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Steve Ricketts: The Many faces of Grief

I first became interested in photography in 2010 as a pre-retirement project and as a homage to my Dad, and I discovered that I enjoyed it immensely. I find myself drawn to photography because of its ability to tell a story without the use of words. One can write at length about a topic but a single image can be much more powerful.

I’m self-taught; i.e. I have no formal training in photography or in art. I’m not exactly artistic. If anything, I’m the opposite; I’m a scientist by education and work, and I take a very scientific and logical approach to photography. I have learned a great deal by reading books by photographers, by traveling with other photographers and seeing what they do, and by taking photos. Lots of photos.

The Many Faces of Grief

I am a landscape photographer at heart, and while I have achieved some success with my images, I wanted to push myself, to do something different. Thus, my project “The Many Faces of Grief”. I met with people 1-on-1 to hear their story of grief and how it has affected them. I then thought about how to create an image reflecting their story, one that would convey an emotion or feeling, something that would resonate with them.

At the beginning of the project, I thought it would be about sadness (e.g. tears, a stoic face) but it evolved into something much more positive—people told me how their grief has made them more determined, stronger, and resilient. And how it has caused them to grow.

I thank the participants in my project for putting their faith in me and being open. I hope that I’ve been able to capture their grief in a meaningful and thought-provoking way. It’s a very personal project, one that has pushed me as a photographer. And if you, the viewer, can identify with one of the images, then I will have achieved my goal.

-Steve Ricketts

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