A photographer friend and Emily wanted to make a difference with an image, to show disability differently, to shine a positive light on Emily’s ability and success. They aimed to expose Emily as she is – an inspirational young woman coping everyday with immobility, tackling the challenges posed by her body with intelligence, courage and grace.
We spent Wednesday on the photo shoot to produce the picture that would ‘speak’. I would like to write about the bustling hair and makeup, the camera assistant and the director but it was Emily, Martha, the photographer and me. I stepped in to do makeup as I had some lippy in my pocket, I stepped in to an assistant’s role as I carried the backpack for a bit and I stepped in to direct a shot or two – well I would wouldn’t I.
Emily has managed to accept her circumstances with an inner peace and resilience beyond her years, she is living her new life with enthusiasm, displaying her love of life, food, travel and friendships anchored by her sense of humor. The concept of capturing a positive image is ambitious. Interpretation is open so the image has to have instant meaning to show without question the intended meaning. How does anyone capture Emily, her experience of traumatic spinal cord injury, her resilience, her determination, her intelligent approach to her new daily challenges and ultimately her success.
Watch this space as I’ll post details of her shining images as soon as they develop…..