In a New York Times op-ed this summer, author and columnist David Brooks wrote about how a series of portraits of 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass influenced attitudes toward slavery.
A photograph, Brooks wrote, “is powerful, even in the age of video, because of its ability to ingrain a single truth.”
Emily Jacqueline Potter (Em, as her friends called her) understood that intuitively. The photographs she took were poignant and powerful. Tragically, Emily passed away in 2014. She was just 27. You’ll learn more about Em, who was my and Lou Potter’s only daughter and Alex Potter’s only sister, in the coming months. I’m eager to tell you more about this wonderful young woman and would have done it before now if I had been emotionally able to do it. I believe I am now.
In lieu of flowers at her memorial service, Lou, Alex and I suggested that family and friends consider making a donation to a wonderful organization, 100Cameras, which gives kids the tools to “become agents of change.”
This is from 100camera’s website:
By teaching kids to share their perspectives through photography and then turning their stories into sellable products, our students are empowered to learn that they can make a difference by directly funding medical, educational, and lifeline supplies for their own communities.
Emily would be proud that her dad is collaborating with 100cameras to broaden the audience for their students’ work. Monday through Friday over the coming weeks and months, we’ll post a different photo taken by one of those students, along with information about the photographer and how you can buy a print. On the weekends, we’ll post one of the many photos Em took during her all-too-short life. Em’s photos will be watermarked with her handwritten heart and name.
Emily loved children. We know she’d approve. Welcome to Em’s Square!