Short Doc: It’ll Take More than Crippling MS and Near Blindness to Stop this Photog


One of the great things about photography is that inspirational stories aren’t hard to come by — whether it’s tragic circumstances that are being brought to light by a daring photojournalist or a success story about a young photographer who is just discovering his passion for this industry.

Street photographer Flo Fox‘s story is yet another kind of inspirational. It’s a story of overcoming unimaginable adversity, and a rock hard determination not to let any of life’s curveballs get in the way of doing what you love.

For Fox, what she loves is street photography. And those curveballs? For her they go by the names of “near-blindness,” “Multiple Sclerosis” and, most recently, “lung cancer.” But in this short documentary by The New York Times, you can see that she’s managed to knock those metaphorical curveballs out of the park.

She lives in a home for disabled people, survives off of Medicaid and Social Security and needs the help of aides to get around. At this point, she is triplegic and can’t even hold a camera. And yet, despite all this, she still takes photos.

Going around the streets of NYC in her motorized wheelchair, the moment she spots a scene she’d like to photograph she has one of her aides pick up her camera and frame the shot. Happily, she reports that “one out of ten” of the shots she gets are exactly as she wants them to be, the rest might need a bit of cropping.

As a photographer who came up in the same social circles as Andy Warhol and Andre Kertesz — and whose work appears in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian and the Brooklyn Museum — she could adopt a justifiably bitter attitude towards her circumstances, but she doesn’t.

It’s difficult to put into words just how inspirational and moving her sassy attitude towards life is, even in the midst of all of this adversity. So don’t take our word for it, watch the short doc at the top and check out the full NY Times write up by clicking here. You’ll be glad you did.

(via The New York Times)