Fantasy Photo Shoots for Suffering Kids
From time to time, we at KISS-U like to post inspiring stories of professional photographers who have in some unique way contributed to the good of mankind.
Well, it doesn’t get much more man-kinder than this account of a pro shooter, Jonathan Diaz, who photographs young cancer patients and edits the photos to place the children in fantasy or superhero settings. Diaz is the founder of a non-profit based in Utah, called Anything Can Be, through which he has brought hope to many hurting children.
“True heroes” is the name of this photo series, in which each child pictured is set in a situation that the child him/herself has dreamed of.
In addition to the fantasy portraits themselves, there are additional photos capturing the circumstances in which the portraits were shot and edited; and several of the portraits are accompanied by “behind-the-scenes” videos that explain the child’s situation and how their particular photo shoot was set up.
Ellie, for instance, in response to a personal fantasy of hers, is pictured in a well-provisioned kitchen in which a wealth of baked goods are spread out upon the table on which she is prancing: Ellie the Baker.
We similarly get to look in on the private dreams of Cami the Fairy, William the Dragon Rider, and Jordan in Wonderland. Indeed, as things worked out, Jordan (her cancer being well advanced) did not survive until the completion of the project, and in the accompanying video her mother shares concerning what the photo shoot meant not only to her daughter, but to her.
This is seriously potent stuff. You need to check out the photo essay and look at the videos. This is the kind of impact that you might potentially have, as a professional photographer.
The series is set for publication as a children’s book, in which 21 of the images will be accompanied by 21 short stories written by popular children’s authors. The book will be priced at $16.00, and all of the proceeds will go to the Anything Can Be nonprofit, as an investment in “future childhood dream-making.”