Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More great kids

I did another round of portraits of kids with Flashes of Hope recently. Having parenthood on the near horizon, it makes me a bit nervous about how a child, a fragile thing that requires so much, can and will change your life in unpredictable ways both wonderful and tragic. As I look through the lens at these faces in various stages of battling some kind of internal enemy of disease, I've taken to look at what survives in spite of the illness. A sense of humor, strength, love, defiance, fragility, whatever it is. What the disease does not take is much more interesting to me as a person and as an artist and storyteller than whatever damage is done or whatever is taken in the process.

And that's just what I get out of it on the creative end, which is nothing compared to being able to share the gift of the frozen moment in time during such a defining moment of these family's lives. Some days are good and some days are not so good and it's all just a part of the process for these families.

As a journalist, I'm used to getting to know lots of details about people's lives. I get all the background and the full context so that I can responsibly portray them, their story and why they happen to be newsworthy at this particular moment. But doing these portraits is very different. As part of maintaining their privacy, I have no idea why these kids are being treated and I don't know the specifics of their treatment or their history, personally or medically. All I know is that this moment in time for them and their family matters. The portrait sittings and prints are all free of charge but I have a hunch that has very little to do with truly why people come to have their portraits made. Which is why I take care with each one. I want each image to stand out among the shoe boxes and albums that likely fill each home. I want these pictures to be noticeably different than the run of the mill photo studio image or family snapshot. Not just because that's the way I work but because these pictures document such an important and transforming moment for all people involved.

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About Me

I'm a veteran photojournalist with 20 years of experience telling stories with pictures.