I was raised to dislike and distrust guns; both the object and the owners. During 2011, after moving back to Oregon after college, a close friend introduced me to his first shotgun. I became obsessed, not just with the action (which is thrilling), but the natural distrust of the subject.
This project includes portraits of normal people holding weapons pointed at the camera, which is the first rule all gun owners advise against, to try and open the conversation about why we fear guns. It also includes images of the shooting ranges we witnessed and participated in, allowing outsiders to view a typical scene they may never see otherwise.
To be part of the Guns In Oregon project, contact me at:
elizabeth.a.lepage (at) gmail.com
I hate hospitals. Anyone who's spent time with me in the last few years probably knows why, it's not a surprise. They feel cold and lifeless, remind me of days I'd never want to relive. A friend of mine from college once joked that the walls of hospitals are papered with the blood and tears of the dying - in my mind, that isn't far from the truth.
When I first started dating John, I knew he was interested in entering the medical field. He was in paramedic school at the time and in love with the idea of becoming some sort of doctor (I believe he still is). Recently, he started working at our local teaching hospital, OHSU (Oregon Health and Science University), on a night shift in the telemetry lab. From 11pm to 7am, he's one of dozens that help keep the place running through the early morning when we'd all rather be sleeping.
I wish I could see what John sees. He grew up in the halls of OHSU, treating it more like a playground than a living morgue, since his father worked there as a nurse through most of his childhood. He talks of his years there with joy and recognizes its potential for his future. In his eyes, those walls have hope, they bleed decades of commitment and tenacity.
I've taken my camera inside a few times now and tried to capture a different feel of the place. John's dragged across just a small portion of the campus and it still feels foreign. Uncomfortable.
But that's why I have a camera, now isn't it? Free therapy.