my mom has an extraordinary story. she married at 18, had me at 20, and was a single mom by 24. my father left us when i was four. he never looked back. that's a pretty common story. except for the part when my mom starts working at mcdonalds to earn an income, and during that time takes biology classes at the community college. she then decides to become a physician's assistant. she diligently works her way through school, graduates, and makes the decision to take the next step. at the beginning of my freshman year of high school, she got accepted into medical school and became a doctor. she became a chief resident and later is recognized as one of the top doctors in san antonio, texas. she made her common story, extraordinary. i am sharing this story because, recently, i have been paying closer attention to the people around me, one of them being my mom, those i am acquainted with, and some that i have never met. every day i am becoming more aware of the goodness that people spread: by helping the lives of others, by settings examples for young people and by creating positive change around themselves.
this past fall, i had the pleasure to photograph someone who writes stories. beautiful and powerful stories. i walked away from that session completely inspired. it might have been serendipitous timing or because of the knowledge of the impact that she is making on young people's lives. whatever it was, it stirred something in me. i felt exhilarated. and a little freaked out. freaked out because i was inspired by ideas that were pushing me out of my comfort zone. i like my comfort zone. before that session, i was quite comfortable nestled in my little corner of the world, running my photography business and raising my girls. i was not interested in adding another thing to my plate. but something was pulling me in. i was feeling compelled to recognize the acts of kindness that i was observing, but i wasn't sure how. i began writing to try and process these thoughts, when my dog's snoring seemed a little louder than normal and, suddenly, i had made a connection. of course! i should recognize not only extraordinary people, but also that contagious, solid, faithful love these people receive from their pets. that encompassing love from animals absolutely brings out the greatest qualities in people. with those thoughts, my project made itself known to me.
i decided to create intimate portraits of extraordinary people with their extraordinary pets.
i feel it necessary to document these stories and share these portraits. to somehow, from my little corner of the world, recognize the true kindness, thoughtfulness, diligence, love and generosity of others; and also acknowledge the creatures that helped them along the way. ultimately, this project could become part of a collection for an art exhibit. or even a book. those dreams are for later down the road. presently, my hope is to allow this project to organically grow with patience. i do not want to put limitations on this project and would like to open it up to you. to give you the chance to nominate someone you feel would be a qualifying subject for this project. if you do know of someone, please fill out the form below and send it my way. i know there are many extraordinary people out there, thank you for helping me find them.