Friday, July 2, 2010

Jodi McKee & The Autoimmune Portrait Project

Jodi McKee has quickly become one of my heroes. Among other things, she's a talented photographer, a wife, a friend, a Rheumatoid Arthritis patient, and just a wonderful person.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon Jodi's work a few months back and have to share her with you all. She has a wide range of subjects and interests, but one of my favorite sets of photos is called "64 colors " - a project she developed with her friend that presents a "a diptych each week inspired by the names and colors found in the sixty-four pack of crayola crayons." Her work is amazing...take a look around!
Week 2 of 64 Colors: Red

Jodi's  Autoimmune Portrait Project (yep, that's me on June 3rd) is what really drew me to her. Her goal is to portray the often vibrant, strong faces of chronic illness and bring awareness to a world that often can't believe disease could reside there. She writes, "My hope is that I can spread the word about all of the younger people out there who are dealing with these chronic, often painful, illnesses. Also, I think it is very important for the newly diagnosed to be able to see all of these beautiful, happy faces and know that they are not the only one out there."

It took me about - oh a minute - to know I wanted to be part of this project. While I can't say I like having my photo taken,  Jodi made the experience so enjoyable. It was awesome to spend those hours with her and I felt understood in a pretty fantastic way. Among other reasons, I think it was that "arthritis connection" between us. It was unspoken, but it was there. If we needed to stop and rest, we just did. We talked and laughed and met a puppy named Randolph. I'm excited to do it again.

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis hasn't been easy, but Jodi has obviously found tremendous purpose in her diagnosis. She has a certain grace about her and I think this project speaks to the special person she is. Thanks for everything you do, Jodi!



  1. Jodi's photos are gorgeous. How awesome for you to have been a part of it.

  2. Wow, I'm glad you made me aware of Jodi Mckee's photography project. Her photos are amazing.

  3. Hailey FrantzenJuly 03, 2010

    Thank you so much for your blog (and for linking to that amazing photo project). I have a hidden illness (Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction) which causes a wide variety of problems. This past year has been the most difficult yet, causing me to almost flunk out of college. It's so helpful to read other people's stories. Thank you.

  4. thank you so much maya!!

  5. Cathy and Em- I'm glad yo appreciate her work just like me :) Thanks for taking a look!

    Hailey - I'm so glad to have you as a new reader! Thank you for finding me and for your wonderful comment. I know how hard hidden illnesses can be...they're a whole new barrel of monkeys. I'm sorry to hear about your health troubles, and if you ever want to run anything by me please don't hesitate. It's very hard to succeed in school in the face of illness, so just be proud of yourself for trying and don't give him. You should also know it's people like you who keep me motivated to write.

    Jodi- Thank YOU :)

  6. thanks for connecting me with another fabulous resource. i LOVE jodi's project!