When I came up with the theme for this issue, Caring Photographers – Changing the World One Photograph at a Time – I knew that CAPA photographers were a caring lot but, wow, what a response! We weren’t able to include all the material, but thank you very much to the many who answered the call.
When we think of photographs that have changed the world we think of the iconic photographs etched in our memories. Photographs like Dorothea Lange’s from the great depression, Robert Capa’s war photos, Nick Ut’s photos during the Vietnam war, Kevin Carter’s poignant photos of in Sudan, or just recently Nilufer Demir’s heart wrenching photos of three-year-old Syrian migrant Aylan Kurdi.
Those are all amazing photographs – however – I think “everyday” photographs, the ones we all take affect change as well. As Ralph Milton writes in this issue, “Perhaps the photographer’s calling is to make things beautiful. “Or as Mufty Matthewson writes, “What can one old woman do about it? And then I thought, I can make photographs.”
I wonder how many photographers recognize that making photographs might change themselves. Mufty recognized it. About the REDdress Project she writes, “This project has enriched our lives bringing to it people and situations we would never have experienced otherwise.”
Several years ago I did a project with the local food bank. After several months spent getting to know the food bank clients, I eventually made portraits of them. I incorporated the portraits into a fundraising video. The video, Fighting Hunger Feeding Hope, was very well received by the community and helped the food bank raise some significant funds that year.
What I didn’t expect from that project was that I would be changed. I came to know people who struggle with poverty, know them in a real way. I ended up on the board of the food bank at the conclusion of the project, and today I volunteer regularly at a homeless mission preparing meals. I have been shaped by the photographs I have made.
How does your photography shape you?