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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

The Empathy Project #32

It feels a bit bittersweet, but The Empathy Project will more or less be coming to an end with this installment. It just feels to me like it is time to take a bit of a break and move on to some other projects. It is quite possible that I might resume the project at some point in the future, but for now I feel I need to move on to other things I'd like to explore.

This has been a very meaningful project for me and I do hope that others found it enjoyable to see and listen to! And I thank everyone for the comments along the way.

This gentleman speaks very openly about what it's like to have and deal with heart disease at a younger age. "When you wake up and see the sun you know you have another day!"

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

The Empathy Project #31

WARNING: Do NOT, I said do not play cards with this woman if you want to hold onto your  money :)  I also love when she flips the interview and asks me how old I was when JFK was assassinated!

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

The Empathy Project #30

In many of my patient interviews I have asked people that are older what they remember of World War II or the Korean War. These are wars I know well from studying history but I obviously have no first hand knowledge of the events. The first war that I remember, and which surely defined my youth, was the Vietnam War. I distinctly remember watching it on the news every night and being quite scared about the possibility of being drafted, though I was too young to actually be drafted at the  time. Of course, nobody knew how long the war might go on for. Vietnam, and the social changes surrounding it, were the defining events of my generation. And so, for the first time as part of this project, I had the opportunity to talk to someone who served his country in Vietnam. It wasn't an easy interview and I believe you can tell quite a bit not only from what this gentlemen says, but also from the tone of his voice.

 
© Howard GRill

© Howard GRill

 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

The Empathy Project #29

At age 92 she's seen a great deal. And she can tell you about it with great eloquence......

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #28

This lovely woman needed a little reminding that everybody is important! 

My goal for this project was to photograph and interview 30 people. I have actually had the opportunity to 'enroll' 32 of my patients since starting the project. After I process the last several, I am planning to take a break and think about what my next project might be. I am not quite sure how one knows a project has been completed, but it feels to e like this one is winding down for me.

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #27

The depression never affected this delightful man when he was a kid......he was still able to go skinny dipping in the summertime! His advice at age 87? "Keep your mind fresh."

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #25

Molybdenum.....how much do you know about it? Well, I assure you that this gentleman knows far more about it than you or I.  In fact, as you will see, I even had trouble pronouncing it. 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #24

A six year waiting list for nurses to volunteer to go to Viet Nam! I love the things you find out just by talking to people. When you start talking and have no idea about a persons background you start to learn all sorts of things. Despite her being a patient of mine, I had no idea that this fascinating woman had been the head nurse at the hospital I now work at. I decided to ask her to participate in my project based purely on the book she was reading when I walked into the room (it was a history book about spies working for George Washington during the Revolutionary War). 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #23

Although this lovely 91 year old woman is the 23rd patient that has participated in my Empathy Project, she is also a first!  All of the other patients that I photographed and interviewed were people that I had been seeing in my office as outpatients; she is the first hospital inpatient that I approached to participate. I was asked to see her as a consultant and had never met her before, but we hit it off right away so I thought if I was ever going to try to photograph an inpatient this was the time.

Towards the end of the  interview I talk about her being a YouTube star for her whistling video. If you would like to hear her and increase her viewer count here she is whistling................

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #21

When I first started The Empathy Project, I wondered if I would find enough people with stories that were interesting enough that myself and others would want to listen to them. One important thing that I learned along the way is that everybody is interesting in one way or another!

Regis' advice? " Don't stop. Because once you stop, you're done for a long time".

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #20

This fellow is really a wonderful character. An explosive wonderful character.....you will see what I mean if you listen to the audio. His recommendation? Stay away from dynamite! I have been taking care of him for several years, but had no idea what his occupation was when he was younger (he's 84 now) until I asked.  This was really a fun interview!

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
empathy 20.jpg
 

The Empathy Project XIX

This is the one that started it all!

About ten years ago, I took care of a patient who was the 'right blister gunner' (the person who sat with a machine gun in the encasement under the right wing of a bomber) in World War II. We quickly became friendly when he found out that I enjoyed fine art photography, as he was a painter. In fact, he had designed and painted the insignia on the side of the B-29 bomber that he flew in. His insignia denoted a wheel, with each spoke representing something about each person of the crew. One day he  brought  a gift to the office for me. He wanted to give me three old photos that he had, one of the design work he had done before painting the insignia onto the B-29, which he called  "The Big Wheel":

 
big wheel.jpg
 

the second was a picture of him and the crew in front of the plane:

george and crew.jpg

and in the third, you can see the insignia that he painted onto the actual B-29:

Big Wheel 2.jpg

He loved telling me stories of his days in World War II, and one day I asked if I could record him and take his picture, both of which he quickly agreed to. I arranged for him to have 45 minutes for his next appointment and we talked for most of that time and he gave me permission to use the material in any way I wanted. At the time, I thought that recording these types of stories would make for a really interesting project, but I ended up putting the idea away for ten years before I decided it was time to resume the project in earnest. So let me introduce you to George..... 

 
empathy 19.jpg
 

George passed away in 2013 at the age of 92.

The Empathy Project - XV

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
 

The Empathy Project - XIV

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

This gentleman, who worked on the railroad years ago, used the term 'gandy dancing' in his interview. I had to look that one up! A gandy dancer is slang for the workers which performed the laborious task of maintaining the rails and ties of the tracks.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
Ralph Baker
 

Empathy Project Opening

I have completed sharing the Empathy Project portraits and audio that I have processed thus far, and will return to posting them when I have then next group of five ready.

I am very pleased that the hospital I work for decided to make this project public. They recently renovated the lobby of one of the three hospitals in the system and chose to display the first five portraits in the project there and, to make it even better, mounted audio bars beneath each portrait so that visitors can listen to the stories. In a few months, they are opening another outpatient facility and the second group of five will be displayed there, also with the audio!

For the opening of the renovated lobby, we invited the patients whose portraits appeared and I had the opportunity to give them each an 8x10 of their photo. To conclude this second group of five portraits, I thought I would share a few snapshots from the opening.

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5.jpg
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2 copy.jpg
 
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The Empathy Project - X

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind the project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'. It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

 
empathy 10.jpg
 

(If you are an email subscriber to the blog, the audio will not come along with the email.....so please visit the on-line blog post if you would like to hear it, at www.howardgrill.com/blog)

The Empathy Project - IX

Back in September I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind the project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'. It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

This particular interview was perhaps the most difficult one I have had to edit. We spoke for about 15 minutes and, frankly, there was very little I felt compelled to edit out.....but I had to to get it down to a reasonable listening time to go with one photo.

This gentleman is 95 years old and speaks truly eloquently about the many events he has witnessed in his life, from living through the depression to watching history unfold as a guard at the Nuremberg War Crime Trials at the end of World War II. He has truly led a remarkable life!

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to as a group.

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

(If you are an email subscriber to the blog, the audio will not come along with the email.....so please visit the on-line blog post if you would like to hear it, at www.howardgrill.com/blog)

The Empathy Project - VIII

Back in September I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind the project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'. It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to as a group.

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 
 
 

(If you are an email subscriber to the blog, the audio will not come along with the email.....so please visit the on-line blog post if you would like to hear it at www.howardgrill.com/blog)

The Empathy Project - VII

Back in September I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind the project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'. It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

I have previously posted my portraits and audio interviews for the first five patients in the project. I have now processed the portraits and edited the audio for the next five and will be posting them sequentially in this blog. I hope you will take the time to listen to their stories.

As I make these posts the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

 
empathy 7.jpg
 

(If you are an email subscriber to the blog, the audio will not come along with the email.....so please visit the on-line blog post if you would like to hear it at www.howardgrill.com/blog)

The Empathy Project - VI

Back in September I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind the project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'. It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

I have previously posted my portraits and audio interviews for the first five patients in the project. I have now processed the portraits and edited the audio for the next five and will be posting them sequentially in this blog. I hope you will take the time to listen to their stories.

As I make these posts the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

I find the story that accompanies this portrait particularly interesting, as it ends up touching on ideas regarding art and the process of creating.

 
© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

(If you are an email subscriber to the blog, the audio will not come along with the email.....so please visit the on-line blog post if you would like to hear it.).