Loren Worthington

Another disabled photographer, Worthington does not confine himself to the studio. He uses a tripod head attached to his wheelchair using a Mount’n Mover limb system developed specifically for disabled people by BlueSky Designs to enable them to use cameras laptops tablets and other electronic gadgetry.

Although much of his work is centred on Paralympic athletes (I have decided not to look at Paralympics or the athletes in particular yet since in my opinion they form a completely different category), the photographs that I found to be of far greater interest on his website are the images of disabled people at work or just getting on with doing everyday activities (such as the image here of a disabled girl and her abled friend taking a ‘selfie’). I think this kind of image speaks far more for disability empowerment than images of top sports celebrities.

Although his website says that Worthington is not exclusively a ‘disability photographer’, I personally find that some of his more powerful and considered works are of disabled persons, in much the same way as Voelker’s. This is not to deny the value of their other work, it’s just that both photographers seem to be expressing something more vital and personal with their images of disability, and I think this is what gives those particular images their edge.

Some of Worthington’s softer images are those that show disabled people in normal situations; these images are not stylised in any way, since to do so would detract from their ‘normalcy’. Here is something that I need to consider when it comes to my project: since I am not necessarily taking an activist stance like Olin and my project is more about inclusion and representing my subjects as people who are trying to lead a semblance of a normal life despite their impairments and the social barriers they have to deal with, I am inclined to go for this ‘natural’ feel in my imagery.

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