Portrait Equality has the mission to give photos, not just take them, but we would not be able to do this without so many people. Obviously our photographers who donate their time and talent to do the actual giving of prints and sharing the story with us. Obviously the team members who donate their time to keep the website going, arrange the gallery shows, organise the camera roster to make sure each is out in the world as much as possible.
But we want to take time now to thank Emily for pledging her donation of a box of her film to help keep us running. Here the generous Emily tells us about what helped her make this decision.
I am from Sydney, Australia and I was flicking through the 57th issue of Frankie magazine when I saw a short snippet of questions relating to the Portrait Equality project. As soon as I looked at the photos, before even reading any part of the article, it reminded me very much of my trip to an orphanage in Indonesia during 2013. At only 15 years of age, I am very passionate about art and photography and I have my very own Fuji Instax mini camera.
Many of the children at the orphanage were not even in the slightest bit happy, most of them wouldn’t smile for a photo or even smile for enjoyment. When I pulled out my instant camera one of the sisters gathered the children together for a photo, my intention being that I would take a photo of my friend with all the kids that we had spent time with and take it home to put with all the other photos. This never happened; instead I ended up using all the film that I had taken out that day and distributing it to the children around the orphanage. As the blank white square began to develop into the photo of everyone, I had never seen so many of the kids smile and be so intrigued, even the ones who barely smiled at all.
I then realised that these kids probably didn’t have a single photo of any of their family as most of them had been at the orphanage since they were very young and built a new family amongst the 40 or so kids living there. I never ended up taking any instant photos from the orphanage back home with me, I only have digital photos but I couldn’t be happier to make them happy with a photo of their friends to carry with them no matter where they ended up.