My capstone has begun and graduation is imminent. We'll be doing three different picture stories for this class throughout the semester, and my teacher Rita Reed sent us out to the interwebz to find inspiration.
It may not have been the most original place, but I went to the archives of CPOY to find story ideas. I thought that looking at stories done by fellow students who are probably in a similar situation as me would be good, as those stories would most likely be very possible to do in the time I have to give to them.
While he was a Mizzou student, Benjamin Reed did a beautiful story called "A Solitary Mind" about a man named Donald who lives in a mental health facility, Oaktree Manor, in St. Joseph, Missouri. The story was shot very well and very kindly. I found his shots to be empathetic and shot with care.
I think this story is one that would be great to do, if shot in a kind manner, much like Reed's. I think access would be difficult, and I'd be interested to see how Reed was able to gain the wonderful access he had.
Michael Rubenstein of Ohio University also did a beautiful story about a young beauty queen with cancer. The story was titled "The Little Apple Queen." It reminded me somewhat of Thomas Lekfeldt's story of Vibe, another young girl with cancer who ultimately passed away.
Lekfeldt's story won the World Understanding Award in POYi for "A Star in the Sky." This subject is somewhat close to me, as a very close friend of my teenage sister passed away a couple years ago, and I remember how difficult that was on her.
Another story about a young girl that I found to be beautiful was "Lizzy's Story" by Casey Templeton of James Madison University. The subject, Lizzy, is 11 and in charge of taking care of her many brothers and sisters. She enjoys looking older than her age, which is why she is wearing high heels, and runs a nail salon out of the lobby of the hotel where her family lives.
I think what is beautiful about all of these stories is the manner in which they were shot. The photographers had great care for their subjects and the way they were perceived. The subjects were respected and the photographer seemed genuinely like they cared for their situations. Whatever story I do, I hope I treat my subjects with as much care in the photographers I produce.