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Perfectly Imperfect, a Black and White Photography Exhibit for Shriners Hospital

Capturing intimate moments in the lives of families affected by a disability or severe tragedy via black and white photography. Goal is to increase awareness of Shriners and to show the strength and beauty of those affected by a disability.

Shriners Hospital: Perfectly Imperfect, a Black and White Photography Exhibit

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a one-of-a-kind health care system dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Every year, the 22 hospitals provide care for thousands of kids with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, in a family-centered environment at no charge. It's how Shriners Hospitals has been helping kids defy the odds since 1922.

I have a passionate interest in capturing intimate moments in the lives of families affected by a disability or severe tragedy. Black and white photography conveys strong emotions and tells a story so eloquently. Black and white photos are provoking, sometimes strange and always extremely beautiful

It is about finding a community that allows patients to thrive and grow. Through black and white portrait photography, I will give a face to the services that Shriners offers its patients.

I am extremely passionate about this project and children born with disabilities. My youngest son was born 3 years ago with a rare orthopedic condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (amc). It involves multiple fixed limbs and joint contractures at birth. For my son, this meant he was pretzled at birth. Thanks to Shriners hospital and four surgeries to date (he is estimated to need 18-25 in his lifetime), Owen is a happy mobile little boy. We are working to get him walking and Shriners Hospital has been a lifesaver for our family. I would like to pay back the good fortune and increase awareness for their services.

I believe when you are passionate about what you are doing, it is evident in your work. I want to share the stories I have heard and seen with others. Stories like:

The 17 year old boy who got into a fight and with one punch was paralyzed from the waist down. Yet he accepted what happened and isn’t negative or angry. He told me I made a choice and now I can’t go back. This is my life today.

The 18 year old boy who tried to stop someone from stabbing his father. Instead he got stabbed in the spine and is paralyzed from the neck down. Again he had a positive outlook and a great story of courage to share.

For the parents in the waiting area for their child to come out of their 10th or 11th surgery. To give others hope that they can survive the toughest challenges.
For patients that don’t think of Shriners as a hospital but a home away from home. Many patients will spend months at a time recovering from surgery, yet they are happy to be in a loving environment.

Project Objectives
1. To increase awareness of Shriners hospitals and its dedication to providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs
2. To generate donations for the hospital through sale of the prints and a photography book which shares additional stories.
3. To provide and encourage understanding and mutual support among anyone affected with a disability.

Target Audience
1. Families with special needs children
2. Medical Professionals including surgeons, physicians, nurses and therapists
3. Media and Television outlets
4. Photography aficionados

1. Over the next 12 months I will spend several days each month capturing Shriners patient via black and white portrait photography. The goal would be to have a final collection of 40-50 photographs that could be put on display within the hospital.

Proposed Subjects:
a. Doctors and residents making rounds
b. Families waiting for children to come out of surgery
c. Burn victims
d. Orthopedic patients
e. Cleft palate patients
f. Therapy sessions
g. Shriners patients recovering,
h. Shriners patients engaged in group activities
i. Shriners staff

Marketing (no cost to Shriners)
• Offer the final collection as a traveling exhibit to other Shriners hospitals and local museums.
• Create a blog detailing this project and highlighting some of the photos and stories.
• Create a Facebook page and account on Flickr to share the photos. Use these channels to increase donations to Shriners and raise awareness.
• Host a contest on Facebook or the photography blog asking: How do these photos inspire you? Ask people to share their stories about similar experiences (growing up with a disability)
• Create graphic buttons that members can add to their own blogs and websites, pointing back to the photography blog and eventually provide a direct link to order copies of the book.
• Post mentions in all arthrogryposis support groups (15), burn victim support groups, orthopedic support groups and spinal injury support groups.
• Send a letter to all Shriners patients (past and present) detailing our efforts and asking for support.
• Ask website visitors to sign up to receive updates via email with the understanding the information is shared with Shriners for marketing purposes.
• Publish a book (no cost to Shriners) via LuLu publishing with the black and white photos on one page and a brief quote or snippet of the story on the other page. The book would then be sold online to raise funds for Shriners. The book would also Include some testimonials on how Shriners has changed the lives of past and present patients.
• Pitch the photography exhibit to the media
o Submit a story to Exceptional Parent magazine and other family oriented magazines

Rank: 69



S M I B, brother.


Maggie - This is a terrific idea! Good luck and keep us posted.


I'm rooting for you!


Hi Maggie, I wanted to show support for such a nobel undertaking. I am sure that you will receive so much more than what you are giving. My best to you and your family, especially Owen. Much success to you, Johanna Munoz from Tellabs LAC in Sunrise, FL.


I love that this is bringing a real human connection. After visiting TSRHC several years back, walking through the halls brought the importance and impact of their work to life. If more people could connect with the people affected, I think there would be a great call to action to help.


The Shriners have been good to me. I love what they do and I support you wholeheartedly.


Joy, you are the best, making us women proud,beautiful,and special. Thank You for being so talented.


Very well presented!


A very nice idea, your pic'd. :]


Sorry....didn't see the picture and assumed you were a Shriner.

Of all the proposals I have read, this is the most thought out and complete.

Congrats and good luck.


You've been pic'd. Good Luck and Many Blessings!


I love this idea - good luck!


I can't thank everyone for all the support. We wouldn't have gotten as far as we have with Owen's progress unless Shriners was there to help. I have heard some incredible stories from other kids. It always reminds me just how lucky we are.
All the best, looking forward to the results.


wow, this sound like a really worthy and compassionate idea..it's both personal and something everyone needs to see. i hope you do it regardless!


I hope and pray that Owen and all others in such needs recover soon. Its a Great and worthy idea. Good Luck !!!


Thanks blimeylimeyo and Asim. It is very personal and I feel my passion for the idea will come through in the photos.


What an inspiring story. I'm rooting for you.


Peg, thanx for giving AMC a face. Only those of us somehow affected with this condition, know that AMCER's are just as beautiful as everyone else. Great work!


Sirena1124 and m92362. Thanks for all the support. Please share with others so this can really happen. I can pretty much visualize it all in my head. Can't wait to get started.


What a great way to raise funds. I hope you win. Good luck. Great pic of Owen..


Great idea - best of luck.


Nori, Tweek1313. Thanks for your vote. It is for a great cause.


Wonderful idea. Good Luck. Cant wait to see the results.


Maggie, leave it to you... if your life isn't full enough you tackle another project! Nice, idea! I vote for you!


Katho--thanks for the vote. Dean said you would watch the boys while I am gone. Misia--I'll keep you posted. Thanks for voting.


Sheldon, thanks for the vote. Hope others feel the same and vote for the project as well.


Good Luck!


Great project!


Maria and Bill, thanks for taking the time to vote.


Maggie...our mutual friend Moffat Frazier sent this to me...you got my vote...what an incredibly beautful, wonderfully charitable use of your
passion for photography...I wish you all the luck and hope to see your
work sometime.
Alan Gardner


Josh and Alan, thank you so much for leaving a comment and for voting. I will definately keep you posted.


Good luck! :)


I've voted and also posted bulletins on two social networks so that my friends can vote. Great job! Can not wait to see it. My doughter is 9 mths with Gordons. (AMC and Pierre Robin) Hope you win so you can spread awareness!


My daughter went to Shriners Hospital for 21 yrs. She is now an adult, but continues to volunteer there. The average person can not begin to understand the impact of the Shriners and the work at the hospitals. They are our family! I hope that you can bring this dream to fruition. Best wishes!


Mary, Danielle and Rajai, thanks for taking the time to support me. The staff at Shriners is amazing. Always surprises me that the nurses in the NICU still remember Owen 3 years later!


I love this idea.


this is a heartfelt idea. i also want to help others by bringing awareness and unity for non-profits worldwide, including those that help children with disabilities: http://www.nameyourdreamassignment.com/the-ideas/jenmay/unity-through-community/


Teresa and Jen May, thanks for taking the time to read my proposal. Hoping more and more people share the enthusiasm for the project.


Thank goodness for people like you with a dream to do something amazing like this :).


Thanks MaryClaire, what can I say? we have a great community at Shriners.


I like your idea!

Will you vote for me? Let's do this and see how it turns out. Let's help each other!

Good luck!


Father John, I love your idea. done. Good luck to you as well.


Nice idea....make sure to vote for mine if you like it too :) Good luck!


Jon, Thanks for voting. I also liked your idea. Good luck, looks like we have some pretty tough competition. :)


You are an inspiration to us all. Good Luck.

Netti Caruso


From a former Shriner's patient - good luck!


Netti, thank you so much for voting. I appreciate the support. Matthew, glad to see as a former patient you can verify the excellent care at Shriners.


Peg this project is an amazing way to give back and to bring awareness to Shriners who have done so much for so many children. Prior to having a child with special needs I never knew of this amazing place and they need so much more awareness for all the miracles they perform. Good Luck!


This is a wonderful idea to pay back for benefits received and therefore enable other people to get benefits in the future. Good luck!


Your project is extremely worthy and will help the parents of patients and the children themselves to see others in similar situations, and, from the publicity and income, the hospital, too. All the best to you in this endeavor.


I like your idea!

I voted for you; will you vote for me? Let's do this and see how it turns out. Let's help each other!

Good luck!


Unite against the “network” that is scheming votes. Support ideas that are “lost” due to unworthy ideas using low tactics. “Insulin” is not the best idea. Something is wrong here and many fantastic ideas are getting lost due to the “network.” If you like my idea on “Vanishing Cultures,” vote for it.


Michelle, Berto and Janet, thanks so much for the support and kind words. David and Dan, agree that it is disheartening to see strong ideas getting lost by networks. But each of us believes our idea is the best right? Will take a look at your ideas. I do remember reading about Vanishing Cultures.


I love this idea! check out mine and Pic it if youd like! Congo here I come...


Ben, idea looks really interesting. I also love your photography. Thanks for Picing. I also put a vote in for you. Would love to see what you produce.


thanks, like it,certainly some good ideas getting lost in the mix amongst all this computer network votes..and if you like mine,about orhpans in USA and Africa, please return the vote!


VERY well thought out, organized, passionate and articulate essay with a wonderful subject matter. Best of luck to you!


Thanks tigerlily and firegirl445. I am hoping others share my vision. Raising my child with special needs has changed my life for the better. Now I hope I can pay it forward to some of those that have helped us.


Peg, you're amazing and this is going to be a wonderful project! I voted and have passed the word on to anyone and everyone I can think of!


Peggy, you have my vote and I will pass this on to my friends in my neighborhood. Hope to see you soon!



We are so fortunate to have you as part of the AMC family. This is a great idea. Again, thank you for all you do!