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 #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, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at

© Howard Grill

© Howard Grill