Family Photography at The Catholic Worker
For the better part of the last decade, my good photog friend and I have been packing up all our photography gear a couple times a year and setting up ‘shop at the Catholic Worker. It’s a big historic home in Santa Ana that has become, through the hard work and compassionate hearts of many, a safe haven and loving shelter for women.
So we bring our gear, set up, dispute over how we lit it last, set up again and open the doors of our portrait studio to everybody. We like to go on Sunday mornings, because the home opens up to anyone and everyone and serves breakfast to all. We like Sundays because–in addition to the women that live there–it’s their kids, their boyfriends, friends, sponsors, supporters, servers and even foes needing shelter themselves that come in to be photographed. It’s you. It’s me. It’s everyone.
Over the years we’ve discovered that the service we provide is not so much in the portraits we take and the prints we deliver, but rather, it’s the mere fact that we’re human beings, there, with four ears and two hearts opened wide. We chat. We listen. We shake hands. We hug. We heal. And we create some beautiful portraits during the process.
Some of these people are helpers. Some of these people are healers. All of these people are needing healing themselves. Like you. Like me. Like everyone.