We all have our favorite angles to shoot from. Sometimes feet spread apart, elbow braced arms keeping a tight grip on the camera.
Sometimes on a tripod, locking in an exact placement of lens, allowing the subject to reveal in front of it.
Or do you grab a shot from the hip. Pull it up to your eye and SNAP! The deed is done. Image captured.
Let us introduce you to a photographer who has another perspective.
Kevin Connolly was born without legs.
He is a photographer and skier. With a perspective that is his life, the reactions of people he encounters has become the subject of a project called The Rolling Exhibition.
What’s important here are his reasonings behind the exhibit.
“1 year ago I was asked by a little boy in Christchurch, New Zealand if I had been eaten by a shark.
2 months ago I was asked by an elderly woman in Sighisoara, Romania if I had lost my legs in a car accident.
6 weeks ago I was asked by a bar patron in Helena, Montana if I still wore my dog tags from Iraq.
Everyone tries to create a story in their heads to explain the things that baffle them. For the same reason we want to know how a magic trick works, or how mystery novel ends, we want to know how someone different, strange, or disfigured came to be as they are. Everyone does it. It’s natural. It’s curiosity.
But before any of us can ponder or speculate – we react. We stare. Whether it is a glance or a neck twisting ogle, we look at that which does not seem to fit in our day to day lives. It is that one instant of unabashed curiosity – more reflex than conscious action – that makes us who we are and has been one of my goals to capture over the past year.
It is after this instant that we try to hazard a guess as to why such an anomalous person exists. Was it disease? Was it a birth defect? Was it a landmine? These narratives all come from the context in which we live our lives. Illness, drugs, calamity, war – all of these might become potential stories depending upon what we are exposed to in connection with disability.
In each photograph the subjects share a commonality, but what does their context say? Looking at each face, I saw humanity. Rolling through their streets, I found the unique cultures and customs that created an individual. ”
If you’d like to hear Kevin in his own words, click here.
This is the good stuff. Kevin has traveled the world and has been in the middle of many cultures. In knowing what a normal reaction it is for people to stare, he has imagined the stories they have in their head to explain his physical appearance. And sometime it reaches all the way to their mouths.
Here is another article and video to check out.