Saturday, May 2, 2009

Give and Let Live Photography Project

Hello to all those who have skipped over to this blog from my usual one :) and hello to any new readers out there, and welcome to my Give and Let Live photography blog.

In this blog I am going to be documenting my journey within my project - who I meet, how my photography develops and the impact it has on me as a person. I will be regularly updating it with posts about what I am up to and where I am at with everything. I will also write about the amazing people I am taking photos of, meetings to do with the exhibition, fundraising and Sarah's Gifts of Life project.

To any newbies out there and to anyone who is wondering what on earth I am going on about here is a bit of background on the project....

A few months ago Sarah Milne, photographer and Mum of William who received a small bowel transplant last year, came up with the fab idea of a photography exhibition documenting people waiting for an organ transplant and also people who had received one. Gifts of Life was born. Having just gone through the small matter of a kidney transplant (Hi Oli!) I decided (with Sarah's kind permission) to jump on board and then my project Give and Let Live was born.

Sarah has set up a website which you can view here - containing information on the project and also a gallery which will be regularly updated with photos over the next few months.

Project Mission Statement

I was diagnosed with ESRF (end stage renal failure) in 2003, and waited five long years on the transplant list for a new kidney. My amazing friend Oli came forward and donated his kidney to me in October 2008. This act of pure selflessness has literally changed my life, I have never felt better. As part of The Gift of Life exhibition I am going to be doing a series of portraits of live donors and their recipients.

My aim of the project is to capture the strong bond between a kidney recipient and live donor. This is such a special and extraordinary relationship. I want the photos to represent this relationship and the donor's heroic act and to explore the bond between donors and recipients whether it be friends, family members, altruistic, work colleagues or spouses.

It takes a very special person to donate an organ in order to save another's life. Having a strong understanding of the process of living kidney donation I am particularly interested in the donors themselves – why they made the decision that many others wouldn't even consider and the recipient – how they felt receiving the gift of life from someone they know. I want my photos to reflect this.

During my time spent with my subjects I will no doubt be swopping hospital experiences and transplant stories. I think that the fact that I will have a huge amount in common with my subjects will give the project a different outlook and help me bond with them more easily, which I hope will be reflected in the photos.

I will meet with the couple beforehand to chat and get a sense of their personalities and then decide on the set up and location of the photo. What I'd like to achieve is a picture where the viewer has a sense of who these people are and how they feel, I want to move people and inspire them.

The photos are going to be used specifically to raise awareness of organ donation, and also support and promote the charity Life Life Then Give Life. The photos are going to be exhibited at the Menier Gallery from the 14th - 19th December alongside Sarah's photos, with the plan of more exhibitions across the country. The photos will also appear on my blog and website, and I will make up a booklet for the exhibition will will contain all the photos I will have taken throughout the project.

My passion is photography. I've studied it at University of the Arts in London and been lucky enough to have been commissioned to work for various companies such as Innocent Drinks, Art In Site and Divertimenti Cookery School. You can view my photos at My own personal website is in the making!

I am looking for people to appear in these photos. I'd love to hear from anyone who has had a living donor kidney transplant, or anyone who has a living donor transplant planned for in the future. Please get in touch at if you are interested in being photographed or have any questions about the project

Please also get in touch if you are interested in helping out with the project or exhibition in any way. As I will need to fund the printing and framing of the photos, I will be trying to raise funds and looking for sponsorship. Sarah and I are also looking for any other venues that might be suitable to exhibit the photos. So if you can help in anyway, that would be absolutely fantastic...It's all about getting the word out about organ donation!


  1. I'm glad to hear you're involved with Sarah's exhibition :) Your project sounds great and I look forward to hearing about how it progresses. Have fun with it Holly :D

    Moll x x

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