It's not been an easy few weeks, but all the hardship is happening around me not directly to me. And all of the people going through it I met through taking photos. It has made me ask why I take the sort of photos I do, why I seek out people showing incredible resilience instead of taking photos of the fantasy land that is fashion or the detachment that comes with shooting on the street.

A few weeks ago I was in hospital waiting for a 10 year old boy to come out of major surgery. I went to comfort his parents, once strangers I rang years ago to ask permission to photograph their son, now my good friends. It was the first time in a long time I have been in a hospital without my camera. Watching him wake up in pain after anaesthetic made me realise what a crutch my camera has become. I was forced to be present in the room and process what was happening in front of me instead of hiding behind my camera. It was a strange, sad feeling that maybe I am not as tough as I try to be.  Then I received more bad news- another young life impacted by cancer, questions asked, support needed and me there again. Totally ill equipped to deal with what my role as photographer/friend sometimes brings. My camera is just a shield between what is happening in front of me and my eyes. Take it away and I crumble. 

But I don't want to stop taking the photo's I do and being around people going through the shittiest of all shit times. In fact in both instances I had parents ask me to take more photos, to document their children above everything else. Because they realise how important photos are, they are so grateful to have someone recording the faces of their children while they are busy trying to hold their families together. Life is not just a photo album full of smiling faces at birthday parties and holidays. Life is the tragedy too which is just as, if not more, worthy of documentation and I am always amazed at how intrinsically the people I photograph understand that. I'm off to see Katie and Jaylen today, another very sick little boy and mother who deserve to have the world know about them.

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