff. I have no doubt that as I change my photographs will once again change with me.

RM: Where do you want to go with your photography? AL: I'm not sure. I guess I didn't realize how serious I was about it until I started looking around for Art Schools this last month or so.

kind of person, always trying to find common ground and solidarity. Which I guess is something that no one on the internet would know about me.

RM: What would you like to achieve in the future, not only with your photography but with yourself? AL: I want to be able to do things by myself, I want to not get anxious in crowds, and maybe not have to twitch my head seven times to the left before I turn on and off the TV. A personal goal I have is to live alone. Just once in my life, to see who I am without other people.

RM: How would you define photography? AL: An image made up entirely or primarily of material created via a camera. Any images with more non-photographic layers than photographic, I consider “Digital Art” not to be confused with “Manipulation”

RM: What does photography mean to you? RM: Do you think there are photographer stereotypes? AL: I don't really understand the question. For most everything that exists someone has made an assumption, which started a rumour, that spread until it became universally acknowledged as fact. So of course there are. Some of which are even true.

RM: What is your favorite concept to portray in a photograph? AL: Childhood. Just the whimsy and fantasy and curiosity that you felt before everything was a popularity contest. Before everything was about sex and who likes who and being thin and Twilight.

RM: What is your favorite photograph that you have taken?

AL: My newest one always tends to be my favourite. And then about four days to a week later I go “eh” and decide it's time to take an even better one. That's what keeps me going.

RM: What is something that no one knows about you? AL: I'm not sure there's anything that nobody knows about me. I'm sort of an excessively sharing

Why do you like it? How does it draw you in? AL: On the last day of my 365, I'd gone out to take my very last photo. I started out with just test shots, trying to get the angles and the settings right, and then I took a few real ones and a half hour or so later my memory card was full. So I went inside to empty it, not even going to look at the photos because I knew I hadn't taken enough yet, but my mom comes up to me and asks me if I'm done, because it's going to be dark soon. I stare at her strangely, and she says I've been out there for a good eight hours. That's why I like it. I can spend what I think is half an hour but really it's been all day, and between when I start to when I finish editing I'm thinking of nothing else but how to make this perfect. And for me that is a very big deal, because there's always something horrible crouching in the back of my mind, just waiting for my happiest moment so it can jump out and ruin it.

RM: What is your favorite memory? AL: My favourite memories are where you gain the courage to say something about yourself that you thought was grotesque or strange, and have an army of your friends saying, “Oh, I do that too.”


RM: How much do you think your photography – and you – has evolved since you started? AL: I have gained so much confidence since I started. On really down days, I can go out and take pictures and be reminded that there's something in my life that I love to do, and am kind of good at. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have at least that. That one constant. I think the more confident I grew about my photos, the more I believed I could do it, the more I tried new things, which is obviously the only way to grow in photography and develop a style.

RM: What do you think has been your greatest achievement, in photography or in life? AL: Completing my 365 I think is applicable to both. Not giving up made me headstrong (well, even more then I was before) and not giving up made my photography grow. And even though the last couple months of it were so hard, and I was so stressed out to make it perfect, and I had zero social life because I spent all day taking photos, I really don't regret a single thing I did in that whole year.


20 | Michigan, US | Mixed media artist http://caitspera.tumblr.com


“WHENEVER I START TO FALL IN LOVE I ALWAYS BEGIN TO IMAGINE THE MOMENT I WILL LOOK AT HIM AND NOT BE IN LOVE ANYMORE.”


Photographs by Nichelle Singer


Paula Pire


01. Lonely Tonight- Matt Wertz 02. Skinny Love- Bon Iver 03. Hero- Regina Spektor 04. Wish I Stayed- Ellie Goulding 05. After The Storm- Mumford & Sons 06. Timshel- Mumford & Sons 07. Broken Horse- Freelance Whales 08. Fake Plastic Trees- Radiohead 09. With Rainy Eyes- Emancipator 10. And In The Summer It Rains- Killglare Riley


Writer http://www.flickr.com/photos/capturingsecrets310/

Faceless A mask in a sea of faces. With terror and joy and anger…with shock confusion and worry…a smooth, perfectly carved mask lingers at the surface of the sea, swallowed by a thousand of revealed faces. Shown to the world as who they are, good and bad, while the mask lay perfectly still as the water’s surface. And yet, from the highest peak, from the farthest satellite, it cannot be seen. How can sea of reason and revelation not catch it? How can that one blank face be ignored? Denied? But isn’t that what our friendly little mask wants? This blank face has no home. The perfect place to run away to, the easiest place to hide in, is in a sea of faces. To be drowned in uncertainty and imperfection. And there is a mask today, that has been washed to the shore. By the peace and the storm. It has stumbled out of frozen water and onto dry land for all to see. And a simple human being, trudging its way down another empty path with no face… No eyes or mouth or nose. Blank and unnoticed… A simple human being notices this mask, laid out in front of his feet. He picks it up with no hesitance. He puts it on without a second thought. Now a man not faceless, but a man with eyes and a mouth and a nose. And he walks down the shore, across the roads, and onto the sidewalk, where he is greeted by a number a faces. A number of faces, or a mask with eyes and a nose and a mouth? Now do you see why all those faces were in the seas? It’s not the mask that does not belong, it is the hundreds of faces tossed out into the ocean, to be replaced by a false giver of security and hope. This is the cycle. It goes on an on as time moves. As time is still ignorant and oblivious to what is happening as the clock strikes the next minute. The faces have been tossed and broken and shattered, to be replaced by a deceiver of beauty and grace and security. And what hundreds of you don’t see, is that maybe everyone around you is holding up their own mask. And you are also moving down the road, in sun and in rain and in snow, trudging through the piles of leaves and hills of frost and roads of burning heat…also oblivious, also ignorant. Also fooled. But the cycle just keeps on going. And the masks just keep on coming.


The summer where everything changed. This was the summer where everything changed. Where something and everything happened inside me, without giving a single thought to any decision. And while you sleep I walk down the roads till I’m lost in the eternal sunshine of my wandering mind. Funny how a single day, a single blink of an eye, a single moment to catch your breath, can leave you wandering around the middle of your everywhere in the quiet of the night. I run my fingers over the bark where we carved our names. You wrote my initials and I wrote yours, and we carved them deep inside till we made sure that no one else would dare to scribble over. This was the place where I decided you were my exception to the rule of never falling into someone too deeply and staying hurt-free sober. And this was the bench we sat on, huddled beneath the summer rain, and laughing as we slipped down the pavement without a care to the pain. This was where I decided you would be the arms I wanted to reach for whenever I might fail. Where I decided you’d be the one who’d draw the journey and together we’d sail. And here is the candy store we snuck inside to. This was where we filled our bags with the sweetest of heavens, and when we looked up at the clock decided that our lucky number was seven. This was when I decided that you would always be my first pick out of all my favorite candies. The gum I’d chew on for life and stick under my seat so it would never be lost. Even if you got old, sour, and rotten. And then there’s the roof of our secret abandoned house. Where we climbed to the moon and reached for the stars. And the breeze carried us away to a place I never knew existed. Where time and space came to a stop. We stayed up all night just for the warmth of the fuzzy feeling, where you told me about silly things that seemed to have no meaning. And then summer was over, it went by too fast. We still didn’t carve into every tree or slip down every path or gather all the wrappers or touch the closest star. But you told me summer was over, although I thought it’d just begun. And when you needed to leave, I decided I needed to run. After you, for you, with you. And believe me, when I reached you, I didn’t decide a single thing. No more decisions, no more second thoughts. Life’s too short and too stupid. No more fear and no more ‘hide and seek’. This is ONE LIFE we’re talking about. Let’s live it till we fade. You call that a decision, well then, I think it’s the best on I’ve ever made.


Photographs by Sarah Ratliff


Well, my name is Alex Stoddard. I'm 16 years old and from Georgia, United States. I don't particularly care for the term photographer, at least to describe oneself anyway. It's always just sounded a little pretentious to me. So I'll just say that I love to take photographs. If I could, I'd eat nothing but candy and go everywhere without shoes for the rest of my life. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alex-stoddard/


Racing Minds: Why and when did you start photography? Alex Stoddard: I started dabbling around in photography in November of 2009, mostly because I had been struck with boredom and a desire for another creative outlet. Sadly, I will admit that it was a bit of a vain affair as well. I'd just go into the woods with my little Olympus point-and-shoot and a tripod I would sneak away from my mom's closet and shoot photos of myself for hours. I would post them to MySpace or Facebook and enjoy the comments I would receive, and so I kept at it.

RM: What do you try to go for when creating a photograph? Do you think your work consists of a specific style? Explain. AS: I just attempt to inject a little of my mind, of my thoughts into each photograph. I will look at an ordinary place, object, and disregard its commonplace use or meaning, and imagine what it would mean in another world, another mindset. I don't particularly like for my photos to translate a time or era, but rather have them adaptive to the time. I do believe that I've taken to a certain darker style since I have begun the 365 project. Rather than a lighter, whimsical sort of photograph, I usually strive for a more natural, mental kind, if you will. When it comes down to it, really, I guess I'd say that I'm more inspired by shadow than light.

RM: What are three things you couldn’t go a day without? AS: I'm not one to rely on much day-to-day. I can survive without most material things. If I were to choose three things, though, they would probably be my camera (for obvious reasons), human contact (even a simple hello would suffice), and at least five minutes in fresh air.

RM: What were you thinking about when you created this photo? http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexstoddard/4938988227/ AS: In "Lichen", I was really trying to translate the idea of man's dependence on nature. When it comes down to it, no matter how much of it we destroy, the earth is our home. As with a fungus, when whatever we are feeding upon dies, we, too, must go. There was a second, more personal meaning to that photograph as well. Recently, a friend had been receiving a lot of harsh criticism for her use of implied nudity in her self-portraits, particularly because she is female. I shot this partly in support of the elimination of the sexism shown to her, because, as a male, I deserve just as much hate for it as she received.

RM: Who do you look to for photographic inspiration? AS: I could name so many great photographic inspirations, and you would need pages and pages to fit them all. I must say, though, that Rosie Hardy has influenced me above all others. She has created such fantastic photographs and remained so humble and honest despite her popularity. I can safely name her as one of the biggest influences in beginning the 365 project. Others who I look to daily for inspiration are Gregory Crewdson, Tim Walker, and Kai Z Feng.

RM: How would you define photography? AS: Capturing the shapes and emotion and magic that light creates before you. RM: What does your typical day look like? AS: My days are terribly repetitive and dull. I'll battle my mom in the morning for a few more minutes of sleep and drag myself to school where I'll waste most of my day. At home, I'll wander around my house, looking for inspiration. Usually I'll stop along the way and sing to my pets or mock them for being overweight. Eventually I'll come across an idea for a photograph and go out and shoot it. I've discovered recently that it takes two or three attempts at different things, often scrapping the original idea completely, to obtain a shot I like.


RM: Who in your life do you think has the most influence over you? Not just in your work, but in your overall life. AS: As self-absorbed and ignorant as it may sound, I don't really believe anybody but myself to have any significant impact over me. With all due respect, I don't care what my friends think of me. I would be able to adapt and be content without them in my life. My parents don't dictate my actions, and while I do usually comply with their wishes, it is because of a personal decision. I'm very conscious of others, but I value my own pursuits and interests above all else.

RM: Describe the process you take from planning a photo to its post-processing. AS: I go about creating each photograph differently. I devote most of the time to imagining and planning for the photo, gathering props for it, hunting down the right location. After taking the photograph, I'll open up Photoshop and just go about creating the atmosphere I desire for the concept. Each image is treated individually, and I experiment with each one.

RM: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? AS: The power to eliminate awkwardness, as I tend to bring that into any situation I find myself in. RM: Which is your favorite photo that you have taken? Explain its background and what went into it. AS: It was hard to choose, but I think this one is my favorite. www.flickr.com/photos/alexstoddard/4877527742/ This is one of the only photographs that has ever come out exactly as I had imagined it. I wanted to create something simple that was armed with an ambitious concept. It was a spur-of-the-moment idea, too. I had been wanting to do something with flour for a couple weeks and eventually imagined this. I was rushed and had only twenty minutes or so to rearrange my room so that this wall was open enough, decorate it with dozens of hand prints, then douse myself with handfuls of flour and shoot it. I also didn't know that I would turn to paper mache once I stepped into the shower.

RM: What do you find most challenging when taking a photo? AS: Definitely imagining concepts. It's become quite difficult as of late. I think I can attribute this to my lack of locations and props. I've become bored with the same forest and creek and objects around my house.

RM: What defines “home” to you? AS: Home is any place where you feel comfortable enough to let your honest personality out, anywhere you can retire to at the end of the day and feel that you are not trying to show a part of you that doesn't really exist.

RM: How much do you think your photography – and you – has evolved since you started? AS: I think I've improved dramatically. I attribute this almost entirely to the 365 project and the Flickr community. Pushing yourself to shoot something new every day opens up so many possibilities, and you are almost forced to learn and get better to keep up with the ambitions that you develop. I have grown to love photography more than almost anything I've encountered before, and I don't see myself ever giving it up for as long as I live.

RM: What do you think has been your greatest achievement, in photography or in life? AS: On a personal note, I believe my greatest achievement has been leaning to accept myself for who I am. Growing up, I was the most unsure kid. I didn't trust myself or my thoughts and was always trying to change to fit the expectations of those around me. I have discovered happiness in just being as I am, though, despite anything others might say or think of me.


18 | New York, US | Artist http://www.laurenpoor.com


“I LIKE ART BECAUSE IT’S THE SOUL OF EVERYTHING. I ONLY HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT THAT MEANS, BUT ART IS SO OPEN MINDED AND AMAZING THAT I BELIEVE IT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. THERE IS SO MUCH POTENTIAL AND POWER IN ART, THE KIND THAT IS NON EXCLUSIVE, WHICH I LOVE.”


17 | San Francisco, California, US | Creator http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenasa/


“I LIKE TO CALL MYSELF A CREATOR, SOMEONE WHO TAKES DIRT AND TURNS IT INTO A REAL PIECE OF ART.”


“SARAH IS A BEAUTIFUL PERSON. SHE’S ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS, SHE IS UNBELIEVEABLY FUNNY, AND SWEET, AND MOST OF ALL, SUPPORTIVE. I’M SO GLAD THAT WE’VE MET ONLINE THIS YEAR, BECAUSE SHE’S BECOMING AN AMAZING FRIEND. SHE’S GOOFY, SHE’S CARING, AND I LOVE HER TO DEATH. SARAH’S FILM CAPTURES THIS BEAUTIFUL SIMPLICITY, LIKE MEMORIES, LIKE DREAMS. THESE PHOTOS ARE ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING, SOME OF MY FAVORITES. HER FILM IS PART OF WHAT INSPIRED ME TO SHOOT FILM. AND I’M COMPLETELY JEALOUS OF HER FILM, IN THE WAY PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE JEALOUS OF PHOTOS THEY WISH THEY COULD HAVE TAKEN. SARAH, FILM BUDDY, YOU’RE TOO GOOD.” -CAITI BORRUSO


16 | Florida, US | Photographer http://www.flickr.com/photos/gomophotography/


“WITHOUT ART THERE IS NO WAY FOR ME TO EXPRESS MYSELF. IT IS WHEN I CAN LEAVE THIS REALITY AND ENTER MY OWN.”


23 | Wisconsin, US | Artist http://www.samanthaschmitzart.com


Photographs by Paula Pire


18 | Oregon, US | Artist http://www.flickr.com/photos/keyanatea/



November 2010