Monday, September 28, 2009


As I continue with my survivors of suicide portrait project, I am amazed at the strength and perspective of those I photograph who have lost loved ones to suicide. Yesterday I met with Kris who lost her dear friend, Deirdre Eitel, to suicide last fall. I've been communicating with Kris via email for a couple of weeks now but it was nice to actually meet her face to face. During our emails, we chatted about what she wanted to use to represent Dierdre in her image and what she wanted to say through her portrait. I love that this project is a collaborative effort, giving the person photographed a sense of ownership in the creation of the image.

Since Deirdre was a photographer and also someone who worked on some very important projects, I especially want to create beautiful images. I loved that Kris had a lot of creative ideas ready for me! For our first session, she wanted to include a beautiful cloth that Dierdre (or Dede as her close friends and family called her) brought back from Afghanistan. Before her death, Dierdre was photographing in Pakistan & Afghanistan for Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute. So, this cloth she brought back as a gift is very representative of Dierdre to Kris. Kris also wanted to be nude and in a fetal position under the cloth to be representative of the vulnerability she has felt through her loss of such a dear friend. These are just a few images from our first session together. Let me know what you think.

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