Concealed, She's Got A Gun “I don’t want to rely on talking an intruder out of killing me or my loved ones,” Lee Ann said as she skillfully loaded the magazine into her Beretta. The women in this collection of portraits have chosen to own handguns for protection. The majority of them have been through training to obtain licenses to conceal and carry their guns in public. They refuse to be vulnerable and victimized and are ready to face an attacker, take aim and pull the trigger. Each of the women in this series has her own unique backstory that has motivated her decision to carry a concealed weapon. Some of the women have had incidents in their past, and others have been threatened and they now feel the need to own a handgun for self-defense. Many of the women that I photographed grew up immersed in the Texas gun culture, and to them, guns are a form of cultural expression deeply embedded in a family tradition and passed on from generation to generation. The images of these women with their guns can be startling. Guns are typically envisioned in the hands of men, not mothers and grandmothers. Guns are powerful and polarizing. They can both take a life or save a life. Indeed, in an ideal world would be free from fear, and no one would need a gun. But in a society in where the overwhelming majority of sexual assault and domestic violence is against women, these images portray women in a role of taking self-protection into their own hands. The gun control debate and issues around it have been raging in the United States for a long time. Continuing tragic events that surround us in the media fuel the conversation. Political views aside, my intention for this project is to give the viewer a glimpse into a subculture of Texas women that will not become victims. Photographed from 2011 – 2014 Digitally based color images. Fine art inkjet prints.