All The Valeries, Kansas City, 2014, Self-portrait.


Valerie J. Cochran has been in love with the magic of photography ever since she was a young girl in Missouri shooting Polaroids of her family. Her images today explore the relationship between people and places in the urban landscape. In 2004, Ms. Cochran began her photoblog, your waitress. Here she shares only her film photography from various 35mm, disposable, and toy cameras. Post-processing is minimal as she strives to get it right in the camera. In 2007, she self-published a photobook featuring images and text from the first year of the photoblog.

Ms. Cochran’s photographs have appeared in exhibitions as well as in print publications such as JPG Magazine, The Shakey Photo Project and CineSource. Her work has also been featured in online publications including the BBC, Flak Photo, SFist, and PetaPixel. Ms. Cochran received an Associate of Arts degree from the Metropolitan Community College in 2015. She currently resides in downtown Kansas City, Missouri with her photo editor.

Fine art prints for many of the images here and from the Multiple Exposures Project are available. Please send all questions, comments, and print pricing inquiries here.

Shadow Goddesses Collage, 2016 from original photo Berkeley, 2005. From the Multiple Exposures Project.

Artist Statement

Photography is my therapy. Walking around the streets of a city helps connect me to the world at large. Photographing the people and places often overlooked forces me to see them with open eyes. I gain a better understanding of the world and free my mind from fear of what was unknown as I begin to know it. The stresses of life disappear when I click the shutter of my camera. It is a safe, happy, and magical instant of time that has no equal. That exact moment of creating a photograph is my favorite. They are my memories and my light. The photographs then have nothing and everything to do with me.

When I share a photograph I want the viewer to experience that understanding. I want them to look at familiar scenes in a new light. The people and places we so often take for granted as we move through our hectic daily lives offer valuable stories waiting to be acknowledged with a glance. The camera was my voice. The subject was my mentor. The viewer is now my companion as they retrace my steps. When they go back into the world perhaps they too will see it a bit differently than before.

Last. Oakland. exhibition card. 2011.

License and Usage

All photographs, templates and text from are subject to United States and international copyright laws. All content copyright © 2004-2017 Valerie J. Cochran, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved. No text or image may be reproduced, copied, stored, manipulated or used whole or in part of a derivative work without the written permission of Valerie J. Cochran. Please contact Ms. Cochran with any inquiry to license or use the images. Not all images are available for license or usage.