Photographer Spotlight: David Herschorn, Day 1

Dearest Photo Blog Readers,

My name is David Herschorn and I will be entertaining you this week with my photography.  To all of you out there that know me, thanks for stopping by, and for those you I don’t, I hope you like my work and I hope we meet some day.

I’ll skip the boring “I started shooting when…and blah blah blah” sine qua non of introducing myself as a photographer and just tell you I’m a photographic hustler.  You’ll get to know what that means over the course of the week and if you ever have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected]

I have a very personal connection with all of my work.  Martin Parr, a documentary photographer, and Gerry Badger, a photography critic and curator, draw the distinction between photography as a window and photography as a mirror.  Window photography is using photography as a window into something others might not see—essentially documentary photography.  Mirror photography is using the medium much more like an abstract artist would, to show the photographer’s emotion and connection with the subject.

I find myself treading a fine line between my window and my mirror.  I care deeply about how I choose to show what I do and see a lot of myself reflected in it, while I think the most amazing thing about photography is the power to show others what they would never get to see otherwise.

Today, I’m showing you a series of portraits I shot this summer in India.  I was interning at a cancer hospital working on communications for them and shot these pictures of patients who were receiving treatment for free for various reasons, mostly because they could not afford it.

Each of these pictures has a story behind it, many of which are tear-jerking as these patients have had to endure months or years of pain in a public health system that gives next to no support to cancer patients.  There’s Kalpana, who sold her home to pay for treatment 2 years ago, but now has relapsed and takes a 4 hours bus ride home to a slum between chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  There’s Sushma, who had one breast removed while doctors ignored the lumps in her other breast because she could not afford treatment for it and now has late stage cancer in it.  Some of the stories are harrowing, but the strength in the eyes of the patients is incredible.  I could go on for pages, but for now, I’ll just give you the images and I’ll see you tomorrow for more.

Kalpana Mandal, just after receiving chemotherapy injections.

Sushma Halder, just after receiving radiation treatment.