The blurred boundaries between personal and professional life fascinate Stacy Kranitz, who, without apprehension or remorse, admits to indulging in drugs and engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with her subjects. Kranitz takes fun on the job to another level, eliciting anger in some critics by her approach and creating occupational envy in others.

Portrait of Stacy Kranitz by Marisha Camp

When not jet-setting to obscure assignments in the U.S. and abroad, Kranitz spends most of her free time in the Appalachian region, living out of her car while documenting the residents in a project she has described as “never-ending.” Kranitz’s dedication to her work is visible in her commitment to extensive immersion in these communities, as she collects a comprehensive, in-depth and honest portrayal of each individual. Occasionally appearing alongside her subjects in photographs, she unabashedly embraces full participation, understanding that such presence ultimately affects the images she creates. Apart from using the camera as a tool to make images, she also treats it as a conduit to gain access and intimacy with those documented. Over the last few years, her archive of compelling work has grown into a number of different series, producing three monographs, that, as she states, revolve around “exploring history, representation and otherness within the documentary tradition.” Validating her standout efforts in the realm of photography, she was named TIME magazine’s pick for Instagram Photographer of the Year in 2015. —Austin McManus

Originaly published in the June, 2016 issue of Juxtapoz Magazine, on newsstands worldwide and in our webstore.