Backbones: Reinventing the Wheel

As a freelancer, I'm always scouring the internet for work. A couple of months back while doing just that, I came across a photographer wanted ad for a non-profit on Craigslist. The listing was posted by an amazing non-profit organization called Backbones. The project was called Reinventing the Wheel.

Backbones raises awareness and provides support for people who have sustained, are living with and are recovering from spinal cord injuries. As part of Reinventing the Wheel, I was selected to be among 22 photographers paired with 22 individuals with spinal cord injuries. The portraits highlight stories and personalities of these incredible individuals living with spinal cord injuries and their road to recovery. Reinventing the Wheel will tour as a traveling photography exhibit and will visit Portland, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

Backbones paired me up with Chris Hyldahl. Chris suffered a spinal cord injury after a diving accident at the age of 27. Chris and I met up and chatted over coffee, then set a date to shoot. My first session with him was to accompany him to a physical therapy session. It was an intense visit and the images captured the pain that Chris has to endure during his recovery.

The next session was done at Chris' office, as he devotes a large amount of his time to his work as a real estate broker. It's inspiring to know Chris and it was a pleasure to gain his friendship and learn about his experience living with a spinal cord injury.

Check out more about the Reinventing the Wheel project and the images that Chris and I made here.