I’m feeling pretty honoured today. My recent post about Hannah and her postal project has a lot to do with it. Her father Bruce and I have shared a couple of emails lately as I wanted to wish them all the best of luck with the mail. I have been blown away by their world wide response and I am loving how much of a response its gaining. I told Bruce of my project, Soul Filled, and invited him to be apart of it should they like to. He sent me a reply back today which has blown me away. Especually knowing how busy he must be with all the mail coming and Hannah’s birthday planning!
Here’s part of the reply:
My apologies Julie for taking so long to reply. It’s been a bit crazy here as you can imagine!! Thank you for your kind words and your lovely offer. I’ve just visited your website and your YouTube and I LOVE your work and the fundraising aspect as well!! So YES PLEASE.. we would love to be involved. Let me know when you’re back in oz and we’ll organise a time to catch up so we can all meet. Happy travels and thanks on behalf of Hannah for the postcard from America.
I’m both honoured and thrilled all at once that they said yes!!!
The Soul Filled Project began when I put out a call a while ago for all families living with disabilities to get in touch. I asked parents, siblings, external family and friends to get in touch with me. I wasn’t specific where in the world you lived as I want to capture many different people from all walks of life. I want to find out what therapies work for you, what family support works, what tools and techniques you cherish and love so much that may not be talked about. Most of all I want to capture your family unit and how it bonds and grows each changing day. I want to capture the family as a unit, the individual with the disability but I most importantly want to capture the parents in their own session. To take them away from their world for an hour and remind them who they are separate from the kids and the daily stuff. You can see an example here.
Photography for me lost its rigidity the day I met Jesh De Rox. You have probably read how much of a groupie of his I am. The rules of posed statues and cheese smiles went out the window and the pursuit of capturing the person took over. The pursuit that I had been longing to understand. The one that I wondered why one image of a wedding or portrait session was so much better than another and couldn’t fathom how I had done it. It turns out it was the interaction of a moment I had captured, not just my eye.
Soul Filled was created because of a special little man, Alex. I’m going to have to write a new blog as the project, ever evolving is creating and morphing into many beautiful expanses. Alex is an amazing kid who I have had the pleasure to photograph over the years. He is Autistic. I hate that terminology so much… He lives so beautifully with Autism, he is not defined by it. That is what I want to capture with my project, that the muses I capture both family members and our beautiful disabled souls who aren’t defined by what they were born with.
For those of you who know my daughter, know she loves absolutely everybody. It was her perspective on life that made me wonder what happens to our kids in life that determines them realises there’s a difference in people? She sees people for their inner and outer beauty. If you’re kind and loving, she will show you the same respect. If you’re angry she will try to reflect that back to you mostly to protect herself. She had a friend in Australia called Kashmir who has down syndrome and they got along so well. I asked Taylor one day why she loves her and her reply blew me away ‘because she’s not like the other kids, she is so nice mum and loves everyone, even when they’re mean.’ She was 3 1/2 at the time. I just hugged her as my insides exploded with pride. My husband often quips that he would love to spend a day in her head to see how she thinks and this in one occasion I would love to have been apart of her thinking.
So I guess the project reflects my TT as well. I want the world to see a person how she does. The beauty she intrinsically sees that not everyone does.
She will talk to anyone.
We have sat together for hours taking with homeless guys on the street and she asks them all sorts of questions about why they are there and tells them she loves them and gives them huge hugs. Our conversations always start with ‘Hi, I’m TT, what’s your name?’
She then dances a lot and always goes after a smile from them before she cheerfully yells bye (and their name).
She is the brave soul I want to be like. I want to capture what she is seeing in everyone I meet.
The minutes and hours these people spend with her you can see a light, a memory or a flicker of happiness that she took time out of her day to even say hello.
Maybe I should do a TT on the streets project as well.