I have my mother’s light eyes, my great grandmother’s round nose, and my grandfather’s gift of gab. From my father, I’ve inherited a neuromuscular disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth disease.
Because of this, I’ve seen the world from a different perspective than most. Since childhood, I have had to be sharply aware of my surroundings. Details such as little grooves in the pavement or uneven bricks on the sidewalk could make the difference between a pleasant outing and a catastrophic fall.
This, along with my unique physicality, evolved into the desire to document the natural variations of the human body. Photography was the obvious medium, and I realized then that I had the perfect subject for my photographic journey, myself. Eventually I began to feel a strong sense of responsibility to bring awareness to the reality of living in an “imperfect” body, and started photographing other subjects as well.
The more interaction I had with the people I photographed, the more my attraction to their differences began to feel clinical and insincere. My original approach felt as though I was viewing them in the way most other people saw them, judging them solely by their appearance. I wanted to break through this boundary and recognize a richer sense of who they were.
With this project, I not only intended to create portraits of disabled people functioning capably in the world; I also wanted to show their life stories. I went into their homes, met their families, held their possessions and heard their stories of perseverance. My hope was to truly capture their spirit and what it was like for them to go through life in an atypical body. I wanted others to experience their corpoReality.