Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A wave and a smile ...

Today I made photographs at the local food bank as they distributed food for Thanksgiving. The food bank required paperwork from the DFCS office for distribution, and I missed the Tuesday rush without realizing that DFCS would be closed on Wednesday. I was worried I wouldn't be able to make pictures that showed both food bank volunteers and the people they service. So I began shooting volunteers counting and sorting donations. Soon, a woman came in and was able to get an emergency Thanksgiving dinner package for her family, and allowed me to photograph her as volunteers filled her box. Everyone went about their tasks in a friendly but business-like manner. The photos weren't extraordinary, but they would function well enough to support the story.
I then turned my attention to photographing a volunteer, a food bank board member, as he began wheeling out donated bread to church members for distribution when the recipient of the above-mentioned meal returned for her pumpkin pie. As she stepped back out, she waved to the volunteer and thanked him for her meal.
It won't be an award-winning photograph, but I feel that little gesture and her smile elevated the photograph above the others, which were of a basic informational nature.
On Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for people who may needy or down-and-out, but still allow me to share just a little of their story with my photographs. They don't have to do it, and I try to be respectful if they choose not to be photographed. But we learn so much more when we can put faces on issues that affect our communities.

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