Kids Who Can by Photosensitive

Next week some of my photos are going on display at the Allen Lambert Galleria on Bay Street in Toronto. No, they are not oil rig shots or business portraits, they are photographs of kids with disabilities enjoying themselves.

In partnership with Easter Seals foundation, the photographers collective, Photosensitive, is about to launch its latest project, Kids Who Can and I’m honoured to have been a part of it. These are a few of the pictures I shot last summer for the project.

This project saw 25 photographers and film makers visit Easter Seals camps across Canada to capture insights into the world of children with disabilities and the energy, enthusiasm and courage they and their families bring to daily life. You can see more of the photos from the exhibition at the Toronto Star.

Early my career I was lucky to have met a great group of photographers when I worked in Toronto and Ottawa in the 1980’s. They were best of the best in the wire, newspaper and magazine photo business.  As many of them progressed in their careers they set out to do more  with their cameras than the daily routine of news photography and use their photojournalism skills for something bigger and lasting.

Founded in 1990 by legendary Toronto Star photographer Andrew Stawicki, Photosensitive set out on a mission to make a difference, one documentary photography project at a time. Their ambition; harnessing the power of the camera to achieve social goals.

They believed an excellent photograph has the potential to effect change by expanding a viewer’s field of vision. And they wanted Canadian photographers to have an opportunity to take the time, to get to know their subjects, to reveal stories, together, in a way that might make the world a better place.

Since then Photosensitive has completed more than 20 projects, some large some small, about social issues in our time. They range from poverty in Toronto and HIV/AIDS in Rwanda to big picture concepts like water, which I also contributed and energy. Their massive Cancer Connection project took more than two years and involved hundreds of photographers across Canada.

Through this group’s photographs one is able to see beyond the headline and examine the reality that lies beneath the surface.

If you are in Toronto between Mar 6 – 16, 2012 please take the time to visit this exhibition in the Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street. The exhibition consists of 60 large-format photos and a touch screen unit showing 12 short films of camps from across the country. The space is open 24/7 and is free to the public.

If not, make sure to visit and see the power of the image and the work, away from work, of Canada’s best photojournalists.

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