I had an idea for a shot that I keep coming back to. I wanted to shoot people with invisible illnesses and do a series to remind people that disability can't always be seen. It's a very intimate and personal thing, so I've been hesitating.
Well... Today marks the last day of Deaf Awareness Week (4-10th of May) so I've run out of reasons to put this idea off. And with social distancing happening, I only had one subject left to photograph... So here are some self portraits with focus on my 'bad' ear. I noticed that at about 6:30 pm the sun hits the door in my living room, giving beautiful dappled light. Perfect lighting conditions for what I had in mind. Dynamic shadows and texture, exactly what I need for a self conscious and vulnerable portrait. No help, no makeup, just me and that ear.
"I'm a little bit deaf"... That's a phrase I say occasionally. People forget this easily or are unaware because there are no visual reminders. I can not tell you the amount of times I have turned to be greeted by a frustrated face when I haven't heard that person call my name. I am however, lucky to have one healthy ear! (I have lost about 75 percent of my hearing on my left side.) My deafness is caused by a vestibular illness, so wearing a hearing aid isn't alway possible, my hearing fluctuates. I still can't work out the riddle of when a good and bad day will happen.
The only tell tale sign that I might be hard of hearing is when I am wearing my hearing aid. To me it feels like a huge sign but in reality people usually don't even notice. You might catch me lip reading too, but few people do. As a little signpost for my naughty ear, I got my helix pierced in January. I thought my bad ear needed a little extra bling (and a perhaps be a helpful reminder to friends that unfortunately they have my bad side).
The UK Council on Deafness (www.deafcouncil.org.uk) have some great tips on what you can do when you meet a deaf or hard of hearing person. With eleven million people suffering with hearing loss across the UK, you are bound to mingle with someone. Head the the website for more information, where you can also show your support by making a donation. If you have any questions my inbox is always open.
weekly musing from Rosalind Alcazar Photography