Monday, September 1, 2008


This weekend I drove to Chicago with a group of friends from church to do some scouting. We are planning on taking a missions trip to Chicago with our student ministry during Spring break. We will be working with a Hispanic church, a low income neighborhood church, and a ministry who works with the homeless. On top of our scouting we went to Wrigley's Field, Navy Pier (and sailed on the lake), Giordano's, Portelli's, went to the beginning of a jazz festival, Jesus People USA and Chinatown.

Basically this weekend was amazing, and full of amazing people. I had so many photographic opportunities...some I captured, some I missed, and some I missed on purpose. It is hard to take portraits of those who you do not know. You have to judge between whether it would be an issue of beauty, exploitation, the greater good, human dignity...etc. If I shot the portrait of the man standing with a sign wearing a crude eye patch in the middle of a swirling crowd, would I be stealing from his respect by showing the manner in which he lives or would I be giving him validation as a human being? I really believe it depends on the moment and your gut instinct. I suppose it also depends on how you intend to use the photos as well.

Though I wish I were the type who could just take photographs with no qualms and would give light to the lives of those oppressed by poverty, drugs and social status. Or I wish I could be invisible when I choose as well as my camera and that my camera and I could be soundless...senseless really. Then I would be able to stand as close to my subjects, get perfect angles and lighting, without them having to know. Though maybe it is the human connection between two people that makes photographs so electric. Regardless I wish I could be more sure of myself, and give others a sense of comfort and ease, that they would know I am trying to help them and have their best interest at heart.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the weekend.

This is a memorial that was put up for a man who was shot the night before. The man to the right is Alec, a Russian man who I met standing outside of the memorial.

These are two sailors I met outside of the Walgreens in China town. The one on the left called me maam.

This was taken right outside of Jesus People USA.

This is a waist high photograph I took of a homeless man downtown.

This was taken right outside of Jesus People USA.

Richard Avedon, Mike Bordie (also known as The Polaroid Kidd) and Born Into Brothels are all inspirations to me.
see Richard Avedon's book The American West


Anonymous said...'s time to post again! I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I, too, struggle of when to shoot and not shoot....and I am definitely NOT the photographer you are...

I shot some at lunch on Sunday...just whipped out my camera at the restaurant...they are of Corinne and can see them on our flickr site.
The light is phenomenal & the expressions on their faces...are classic....totally them! So, I'm glad I embarrassed them....since I got these shots!

You are a very talented writer! I am amused and enlightened when I read your blog! Keep it up, sista!!!!

ryan manning said...

the next night we ate whale