Astrid Olson (she/they) is a photographer and a youth advocate. They are originally from Kenai but moved around in their childhood with their adopted family. After coming out as queer, they were sent to residential treatment and eventually moved back to Alaska. Astrid spent many of her teen years houseless, living in shelters, camps, or foster homes. During that period she experienced many traumas but also built lasting, supportive relationships. She’s now housed, working full-time, and parenting her beautiful daughter
Astrid uses their photography to help people see both the beauty and pain of living on the streets and in camps. They started taking photos on phones about a year after becoming houseless. They found joy in correctly capturing the things they felt, and it helped them get through the days. Through the photos she asked herself questions like, “Why do I find love and comfort here where there is so much trauma?” Like much of life, sometimes things are great, and sometimes they are shit.