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Biographical Statement

Photo by Jane Philomen Cleland, 2002.

I have been a documentary photographer for over 30 years. A long time ago I became excited by the power of combining stories and photographs. At 62 (in 2004), my focus is on providing personal history, photo organizing, and photography services. I am committed to helping my clients record and preserve their histories. I'm also getting my collection of stories and photos out into the world to do their work.

[For information on my memoir about my family and my Civil Rights days click here. My 1987 book "A Lesbian Photo Album" is currently out of print, but you can ask your local library to locate it for you.] When working on a personal history, my client and I begin by formulating a brief time line. Here is what mine looks like.


In the 1950s I attended an integrated high school in the Chicago suburbs and then a segregated high school in Memphis-just as schools were being ordered to desegregate by the courts. The Unitarian Church youth group was the center of my life.
In the 1960s I studied sociology in college and graduate school while participating in the Southern Civil Right Movement and the Student Movement. I completed my Ph.D. in Sociology in 1969 with a dissertation based on 70 interviews with people in the Black community of Canton, Mississippi.
I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970. I was a part of the Women's Liberation Movement, came out as a lesbian and started photographing the people and the movements around me. In the late 70s I had my first child.
The 1980s were a time of working on my book of photographs and interviews, A Lesbian Photo Album: The Lives of Seven Lesbian Feminist-and raising my children. My second son was born in 1985. The book was published in 1987. In the late 80s I joined a peer counseling community which continues to help me develop my listening skills.
In the 1990s I expanded my collection of photographs of lesbian mothering as I raised my sons. While teaching photography in high school, I learned to hand-color photos and began making collages. My next day job was with a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities living in developing countries design and build wheelchairs. I attended the international women's conference in Beijing out of which has grown an international women's wheelchair building program. In the late 1990s I started leading a support group for artists.
In September of 2000 I formalized my business: "Cathy Cade: Personal Histories, Photo Organizing, and Photography". I bring the skills, joys and commitments of these experiences to my services and artistic work today.

All photographs are protected by © copyright law. For permission to use and other information, please email Cathy@CathyCade.com or phone: 510/251-2774.

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