I had the opportunity once again to visit the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman , NC in June (check out this amazing place here: www.victoryjunction.org). Victory Junction is a free-of-charge, year-round camp for children with chronic medical conditions and their families. Per the norm I loaded up the van early that morning in a torrential downpour and arrived at a wet and chilly camp so we once again could not use all of the amazing grounds for our photos. When we arrive the group of photographers argue over discuss who’s going to shoot where (remember last time my highly artistic shots in front of a cinder block wall?) and I jumped on a building shaped like a giant race car. No block wall for me, inside we had access to tires, gas cans, engines, and a race care just waiting to be used in the background. I don’t use much in the way of props in my everyday photography but come on, there are race car drivers here. We’re going over the top!
Little did I know that as I began shooting also about four feet behind me the kids would begin pit crew-ing. Every kid would come through and use pneumatic tools to remove tires from a car over and over and over and over and over…(and over) again. Ever been in the back of a Jiffy Lube during business hours? It was like that, times 1000 so it was just a little on the L O U D side. But if you ask my kids, I can shout, and I did to direct 30 kids through their portraits. THIRTY KIDS! This was all before lunch so when we wrapped I had the most amazingly exhausting time imaginable.
My voice was gone and my back hurt but as usual, I was the one blessed by meeting all of these strong, brave beautiful children. Most fighting for their life. I can handle a little backache for these guys.
Thirty kids equals hundreds of proofs to process and prepare and for a one man processing show (me) it takes many many hours to get them ready to go. The parents of these kids will be receiving prints courtesy of Flashes of Hope (www.flashesofhope.org) and just like the camp itself, they will be receiving these portraits as a gift. There is just no better thing.
I coudn’t possibly share 30 beautiful faces in one blog post so I will break it down into three posts. Enjoy the first 10 amazing children I met that day and if you think about it, say a prayer for them and Victory Junction Gang Camp as well. Miracles are very real there.