All right, now this is a cool project. Rhode Island-based Josh Behan spent 18 days spread out over the past two years working with Lifespan Health patients to document their returns to work and most cherished activities.
A DP and I would spend a day with a different person who had received care from their network of hospitals and document them doing things they love in order to highlight how Lifespan had allowed them to continue doing those things.
The gallery of stories can be viewed here, where you’ll find Josh’s work alongside video of the 16 patients. Each person gets his or her own blurb, where they give a first-person — or third-person, if the patient is a child — account of their life story and how Lifespan helped them get back to doing the things they love. Part of what makes this work so impactful are the diseases and setbacks from which these people recovered, such as T-cell lymphoma, aneurysms, and epilepsy. But those ailments take something of a backseat to the hobbies and passions that these individuals have thrown themselves back into, making the work positively uplifting.
I worked alongside my good friends from Gnarly Bay Productions, who did the video. Lifespan worked with Gnarly Bay to identify patients to highlight. Once the patients and their activities were approved, we had complete creative freedom. In order to keep the patients comfortable, we limited the shoots to only myself, a DP, and one producer to collect releases.
All of the work was shot in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts, where their network of hospitals is based. Some shoots were done in people’s homes, some in cafes, restaurants, YMCAs, etc.
As you peruse the Lifespan website and read these stories, you’ll notice that these patients’ ages range greatly, as do their favorite activities. While every interaction was memorable for Josh, a few certainly made a sizable imprint on the photographer.
Lucky really stood out because she was just involved in so many things.
She is in a band, is a seamstress, and is in dance classes, all while being in high school.
One really cool patient was Rick, who is not only a painter, but crafts these tiny, beautiful little dolls out of fabric. Willow and her prized goats were also really interesting.
Though Josh could talk about this project all day, there is one photo that takes the cake. For good reason, too. Take a look:
My favorite overall image is the one of Rob fishing, where the sky is reflected in the water. I just love the surreal quality of it.
In speaking with Josh, it was easy to tell how much he appreciated landing an assignment of this nature. A feel-good project with a chance to meet new people who, in many ways, have a fresh outlook on life thanks in large part to the work of Lifespan Health. All parties involved were incredibly happy with the final product.
I just love creating honest images with real people, and this was the unique client that allowed that to happen how we saw fit. The reaction to the work was very positive.
It was great to be invited into people’s lives and be allowed to document everything. This was really a dream job.
Check out more of Josh’s work at joshbehanphoto.com.
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