Why do you shoot? It’s a vital question every photographer must ask herself regularly and answer unapologetically. For Jennifer Keenan Giliberto, the answer came in the form of a calling to bring attention to the devastation of brain cancer and manifested itself through 20 months photographing newlyweds Josh and Jenna as they endured Josh’s diagnosis with the disease, his treatment, the birth of their first child and Josh’s death at 41. “There are a lot of cancers that receive a lot of research and funding,” says Jennifer. “And somehow we still don’t have answers to brain cancer. I hope Josh’s life makes a difference.”

Jennifer’s courage in mounting the project was tested repeatedly as she sought near-impossible access, stood her ground against stipulations that might undermine its integrity, and photographed in markedly uncontrollable conditions. The result is a stunning photographic documentary that will make a difference.

Whether you shine light on a cause, tell an untold story, or explore a burning interest, embarking on a documentary project is a fulfilling and transformative endeavor. “You have to be compassionate to a fault, passionate about your subject matter, tenacious, tireless, willing to talk to anybody from any walk of life, and do pretty much anything to finish,” advises documentary filmmaker Amy Nicholson.

Documentary photography is also a way to create your own artistic opportunity. You alone determine the subject matter, the aesthetic and the project parameters — including when to begin. And we hope it’s soon. Your photography is powerful enough to tell an important story and to change lives. And invariably, as Jennifer discovered, one of those lives transformed will be your own.

IN THIS ISSUE:

  • 116 pages, full color, perfect bound
  • Honoring the beauty and truth of special needs kids
  • The freshest crop of cameras
  • How to help couples connect by Sonia Bourdon
  • Ngoc Minh Ngo’s glorious garden party
  • The Essence with Jen Huang
  • Tell an important story with your photography
  • Celebrating Real Moms
  • Sharon Montrose’s thriving animal prints

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