I was recently going back through my images from Jordan’s shoot and stumbled upon this gem. I was immediately struck by her simple pose and all of the hands holding her up. A simple test shot, taken as I prepared the lighting and as the final touches were performed on her dress.
Sometimes it is better to be lucky than talented!
There is a part of me that feels this is one of the best images I have ever shot. I have often said that I wasn’t satisfied with my photography when I started Anything Can Be. I have even said that dabbling in fashion photography, weddings and family portraiture was a meaningless pursuit. That is probably more of an indictment of my own work rather than the industry as a whole. There are some fashion images or wedding images that are extremely powerful and meaningful. I have a number of friends who find great comfort and strength working in those fields. A beautiful wedding image or family portrait, no doubt has a place and purpose. Doesn’t change the fact that my work in those fields oftentimes made me feel empty, like I wasn't utilizing my talent for the right purpose. I am proud of that work, it helped me become the photographer I am now. But I was still searching for meaning in my work, I wanted more. I really believed that my talent could be used for a lot more.
So back to Jordan’s image and the purpose of this post!
I see hope, sacrifice, strength, courage, fight, determination, legacy and love when I look at this image. I could never say that about much of my photography prior to this project. Despite the pain that racked her body, Jordan insisted on standing up for her photo-shoot. It took three people to hold her steady. It took her a half hour to get dressed. But she insisted on standing up. About 2 weeks after this image was taken, Jordan passed away…
A lot of people are going to share statistics about pediatric cancer this month. I will probably share a few of those things as well. They are important, they raise awareness, they help fuel funding. That in turn will eventually lead to a cure. But statistics don’t tell the whole story. They don’t shed light on the human side of the fight.
My hope is that this image and others like it can help you dig deeper and find the courage behind the numbers. Let those feelings stir something in you, let that fester for a bit and realize that this cause is important and that you can do something about it. Maybe it is hard to talk about, but burying your head in the sand won’t help or change anything. So stand up with these kids, stand up with Jordan and lets do something together.