A great part of being a photographer is being able to work with community organizations. I love to create portraits and documentary images that help bring peoples stories to life.
I've worked with Literacy Works for over 5 years now. Once or twice a year they have a Writers' Circle group and I've been lucky to be their photographer. I have the honor of doing portraits of each of the writers for the booklet that is published with their work at the end of the class.
In the words of the Program Director, Megan Wells:
Writers’ Circle is such a special part of my role as Program Director here at Literacy Works. A few times a year I have the opportunity to facilitate Writers’ Circle, an expressive writing group with adult learners at one of our partner agencies. It is a powerful model where we learn about the craft of writing throughout our eight weeks together culminating in publishing a beautiful booklet with the support of volunteers such as the talented Andy Collings. Through this process we gain insight on writing as a social practice and see the power of storytelling to transform both the authors and the audience.
This Writers’ Circle features writers from an adult English as a Second Language (ESL) class from the Tolton Center. The workshops take place at Casa Juan Diego in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. Often the writers’ work uses the senses to hearken back to childhood memories of growing up in rural Mexico. Writers reflect on important lessons learned and we all gain something from the process.