Hollee : “Other Half”


Photos by Samantha Cohn

Samantha Cohn is a portrait-based artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. For the past 5 years she has been working on series that deal with beauty, identity and innocence. She received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts.

Hollee : “Other Half”

My half sister was always my missing half. We never grew up in the same house and I grew up a generation before her. Her name is Hollee. Her fatherdied recently, and this poignant event has made me want to reconnect with her. As a photographer, I reached out to her the only way I knew how; through art.We started collaborating when she was 9 years old.While photographing Hollee over the past three years I have captured the complexity of being a young girl.
From Tea Parties to Barbie Dream homes, as little girls, even our toys have hidden agendas turning us into fast adults. Hollee exists in an innocent world in which a pose is only a pose, but as adults we see more. We understand things that children may see as innocent forms of play, to be much more complex. My sister seems to hold both the curiosity and playfulness of a girl, as well as the emotions and seductive gestures of a woman. Though she is still a little girl she owns her femininity and makes her emotions clear for the camera. Using a soft light I want to portray that beauty that is held with in the process of growing up. 
My images are beginning to stretch and broaden from capturing Hollee as well as her experiences of those of her friends. I have been discovering her relationships with them, as well as their unique qualities, and experiences. My goal is to expose the confusing emotions and developing identities of adolescent girls through beauty and light, to show commonality and beauty between all growing girls faced with dramatic obstacles, and selfishly, to reconnect with my “other half”.

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