Michael Schoenfeld has been working with the Children’s Miracle Network for 15 years and has built a fantastic working relationship with its team. CMN, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a charity that provides medical care through a network of hospitals across the United States and Canada.
After shooting a similar assignment for the charity a year prior, Michael was asked, for this project, to shoot images for CMN to appear in Walmart. The goal of this project was to capture portraits of the children who have survived severe medical treatments, funded by CMN. The children are in thirteen cities across Canada from coast-to-coast. The difference between this shoot and the one Michael completed a year ago, is that last time the children all traveled to Toronto, where Michael captured all the images at once. Differently this time around, Michael was asked to go to the Children’s homes across Canada and take their photos there.
Luckily, Michael has a great team of people he works with who handled the travel logistics and planned out how to get to each child’s home, in addition to where his team would lodge along the way. This was a lot of traveling as Michael and his team visited Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Dorchester, Niagara Falls, Gatineau QC, Ottawa, Cowansville, Halifax, Paradise, and Newfoundland.
Most of Michael’s time was spent in airport security because, within the given time frame, he traveled to different locations and accomplished two shoots a day. Canada is a huge country and visiting so many diverse places in such a short time frame was difficult.
All of the images were expected to have a similar look as if shot in a studio environment, so I had to travel with a portable studio rig, twice a day to a different city.
Halfway through the project, two of the children’s schedules conflicted with Michael’s. Once everyone agreed on new shoot dates, Michael returned to Canada for five more days to wrap up the assignment.
Even though this project was tightly slated, Michael was sure to find time to complete his personal work along the way, too.
As I travel, I always allow time for me to go out on the streets and shoot personal work; portraits of people I meet: I always ask for their participation. Those images, from fifteen years of worldwide travel, have become my most prized element of my life as a photographer.
With this being Michael’s sixth project for CMN under his belt, he foresees his relationship with the client as an evolving one and hopes it will continue to lead him to more collaborative opportunities with CMN in the future.
See more of Michael at michaelschoenfeld.com!