The DON’T GIVE UP project has existed now for nearly 4 years. We have had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of people from 5 continents which gives us goosebumps to even think about. What is this crazy life we have been able to live? So, find us in snowy Kansas City today, pinching ourselves after the whirlwind of the past month, going from Christmas, to a workshop and wedding overseas, and returning to move to a new home. In early January, we had the incredible privilege and opportunity to take the DON’T GIVE UP project to Belfast, Northern Ireland and meet a group of european photographers who absolutely floored us with how graciously kind and open they were with us.
Ireland is an unsettlingly beautiful country. Rugged, wild, inviting – it beckons you to dream and to live adventurously. The scenery does this at every turn. But we experienced this more deeply within the people that we met during the workshop. At the DON’T GIVE UP project, a group of photographers from many countries came together as strangers, and left as dear friends. Here are some of those people.
Two of those people are Gillian and Tim.
What we are growing to realize more deeply every day is that making photographs of real people is an unbelievable privilege. The fact is that we have the opportunity to step in front of people that are living real lives – real stories – experiencing real victories, fears, joys, pain, and we get to see and experience who they are at this present moment. And we get to document that for them.
Real, we continue to find, beats fabrication – every time.
These photographs have the chance to live on the walls of their home. They can tell an honest story of who they were on this blustery day in Belfast, not a posed, directed, and fabricated version of what we wanted them to be. Someday, their kids will have this glimpse of their mom and dad – young and full of life. Someday, they will be able to look back and remember who they were at this stage – parents, business owners, partners. And someday, when they are gone from this earth, these photographs can speak volumes about the real couple who really loved each other.
Photographs matter. The lives of our subjects matter. And that’s why we continue to believe more deeply in the little workshop that turns 4 years old this year.
Friends, meet Gillian and Tim.