VIEWPOINT: Street Photography is a Creative Venture

"One of the many things I think about when I capture photos...what story is going on, what is happening to one individual at this very moment, in their own little world."

By Michelle Valigursky, Jason Lee 11Ox 13C

The life of a street photographer is filled with twists, turns, and interesting people. For Jason Lee 11Ox 13C, life is a soul-stirring journey that begins with a single glance. EmoryWire presents his viewpoint on overcoming obstacles – and triumphing. Lee recently guest posted on Fuji Rumors, where he wrote about his life with cerebral palsy, and his ultimate entrée into the photography world. EmoryWire is proud to present an excerpt of that post:

Jason Lee

Jason Lee 110x 13C

Numbers have always been important to me. As such, I was born in the year 1990, at 6:30 a.m. on August 15. The era of 90s music, punk haircuts, and the dSLR. Good numbers right? Some numbers that didn’t sit well with me were: 3 months premature, 1.5 lbs., and 53 days in the intensive care unit. I had arrived too early and those numbers weren’t so good. Doctors diagnosed me with a condition known as cerebral palsy, essentially a form of brain damage. According to them, I would never walk and would probably show signs of mental retardation as I aged.

“Let him take it easy,” they told my parents. “He’s going to have a tough life.”

Needless to say, my parents were having none of that. Around age five or six, I managed to take my first steps and it’s been a roller coaster ever since. Growing up was a struggle, as I switched to 6 different schools before the 4th grade, trying to fit in while being mercilessly teased for the way I walked.

Enter photography. It changed my introverted demeanor and forced me to go outside my shell and interact with others. Despite the stigma from my gait, slowly but surely, I was able to express myself through art. Read the complete article here.

Capturing Moments of Humanity


As a street photographer, Lee captures life on the streets: the beautiful, the ugly, the heart-wrenching, the triumphant, and the unforgettable. He has launched and successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to produce a photobook of his journey. He will continue fundraising to expand the scope of the project. Learn more about Of Places and People: A San Francisco Experience here.

Lee writes on his website, “This is a creative venture.

“I grew up on books. Or, more specifically, the idea of stories. Whenever I did well in school, I received a new book, and with that another opportunity to get immersed in a story. As I realized I was better at telling stories through pictures rather than words, I decided to ask my parents for a camera. When I was 20 years old, the moment finally came. From that point on, I was hooked.

“That is what photography means for me today. A chance to tell a story. A chance to connect people with something. An opportunity to create a memory. Whether it's through a portrait session, a jaunt on the street, or a quick candid capture, I'm always looking for something that conveys something deeper. A glance, a gesture, a grin. Stories are all around us.”

He concludes, “It is my hope that one sees the joy I feel from being behind the lens comes out both in my interaction with my clients and in the quality of my work.”

Editor's Note:  Keep in touch with Jason Lee.

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Michelle Valigursky