For the past two years, I have been involved in photographing children that live in the various homes provided by the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (JBFCS) (https://www.jbfcs.org/). This past christmas, I participated in creating a music video with the children who live at the Henry Ittleson Center, which belongs to JBFCS. Here, young, emotionally traumatized disturbed children come to the Center to seek treatment. Ranging from 5 to 13 years old, they are often diagnosed with psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. These children come to live at the Ittleson House after they are referred.
This past holiday season, I participated in shooting a music video of these children. Initially, I was apprehensive, as I was warned that the children are often unpredictable around Christmas without their families. As soon as I walked in, a young boy ran away, refusing to be apart of the video. I feared that the day was doomed. However, I was happily surprised at the response. I asked girls of various ages to choose the music, and the boys decided on the instruments. They performed 8 songs as an ensemble. The girls were dressed in pink wigs, and sang into sequined microphones. The boys had their hair sprayed in bright colors, and played blow-up saxophones. It was my my favorite day as a photographer for JBFCS yet. By the end of the day, the boy who had once left, was drawn by the music. He came back, and thanked me, explaining that he was now inspired to take photographs just as I do.