About Faces of Type 1 Diabetes - gswphoto

My interest in photography began in Canada.  I took a black and white photograph of a river while on a class trip to Quebec, Canada.  This sole black and white photograph reeled me in to the world of photography, just as the hooks of nearby fishermen's fishing poles reeled fish in to shore.  I danced for many years, so it was not surprising when I turned my camera to the dancer shortly after this trip to Canada.  I continue to photograph dancers today.  I have the pleasure of photographing great dancers who are, quite simply, far greater people.  Click here to see these dancers in action.  However, I spend much of my time as a photographer devoted to an entirely different group of people.


I spend much of my time photographing people with Type 1 Diabetes.  I danced for many years.  There is no doubt in my mind that I share an identity with the dancers whom I photograph.  Similarly, I have lived with Type 1 Diabetes for thirteen years.  I turned the camera on one aspect of myself when I began photographing dancers.  I turned the camera on another aspect of myself when I began photographing people with Type 1 Diabetes.


This project does not aim to answer "What is Type 1 Diabetes?"  That is a simple question with an easy answer.  Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas can no longer produce insulin.  This forces the individual with Type 1 Diabetes to practice a plethora of medical behaviors on a daily basis.  People with Type 1 Diabetes practice these medical behaviors - including constant finger pricks, carb counting and insulin administration - simply to stay alive.  There is no debating the necessity of this practice, nor is there any contention around the fact that people with Type 1 Diabetes must perform these rituals.  Thus, it is simply not the aim of this project to determine the nature of the disease that is Type 1 Diabetes.


Instead, this project aims to answer a far more complex question.  A question that incites far more questions than it does answers.   A question that I may never entirely be able to answer on my own accord.  This project aims to answer the question:


"Who is Type 1 Diabetes?" 


I hope you will join me as I meet the extraordinary Faces of Type 1 Diabetes.  The links below will take you on a journey through portraits that I have created for a variety of organizations that work in the realm of Type 1 Diabetes.  These organizations include the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leading non-profit that drives research for Type 1 Diabetes, the College Diabetes Network, an extraordinary non-profit based in Boston that aims to improve the overall well-being of college students with Type 1 Diabetes throughout the US, and the Joslin Diabetes Center, the preeminent leading center for diabetes research and clinical care.


Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation


College Diabetes Network


Joslin Diabetes Center