Man Finds New Life as a Photographer After Being Shot and Paralyzed at Age 8

The short 4-minute-long video above is probably the most inspiring thing you’ll see today. It’s the story of Jaleel King, a man who became wheelchair-bound at the age of 8 after being shot in the back by an angry neighbor. The blast from the sawed-off shotgun almost killed him, but he fought through that challenge — and every other challenge that has presented itself since.

King is now a professional photographer who firmly believes that his life experiences have helped him in his career. He sees things from a different perspective, both figuratively and literally, which allows him to capture beautiful glimpses of life that most people take for granted.

The video was filmed by first-time filmmaker Mike Allebach, who captured the conversation while enjoying a meal with King at a restaurant near Philadelphia. A Nikon D600 and a $30 microphone from Radio Shack were all that was used to film the interview.

On his website, King writes,

As a tech geek, I first went to school to study computers, but felt art was my passion, so I enrolled in The Art Institute to pursue a career in video production. During each of these journeys it was photography that stood by me and it was photography that had my heart.

[…] As a wheelchair user since age 8, I am a photographer who has a different a perspective on how I visually see life. Allowing me to never accept the whys as excuses and going for why nots as the challenges in order to overcome to them, as seen in my work. I was led into a world that is beautiful and challenging at the same time! A world filled with raw emotion and randomness that make each moment and click of the shutter so UNIQUE!

You can find a sampling of King’s work over in his online gallery.

(via Yahoo via Imaging Resource)

  • Michael Godek

    Awesome attitude!

  • Sam Bendall

    good for you brotha!

  • Amir Asyraf

    Aww, he chose Canon :(

  • Trey Mortensen

    BTW the first sentence on the second quote is missing an ‘a’ in it. “I am photographer” sounds too much like Tarzan to me… :D

  • Tommy Sar

    As a wheelchair using photographer as well, I can definitely relate to the unique challenges and perspective King experiences. Like him, I also approach photography as something to capture and freeze moments in life, both precious and mundane. I never experienced knowing what it was like to lose something like King did because I never was able to walk. But I still value and appreciate the simplest and notice the smallest things.

    I am not as talented a photographer as he is but I find this video motivating. Thanks for posting it.

  • Michael Zhang

    added in the “a”. thanks trey

  • siva

    Really Amir! After seeing the video was that all you had to say.

  • cgmizin

    Aww. How awesome!

  • Amir Asyraf

    About the video, well at least the documentary was shot using a Nikon ^_^

    Hehe, take it light everyone

  • Angel Jones-Kirkland

    I feel so inspired by this story. He makes you look at life from a better perspective. Do what you love and don’t let anything hold you back. NO MORE EXCUSES (talking to self) Thank you Jaleel :)