A while back I decided to enter a photo competition called VOICE. I wasn’t expecting to be chosen as a finalist because there are so many talented photographers who entered the competition. But I figured it doesn’t hurt to submit a few photos. So when I got the email saying my photo essay entry was chosen I felt such a mix of emotions: I was honored, humbled, ecstatic, in shock, and humbled that these photos, which make up my everyday life, were among the top photo essays.
I had taken this series a few months ago after Erica Ray inspired me to shoot my “real” life; because life is not perfect and it is important to appreciate my own unique life. My goal with this series was to give a glimpse into something I do everyday, but rarely share with others: IV fluids. I did not want to clean the counters because this is where I set up my fluids and these are the tools I use (and lets face it, no one’s counter is always free of clutter). I have never been very open with my health conditions and have always tried to hide most aspects of it, including my scars. This series marked the beginning of my journey into acceptance with everything I have been through. It also helped me to understand the importance of documenting each step of my medical journey so I am able to see how far I’ve come. Taking these photos was both therapeutic and freeing. I realized that I shouldn’t try to hide my medical condition because it is part of who I am (although it is not all I am). These photos serve as a reminder to how far I’ve come and also makes me thankful for everyone who has helped and supported me during my hardest times.
In addition to all of that, this series also reminds me of why I began my photography journey in the first place. It’s ironic that I always hid my medical conditions because I began photography to help me remain connected and active in “normal” activities. It gave me something to focus on when I was not feeling well; I could take macro photos and, for a while, be able to forget any stress I may be feeling. It has given me a way to convey what I am feeling without having to use words. I have met some amazing people who are now some of my best friends though photography. Most importantly though, it has helped me accept my illness and everything that comes with it (including scars and medical devices).
Now that you know more about how photography has helped me and the story behind my series (and since you’ve made it through my long post) here are the images that make up My Everyday.
Click HERE to see the rest of the finalists and take a look at the other categories.
Has photography or another form of art helped you in your life? I’d love to hear more about your story too!