As pho­tog­ra­phers, we are most often telling the sto­ries of oth­ers. We are a curi­ous bunch and want to know what hap­pened, when, and why. We are very priv­i­leged that peo­ple let us into their lives, often at the very worst times. This lec­ture is about how we can enter into these inti­mate and dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions in a ten­der and respect­ful way with peo­ple who we don’t know, but whose sto­ries are crit­i­cal. It will go one step fur­ther in address­ing how we, the sto­ry­tellers, also can apply pho­tog­ra­phy to shar­ing our own sto­ries, and why that is often life-changing. Maggie explains, “I’ve always thought that if we ask peo­ple to be so vul­ner­a­ble before us, we should be will­ing to be vul­ner­a­ble and open our­selves. Sometimes in doing so, we learn things about our­selves and our fam­i­lies and friends we nev­er knew and these can be great gifts.”

Maggie dis­cuss­es her work in Haiti over a 30-year peri­od, as well as a 3-year project on face trans­plants and her 9-year project of fol­low­ing her moth­er through the melan­cholic voy­age of mem­o­ry loss and the gifts that came along with stay­ing the course and being a war­rior.

This lec­ture was orig­i­nal­ly host­ed at VII Interactive, a new resource for shar­ing insights and infor­ma­tion on the craft of visu­al sto­ry­telling. We are build­ing dif­fer­ent plat­forms with­in the VII ecosys­tem, where the pub­lic can engage direct­ly, online with a live instruc­tor. VII Interactive offers pro­gram­ming that is free and avail­able to every­one, in addi­tion to paid class­es and indi­vid­ual men­tor­ing that can be fash­ioned to your needs.