This is not a hard and fast requirement, but a preference based in careful consideration for those who are in emotionally vulnerable spaces.
Early recovery is such a scary rollercoaster, and I want to make sure that your involvement in this project is something you feel good about–today, six months from now, two years from now.
The model release is pulled from a template provided by the American Society of Media Photographers. For those who are choosing to not show their face in photos, there is an addendum to ensure that is part of the agreement.
Some folks who aren’t familiar with model releases get freaked out by the broadness of the language, which is meant to cover me in terms of using the photos in the many ways this project may grow: online, print, portfolio, grant applications, etc.
These photos will never be sold for stock photography. You will not find your face on a constipation medication billboard, or in any tabloid (what, even?), or being printed on strange products (left-handed scissors, squatty potties, etc.) for sale.
Absolutely! After we finish the interview, you are more than welcome to review the information and make sure you feel represented accurately. If there are any issues, we will work together to resolve them together.
That’s a great question!
As of right now, the honest answer is that I don’t know yet.
Here are a few ideas I’ve considered exploring:
- Having a local show at a small business that serves as an event to feature those in recovery, coupled with a fundraiser for an awesome local recovery organization
- Exhibiting the work online
- Exploring interest in turning the work into a book
One of my primary experiences with creative endeavors is that often the idea at the start is only a seed–and the project that grows out of that is often so much bigger than what I foresaw.
One thing to note about the interview: this isn’t a large narrative being pulled to tell your entire story, but more like Humans of New York style, where direct quotes are pulled from the interview to go alongside the photos.
Since this has a lot of moving parts, and I am aiming to get a large number of participants to ensures that there is a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds, I am focusing on the now. There’s nothing to do with anything until there’s a solid body of work that makes up the project. Cart before the horse, etc.
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One of the most common questions/concerns I get is about anonymity.
Your level of openness is up to you. I am happy to shoot photos that keep your face out of the way. During the interview, you are welcome to share as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. You can identify the things that define your recovery in as much or as little detail as works for you.
I will never reveal your personal information without your consent (short of, say, verifying your alibi if a murder was committed while we were shooting together and a hardboiled detective is convinced you’re the culprit).
For some folks with a traditional twelve-step program, maintaining a level of greater anonymity is deeply important to them, especially as they don’t want their association with the program to make or break someone’s view of it.
I completely understand that and respect it. If you feel like you cannot be a participant without violating that tradition, that is completely up to you.
Absolutely! In fact, that’s part of the whole point of this — is to share a broad range of recovery experiences. Refuge Recovery? SMART Recovery? Something else? I’d love for you to be involved! We all have different paths, but our goals are the same. No divisiveness needed!
I’ve never gone through a twelve step program but I consider myself in recovery. Can I still be a participant?
Absolutely! If you have some familiarity with the structure of the program (even if that means you tried out a few meetings and decided it wasn’t for you), that is helpful, as the interview has a few questions about that. That said, it isn’t a requirement at all.
I totally hear you! As I mentioned in another question, the photos are the heart of the project, so they are a necessity. I promise you that I won’t take or share photos of you that are “bad,” but I can’t fix your self-image. Why don’t you think on it for a bit before making a decision? ❤️