The images above are from a recent day working with some of the children being treated at UNC Children’s Hospital as part of a project with Flashes of Hope. If you’re not familiar with Flashes of Hope, it’s an organization dedicated to creating uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The NC Triangle Chapter, run by Kim Conard and Nancy Padgett, has photographed over 180 children. The images are given to the families at no charge with the purpose of documenting and celebrating where they are at this point in their lives.
When I’m working with the children, I try to capture the essence of each of them — where they are at this stage in their lives, not just this stage of their treatment. I don’t view them with pity as cancer victims. I view them as children who are dealing with an illness, but have a whole life to live in. I want my images to capture who they are as people, as children. Sometimes they laugh and play. Sometime they’re in pain and very tired. I don’t try to make them smile and be something they’re not. I truly want to capture the feelings of their heart as I read them through their eyes.
As I’ve said before, I enjoy working with children. But these children bring a special joy to be involved with and to photograph.
What projects that you are involved with bring you a sense of joy?