Archive for 'PHOTOGRAPHY'

Sharing the Work

Over the last three years, we have shared work produced by participants in Duke University’s Documenting Medicine program in three end-of-year events, a number of exhibits, in national conferences (including the American Public Health Association, the international Narrative Medicine Conference, the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the American Psychiatric Association and others) as well […]

What Is It Like, Where You Are Now?

Everyone knows that the Boomers are aging, and the older adult population is growing exponentially – that the 65 and up crowd will more than double by 2030, for example. Fewer people know that there are nowhere near enough geriatricians to care for them. Geriatricians are doctors specially trained in appreciating the full context of […]

Cancer Warriors: Reflections on the Journey Through Cancer

The National Cancer Institute estimates that 13.7 million people with a history of cancer were alive in the United States in 2012. An additional 1.6 million people will be diagnosed in 2013. An estimated 1600 people die of cancer everyday. For those diagnosed, what was once a normal daily life focused on family, work or […]

Welcome to Crazy Camp

Mental illness is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. An estimated 26 percent of Americans suffer from a mental disorder in a given year and about 6 percent suffer from a serious mental illness.  According to the U.S. Surgeon Generals Report on Mental Health, almost two-thirds of people with diagnosed mental illness do […]

When Doctors Get Sick

A brief brush with illness during my intern year led me to reevaluate the duality between physician and patient. I began to really wonder what it might be like to be a patient; to see the hospital from the inside out, to wear a gown and not a white coat, to ask permission rather than […]

How to See the Forest and the Trees

Admissions, progress notes, discharge summaries, scribbled lab values, efficient rounds, and immaculately updated cross-cover lists. Intern year is stuffed with documentation and data. It doesn’t take long to feel that’s all that matters. However, behind the hypokalemia and midnight Tylenol orders are people and stories. Each piece of objective data matters, but each is like […]


Autism Spectrum Disorder or Pervasive Developmental Disorder now effects an estimated 1 in 55 children in the US. While there is a commonality in the symptomatology, the disorder effects it’s patients and their families in a variety of ways. In this project, we will look at one family’s perspective and experience of having a young […]

The Lullaby Lives On: Grieving the Loss of an Adult Child

The death of an adult child is painful, pervasive and one that subverts natural order. Nearly 10% of parents above the age of 60 years face the death of an adult child. The bereaved elderly parent is often left faced with profound grief marked by changing dynamics in relationships, changes in world views, and further […]

Going Full Circle: A Residency Rooted in Revolutionary Principles

The Duke’s Department of Community and Family Medicine was established in 1966 in the midst of the civil rights movement with an emphasis on health equity and a mission to improve the health of people in their communities. My documentary explores the links between the department’s early roots and the recent re-design of the Family […]

Bridging the Gap in Global Pediatric Oncology

Over 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year, but until recently childhood cancer in low/middle income countries has received little attention from researchers and health organizations.  Barriers include concerns about the ability to diagnose and treat in areas with limited resources.   However, regardless of the environment, many of the emotions and concerns that […]

In God We Trust

As a second year pediatric resident, I have seen a myriad of families endure the effects of childhood illness. Across the board, these families have developed a variety of impressive strategies to cope with their child’s illness. I wanted to investigate how parents find the strength to cope with childhood illness. One family in particular […]

Financial Toxicity as a Consequence of Cancer Care

Cancer treatment is incredibly expensive, and places a tremendous burden on patients–even those with insurance. The majority of bankruptcies in the United States are due to unpaid medical bills, and the rate of medical bankruptcies rapidly rises each year. Despite recent healthcare reform efforts, medical costs continue to disrupt the already difficult lives of cancer […]

A Documentary Approach to Learning Patient Care

This is the third year in a pilot program at Duke University in which we mentor medical residents and fellows as they produce a documentary project about a patient or care-giver.  All projects are shared in Grand Rounds talks, conferences, exhibits, lectures and other venues. In this five-minute video, Dr. Moses and Liisa Ogburn reflect […]

Marine’s Faces

How do life-changing experiences concretely impact the way we look? Does tragedy truly show up in our eyes and brow? These are questions that fascinate Claire Felicie, who photographed the faces of 20 Dutch Marines before, during, and after their tour of duty in Afghanistan. From first photo to last photo, only 12 months passed, but […]

Indivisible: Our Veterans

As of July 2012, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there were more than 22 million veterans in America — roughly 7 percent of the country’s population. The last surviving veteran of World War I, Frank Buckles, died just last year at age 110. But many men and women at least a quarter of that age are […]

Changing Room

After her wedding in 2009, artist Julia Kozerski decided to drastically change her lifestyle. She lost 160 pounds in one year — and documented the transition with her iPhone. Her series — called “Changing Room” — was shot in various dressing rooms in 2010 and 2011. Her body was changing so rapidly that she kept […]


Each year, about one in 33 babies (or 3 percent) is born with a serious birth defect (CDC, 2012). A much larger percentage will develop a serious condition or disorder before reaching the age of 18. One of the most common conditions—mental illness that significantly interferes with daily life—will affect 20 percent of American children […]

Young Gunshot Victims

The United States is a world leader among developed countries in the number of civilian citizens who are killed or injured by guns each year. Every day an average of 32 Americans are killed by guns and more than 65 survive the physical and psychic damage of gunshot wounds. As a pediatrician, I have become […]

The Time of Our Lives: Living With Brain Cancer

The Time of Our Lives This documentary reveals how six individuals and their families are thinking about their lives and, more importantly, living their lives in the knowledge and context of having brain cancer. It tells patient stories through their own first person voices and a collection of still photographs taken on visits with them […]

Pinky Promise

In this book, South African Photographer Pierre Crocquet focuses his camera on the experience of child abuse. Without passing judgment, his pictures capture the suffering of the victim as well as the loneliness of the perpetrator. Remembering reveals trauma and healing on both sides. Both victim and abuser share a secret—a constrained promise of silence, […]

I am… Women Living with HIV: An International Photography Project

In this portraiture project, photographer Caitlin Margaret Kelly explores the search for both a personal and global identity of women living with HIV/AIDS. The project is titled ‘I am…’ and is a series of environmental portraits, coupled with words written by each participant finishing the phrase, ‘I am…” Through the involvement of the subject in […]

Caught in the Crossfire

For a decade, crime has tumbled across much of metropolitan Los Angeles. Despite the progress in crime-fighting, there remain pockets of L.A. County where each day brings peril. For two years, Los Angeles Times staff photographer Barbara Davidson has documented how victims and their families have endured the aftermath of violence. She won a Pulitzer […]

Project Unbreakable

Project Unbreakable was created in October of 2011 by Grace Brown. Grace works with survivors of sexual assault, photographing them holding a poster with a quote from their attacker. Grace has photographed over a hundred people, received over eight hundred submissions. TIME magazine has also named it one of the top 30 Tumblr blogs to […]

Faces of Meth

The Meth Project Foundation was established by businessman Thomas M. Siebel in 2005 in response to the growing Meth epidemic in the U.S.  The Meth Project is a large-scale prevention program aimed at reducing Meth use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. Central to the program is a research-based marketing campaign and community action […]

Life Before Death

This sombre series of portraits taken of people before and after they had died is a challenging and poignant study. The work by German photographer Walter Schels and his partner Beate Lakotta, who recorded interviews with the subjects in their final days, reveals much about dying – and living. To view the series, visit:

Beyond the Exam Room:

Nearly a century after the birth of American pediatrics as a specialty, the health of children has improved dramatically. Despite advances in vaccination, education and legislative measures to protect maternal and child health, there exist persistent barriers to childrens’ health. Abraham Jacobi, the father of American pediatrics, charged pediatricians to advance the field with broad-reaching, […]

En Sus Zapatos: Serving the Hispanic Populations: Challenges of the Primary Care Doctor

As a rising third year resident in the Family and Community Medicine Program, and as a native Spanish speaker and immigrant from Puerto Rico, at least 30% of the patients I see are Latino. In North Carolina, Hispanics account for more than 63% of the population growth in the last years. Working in primary care […]

The Holding Environment: Photographs of Psychotherapy Rooms

Within medicine today, patients receive care in doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals. Typically these rooms are staid, predictable and interchangeable. An examination room in a North Carolina hospital or clinic probably appears quite similar to an examination room in a hospital or clinic in New York, South Dakota or Texas. Where this model departs is […]

Positive Exposure: The Spirit of Difference

POSITIVE EXPOSURE, founded in 1997 by former fashion photographer Rick Guidotti and Diane McLean, MD, PhD, MPH, is a highly innovative arts organization working with individuals living with genetic difference. Through vigorous cross-sector partnerships with health advocacy organizations, governmental agencies and educational institutions, Positive Exposure utilizes the visual arts to significantly impact the fields of genetics, mental health […]

Work-Related: A Coal Miner’s Story

Workplace injuries are common and lead to chronic health problems, death, and significant financial and social costs. For every 100 full-time positions, employees suffered 3.6 cases of nonfatal, recordable injuries or illnesses in 2009 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).  However, by most estimates, this is likely only a fraction of the true rate of injuries […]

In the Shadow of Freud’s Coach: Photographic Portraits of Psychoanalysts in Their Offices

When training to be a psychoanalyst, a candidate will spend many years in the offices of many psychoanalysts. Dr. Gerald’s idea to photograph his colleagues was inspired by that time. During his extensive training, Dr. Gerald, now a 64-year-old analyst who practices on the Upper West Side, noticed similarities in these offices but was more struck […]

Documenting Medicine: A Day in the Life of a Patient

This two-day intensive is designed for people with little documentary experience who are interested in using photography and audio to tell the story of a person with a serious medical condition. Students will see examples of relevant work, learn the fundamentals of capturing good quality sound and images, discuss the ethics and constraints of documenting […]


Giving motherly love and watching children of your own grow up cannot always be taken for granted. Mothers with a mental illness still have only a very slim chance to look after their children. Their children have to be given to foster families or get adopted. Monika, Antonia, Sarah and Cindy were lucky. A pilot […]

Go My Beauty

Miracles are timid, fragile beings. Lucas, the child, which no one believed in any more, brought the belief in miracles back into Dana’s life. Friends painted angels. They stroke the restless soul and guard over the depleted body. Diagnosis breast cancer. In Germany alone, 57.000 women fall ill every year, the numbers rising. Most patients […]

Tuberculosis in the Former Soviet Union

Tuberculosis is still a very deadly disease – especially in the former Soviet Union. The number of patients with very difficult to treat forms of tuberculosis is growing steadily in that part of the world. Officials from health organizations say it is an epidemic and it is not slowing down. More and more patients are […]

Life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: One Mother’s Story

Premature births—those that occur before 37 weeks of gestation—are associated with one-third of all infant deaths and account for nearly 45 percent of children with cerebral palsy, 35 percent of children with vision impairment, and 25 percent of children with cognitive or hearing impairment. In the United States, more than half a million babies are […]


This year, about 2.5 million Americans will die. About 900,000 of them, or three in ten, will get hospice care in their last weeks or months. Hospice is specialized care for terminally ill patients with less than six months to live. It offers a way in which family, doctors, nurses, pastors, and the community can […]

Frequent Flyers in the Emergency Room

In 2010, the United States spent $2.6 trillion on healthcare (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). Emergency room (ER) visits make up about 3 percent of the national healthcare bill, or $78 billion. (American College of Emergency Physicians). Though the demand for emergency care is up by 32 percent — up to 128 million visits in 2008, […]

Using Documentary to Understand Adolescent Addiction

Half of high school students currently use addictive substances. One in eight high school students have a diagnosable clinical substance use disorder involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs. Only six to eight percent of the total number of patients in need of treatment receive care. Adolescent and Child Psychiatry Chief Resident Jennifer Segura found herself […]

Stalled: How to Make a Baby the IVF Way

Battling infertility feels like being stuck on the side of the road without a spare tire. My life stands frustratingly still while I watch other women’s lives whiz past. I want to know why my body can’t make a baby, and I am willing to do whatever I need to do to get it fixed, which […]

The Shrine Down the Hall

Karina Lau’s bedroom has not changed. A stuffed teddy bear and floppy-eared rabbit sit on top of her floral bedspread. Angel figurines and framed family photos line her bookshelf and dresser. The only thing missing is her. Private Lau was killed seven years ago when insurgents shot down her helicopter in Falluja, Iraq. She was 20 years old. Her […]

Can Photography Make You a Better Doctor?

In this talk, “Can Photography Make You a Better Doctor?: Reflections on a Life in Photography and Medicine,” Duke pediatrician and photographer John Moses discusses how he has used photography over the last twenty-five years to better understand the lives of his patients and hopefully become a better doctor. Moses first came to photography while […]

Starved for Attention

About the Project Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and VII Photo present “Starved for Attention,” a multimedia campaign exposing the neglected and largely invisible crisis of childhood malnutrition. “Starved for Attention” aims to rewrite the story of malnutrition through a series of multimedia documentaries that seamlessly blend photography and video from some of the […]

Hungry: Living with Prader-Willi Syndrome

A powerful multimedia piece by Maisie Crow about a young man with Prader-Willi Syndrome:

Photograph of American soldier in German hospital

The City of Broken Men

About the Piece There’s a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, where every America soldier injured in Iraq, Afghanastan, is brought, treated–if only for a few days–and sent home. Devin Friedman follows the story of a planeload of men and their week in this miraculous netherworld between war and peace, life and death. To read the whole […]

Aging in America

Aging in America: The Years Ahead is a journey across the topography of aging in search of what it means to have a “good old age”. This film traverses the experience of our elders from the wellderly to the elderly, as told through a series of intimate vignettes of people who are living the new […]

Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America

About the Book Postmortem photography, photography a deceased person, was a common practice in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These photographs were often the only photographs taken of their subjects and much pride and artistry went into them. Today we struggle to avoid the topic of death; as a result, we’ve closed the door […]

Photographs of inmates in maximum security prisons before they die

Grace Before Dying

About the Exhibit and Book Grace Before Dying is an award-winning photographic documentary by Lori Waselchuk that chronicles the prisoner-run hospice program at Angola State Penitentiary, Louisiana’s maximum-security prison. Through a Distribution Grant from the Open Society Documentary Photography Project, Waselchuk collaborated with the Angola Hospice Volunteer Quilters to build a traveling exhibit featuring photographs […]

Image of a nurse midwife


About the Photoessay In 1951, Life Magazine was at it’s best and this issue had one of the best photographic essays ever by W. Eugene Smith. The 12 page story is titled “Nurse Midwife Maude Callen Eases Pain of Birth and Death” The story follows Maude and her work in Pineville, South Carolina (Berkley County) […]

A mother bathes her child, who severely disabled due to mercury poisoning

Minamata: The Story of the Poisoning of a City

The Book In 1971, Smith returned to Japan for a third time and lived in the small fishing village of Minamata, with his wife Aileen. Although they planned to stay for only three months, the couple stayed for three years. Smith’s photos on a mercury poisoning scandal in Minamata were published in Asahi Camera, Camera […]

Photographs of children in the year's after the world's worst nuclear meltdown

Chernobyl Legacy

About the Project On April 26, 1986, at 1:23 a.m., the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, in Ukraine. The explosion, described by the United Nations as “the greatest environmental catastrophe in the history of humanity,” released thousands of tons of radioactive material. Seventy per cent of the radiation fell […]

Photographs by young people living at the School for the Blind in North Carolina

Seeing Beyond Sight

About the Book With its ambitious, seemingly paradoxical premise, Seeing Beyond Sight is a book of photographs taken by teenagers with limited or no sight. Seeing Beyond Sight documents how educator Tony Deifell taught his blind students to take pictures as an innovative, multi-sensory means of self-expression. Their intuitive images are surprising and often beautiful. […]

Photography images from the daily lives of those working in a hospital


The Book A splendid photographic essay with an international perspective, Hospital ranges across national boundaries to record the realities and issues behind the scenes of one of the world’s essential institutions, the modern hospital. Many physicians will enjoy this interesting photographic essay.

Photograph of young people struggling with health challenges at the Montefiore Medicla Center Prom

Montefiore Children’s Hospital Annual Prom

Ms. Earnshaw, a Canadian photographer and student at the International Center for Photography in New York, brims with an earnest belief in photography’s redemptive nature and a desire to pursue long-term projects around health care and family. One of her teachers there connected her with the Motefiore Children’s Hospital, where she was invited to photograph […]

Home From Afghanistan to New Battles: The Homecoming Project

About the Project In Afghanistan with the Third Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division, the photojournalist Erin Trieb faced firefights, anxieties about land mines and the strangeness of being the only woman among hundreds of alpha males. Then came the hard part. Ms. Trieb, 28, said she found it far more daunting to photograph the effects of […]

Picture of my father

Days With My Father

About the project “Days With My Father” is a son’s photo journal of his aging father’s last years. Following the death of his mother, photographer Phillip Toledano was shocked to learn of the extent of his father’s severe memory loss. He started a blog on which he posted photographs and accompanying reflections on his father’s […]

The Waiting List: Stories of People Waiting for Organ Donation

About the Website The Waiting List is an online multimedia storytelling project introducing the real stories of real people waiting for an organ transplant. Only 35% of licensed drivers nationally are registered to be organ donors. 90 percent of Americans say they support donation, but only 30 percent know the necessary steps to become an […]

A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living with HIV

The Book, Exhibit and Follow-up Video For four years, HIV-positive poet, River Huston, and photographer Mary Berridge traveled across the United States gathering the stories of women HIV-positive. The book, first published in 1997, sought to address the stereotypes and stigma associated with being HIV positive. Even though women were the fastest-growing segment of the […]

After War: Veterans From A World in Conflict

About the Book Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict is a culmination of 15 years spent photographing and interviewing men, women and children who have been on the frontlines of every major conflict of the past century. It is a portrait documenting the deep physical and psychological effects on the veterans whose bodies and minds […]

Here & Now: Inspiring Stories of Cancer Survival

About the Book Facing Cancer is a life-changing event, one that prompts soul-searching and reevaluation of all that one holds true. In the years following their own cancer treatments, authors Elena Dorfman and Heidi Schultz Adams were left wondering, What difference has cancer made in other people’s lives? What does it mean to survive a […]


About the Project Eating disorders affect five million people in the U.S., and more than 10% of those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa will die from the disease. Seeking to put a human face on these sobering statistics, acclaimed photographer Lauren Greenfield went inside a Florida treatment center to tell the stories of four women who […]

The Youngest Parents

About the Project Since 1986, I have been working as a doctor and a photographer in the Piedmont of North Carolina. In the clinic I work as a general pediatrician, I help care for teenagers, not a few of whom become parents at an early age. In working with these teens and their children as […]

Unfinished Dreams: Childhood on a Thread

About the Project Crammed into the wing of Marie Curie Hospital in Bucharest, 20 children diagnosed with cancer are fighting everyday for their lives. Living conditions in the hospital are harsh, with not enough beds or nurses, no proper medicine or medical instruments. The current conditions offer them only a 50% chane of survival,” says […]

The Garden of Eden: Living With Schizophrenia on Coney Island

About the Project Medical science still cannot say what causes schizophrenia, but a few things are certain: that schizophrenia is global, that it shows up in just about every culture, and that it is very widespread. One out of every one hundred people in a given population are afflicted by schizophrenia (there are 2.5 million […]

Images From Within: People Confronting Mental Illness

The Book These images portray 34 adults from many different walks of life who struggle with a variety of issues related to their illnesses. They share their thoughts and feelings, including the disappointment of no longer being able to drive, the determination to remain employed, the affection for friends who also have a mental illness, […]

Medicine’s Great Journey: One Hundred Years of Healing

The Book Editors Smolan and Moffit have produced a powerful, emotive book, chronicling the last century of medicine’s progress. They searched over 600 photographic collections from around the world to find the most illustrative photos from such noted photographers as Walker Evans and Lewis Hine. Former New York Times health and science editor Richard Flaste’s […]

Touching Souls: Healing Bereavement with Photography

About the Work When a baby dies parents are caught unaware as typically they move through pregnancy with awe and wonder and joyful anticipation of the day of birth. Whether a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death, each parent embarks on a unique path of grief facing an awful disruption of life assumptions. This is not […]

Common Heroes: Facing A Life-Threatening Illness

The Book Common Heroes is not a Hollywood rendition of heroic death, but rather an opportunity to explore with everyday people the pain, sorrow, anger, and even the humor when death touches us through those we love. What does it feel like to see your life within the framework of a life-threatening illness? How do people […]

Children and the Experience of Illness

About the Project Each year for the last 11 years, Duke Pediatrician John Moses teaches a class called “Children and the Experience of Illness.” For this class, Duke undergraduates work closely with a child to teach them how to use a camera as a means of exploring illness — which either the child themselves or […]

Extraordinary Child

About the Project In the summer of 2005, I was asked to produce five photographic portfolios for the Morgunbladid Newspaper.  One of the projects I requested to photograph was a school for disabled children in Reykjavik.  The newspaper arranged for me to spend a day at Öskjuhlíðarskóli.  It was an unforgettable day.  I immediately fell […]

My Heart Versus the Real World

The Book My Heart vs. the Real World is a photo documentary volume that explores the lives of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) through striking black-and-white photographs and interviews with subjects and their families. Ten chapters each spotlight a single child and in an additional chapter, the author writes about his own experience of […]

I CANcer: A Photographic Journey

About the Exhibit The exhibit, “I CANcer: a photo journey,” grew out of a new support group at UNC Hospitals for teens who have survived cancer or rare blood disorders. It was started by recreational therapist/child life specialist Jessica Irven and Dr. Justin Yopp, a psychologist at the N.C. Cancer Hospital. The idea for the […]

Patient Voices / New York Times Series

About the Website A diagnosis of a chronic disease, mental illness or condition can change one’s life in many ways. In Patient Voices, the New York Times feature first person accounts of the changes, challenges and rewards patients face as they cope with various health issues. As of March 12, 2011, the New York Times has […]

AIDS: Access to Life

About the Website Since the early 1980s, AIDS has ravaged the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Nearly 30 million people have died. But over the past few years, aquiet global revolution has enabled millions of people infected by HIV to live healthy lives. In the early 1990s, when antiretroviral drugs became available, AIDS was […]

Cocaine True Cocaine Blue

About the Book Eugene Richards’s seventh book, Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue reaffirms his position as the premier chronicler of the dark side of American life. In it, he examines the ravages of drug addiction in three poor East Coast neighborhoods with the kind of precision and empathy that have netted him a long string of prizes. More […]

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