By Raygen Samone
Early this summer I was graced to learn about photography and storytelling with young students of People Serving People. To introduce them to the power of a single image and multiple, they spent a session flipping through my life photo album. From before my birth to my life now, the students went back and forth with each other using context clues and repetitive faces to tell the story of my life. Staying silent as they explored the scrapbook, I shared of how our relationship with social media has robbed us of how to listen well. Not only in face to face interaction, but online as well. The students took away the concept that “not everything matters, but anything can”. The following session we took a walk to the nearby park and had a mini photo session. Being a documentary photographer, rarely will I encourage posing. Rather, the group stood around and told jokes and stories to get the person being photographed to laugh. Each student left the session with a photo, chosen by themselves and the group, that expresses their personalities. The greatest thing I learned with these students is that the ability to make a place home is just that; an ability. The people and places where one becomes them is what makes something home. We all have the ability to make a place home. Photos, then, only remind us of our homes: where, who and how we became us.