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An unconventional photographic essay documenting struggles of a single father and his severely disabled daughter.
An unconventional photographic essay documenting struggles of a single father and his severely disabled daughter.
An unconventional photographic essay documenting struggles of a single father and his severely disabled daughter.
222 backers pledged $30,200 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$30,200

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 Throughout my artistic career I have been driven by the need to give voice to the unheard and unseen.

 This desire became a personal passion when my daughter Sharon was born. Just after her birth I felt there was something wrong with my daughter, and slowly we learned that she was born with disabilities.

She was legally blind, her fine and gross motor skills were undeveloped, and she had low muscle tone. She was also on the autism spectrum, and suffered from seizure disorder and speech delays.  The list continues and it is long.

I started photographing my daughter before she was born and I have never stopped.

During the last thirty years we have been sailing through uncharted waters and it has been a difficult and very emotional journey..

This book brought tough decisions to make: How should I, a documentary photographer and a loving father, portray my daughter?

Should I flatter her and concentrate on how beautiful she is? Or should I concentrate on her disabilities? What about her mother? A good mother who turned to drugs and in the process lost all of her rights to Sharon.

How can I visually depict the complexities and challenges facing someone who is a single parent to a child with many disabilities?

This is going to be a high quality fine art book,  but it will not be limited just to that. It is also a keen examination of the many aspects of disability.

The horrifying statistics regarding woman with disabilities and what they can expect in their life are also included.

I touch on the issue of personal sacrifice as taking on the total responsibility for a child with disabilities comes at a high personal cost.

"Sharon" offers a unique opportunity to increase awareness about disability, challenges of single parenthood and the horrible incidents that people with disabilities, especially woman might experience in their lives.

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The $21,000 is the bare minimum needed to turn this project into a book. Any funds raised beyond the $21K goal will be used for purchasing books and donating them to non-profit organizations that have helped Sharon, and hundreds of others. These include Blind  Babies Foundation, Creative Growth Art Center and East Bay Innovations.

More funding means more books, more exposure, more conversation on this difficult topic. I hope that you will recognize the artistic and educational values of Sharon’s story and consider supporting this project.

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Japan 1 + 2
Japan 1 + 2
Japan 3 + 4
Japan 3 + 4
American Portraits 1 + 2
American Portraits 1 + 2
American Portraits 3 + 4
American Portraits 3 + 4
American Portraits 5 + 6
American Portraits 5 + 6
American Portraits 7 + 8
American Portraits 7 + 8

Risks and challenges

When the challenges of this campaign are met, there will be a book published in February 2016. If there are to be any delays, they will be minimal and you will be notified if they occur.
The main challenge will be the final editing and the many decisions to be made such as, do I include ephemera from these days? How much text should I use? I have no doubt that deadlines will be met and the book will become a reality by the end of the of the 2015/2016 winter. All backers will be kept aware of the book production process as it happens via regular updates. I can't wait to start turning those images into a fine book!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    EVERY DONOR will receive a password to a video featuring Diane Rosenblum’s interesting 45 minute interview with Leon Borensztein about his work. Created by Brief Exposures Diane Rosenblum and Arthur Aravena.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Receive a virtual high five

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    12 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Receive a thank you postcard with an image from “Sharon”, acknowledgment in the book and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.

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    20 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Receive a thank you postcard with an image of Sharon, 6 signed high quality cards featuring images from “American Portraits”, acknowledgment in the book and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Receive a signed copy of “Sharon” the book, a thank you postcard with Sharon’s image, 6 signed high quality cards featuring images from “American Portraits”, acknowledgment in the book and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.

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    36 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Receive a signed Limited Edition copy of “Sharon”; this Limited Edition book is only available to Kickstarter backers. Receive a thank you card with Sharon’s image, all 12 signed high quality cards featuring images from “American Portraits” and “Japan Generation X”, acknowledgment in the book and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.

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    53 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $165 or more About $165

    Receive 2 signed Limited Edition copy of "Sharon”; this Limited Edition book is only available to Kickstarter backers. You can keep one for yourself and "gift" the other or keep both for yourself. You will also receive a thank you card with Sharon’s image, all 12 signed high quality duotone cards featuring images from “American Portraits” and “Japan Generation X”, acknowledgment in the book and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.

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    14 backers
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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Receive a signed Limited Edition copy of “Sharon” and your choice of one signed and numbered 8x10 inch Limited Edition photograph from “Sharon” (edition of 25). Both of those items are available only to Kickstarter backers. Also receive 12 signed high quality cards from “American Portraits” and “Japan Generation X”, acknowledgment in the book and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.

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    Limited 8 backers
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Receive a signed Limited Edition copy of “Sharon”. This is available only to Kickstarter backers. You will also receive a signed and numbered 11x14 inch fine art print from “Sharon”. You will also receive all 12 signed high quality cards from “American Portraits” and “Japan Generation X”, acknowledgment in the book, one hour session on Skype (portfolio review) and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.

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    Limited 3 backers
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Receive a signed Limited Edition copy of “Sharon” available to Kickstarter backers only, new signed out of print copies of “American Portraits” and “One is Adam one is Superman”, your choice of one signed and numbered 11x14 inch fine art print and one 8x10 inch fine art print (see rewards), 12 signed high quality cards from “American Portraits” and “Japan Generation X”, acknowledgment in the book, one hour session on Skype (portfolio review) and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.

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    Limited 0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Receive a signed Limited Edition copy of “Sharon” available to Kickstarter backers only, new signed out of print copies of “American Portraits” and “One is Adam One is Superman”, two signed and numbered 11x14 inch fine art prints of your choice, all 12 signed high quality duotone cards from “American Portraits” and “Japan Generation X”, a special acknowledgment in the book, one hour session on Skype (portfolio review) and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area

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    Limited 0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Receive a signed Limited Edition copy of “Sharon” available to Kickstarter backers only, new signed out of print copies of “American Portraits” and “One is Adam one is Superman”, two signed and numbered 11x14 inch fine art prints of your choice (see rewards), 12 signed high quality cards from “American Portraits” and “Japan Generation X”. A special acknowledgment in the book and an invitation to the book launch in New York or in the Bay Area.
    This level also includes a studio session with me. I will bring my studio to your home for an unlimited time and together we will create a memorable portrait of any/or all members of your family including pets. Limited to the Bay Area.

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Funding period

- (30 days)