Featured Folio: Humanitarian Photographer Esther Havens
Esther Havens has built a staggering folio while working on social-awareness campaigns with organisations such as TOMS Shoes, Concern Worldwide and A Glimmer of Hope. Esther’s folio is a far cry away from just beautiful portrait photography. It’s hard to engage with her work without some part of you being challenged to do something about it. Below are a collection of images Esther’s folio called ‘A Beautiful Light Overcoming Darkness’. Here is a little extract about the project from Esther:
La Chureca, a trash dump community in Managua, Nicaragua, is home to countless children fighting to survive an unthinkable landscape of burning trash, physical and sexual abuse, and starvation.In April 2010, Love Light and Melody founded a safe house to provide refuge for some of these little ones. With your support, the home will continue to provide emotional, physical, and spiritual care to restore them to their fullest potential.
I know these are my opinions and not everyone will agree with me. I just want everyone to know that this is where I’m at right now and I am growing everyday as a storyteller and believer in Jesus. I don’t think it’s wrong to have beautiful imagery of people on your website. I just have a huge problem with poverty porn (starving children w/ flies, evoked sadness) I feel like the least we can do for those who live in poverty is let their name and story be known and give them dignity in an image. I don’t have names for every single person I’ve met, but I sure do try my best. There are those images you just have to shoot and “capture the moment” before it’s gone. I get it. But why is that moment so important to us? Is it worth damaging a relationship? When we walk around in a developing country with a camera, what is going through our minds. Do we seek to build relationships or look for the best shot for our websites?
It’s time to change things with our camera and I believe the start is not to use poverty for our own gain. It’s time to do heart checks and make sure we are in the right place before we step on a plane to a place we’ve never been before. I am with you in all of this and learning every single day from the mistakes I’ve made and the people it’s hurt along the way. My hope is that I grow to a place where I can truly give myself up for others. To see their needs above my own.