Katrina Families


I began this project, “Saving Grace: Families Rebuilding their Lives After Hurricane Katrina,” in late September of 2005, I made my first trip to The Gulf region after a conversation with fellow photographer Russell Fredrick, who felt my visual participation would add dignity to their lives. Russell like I was appalled at the main stream media’s account of referring to them as ‘refugees.’ They had forgotten these displaced Katrina survivors were not ‘refugees’ or all looters, but Americans who were merely trying to survive the tragic elements of the storm by finding food and water for their families. They were facing the worst times of their lives.
Our journey began, photographing and audio taping 14 families in their homes; some relocating to and rebuilding their lives in Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, California and New York. My primary aim was to shape “Saving Grace: Families Rebuilding their Lives after Hurricane Katrina,” with the humane understanding and an important emphasis on families; scattered throughout the country and still trying to rebuild their lives with tremendous resiliency and incredible strength. I believe my coverage of these families offered them real opportunities to share their traumatic stories and perhaps begin the process of healing.