by Dawn Cheairs
Part of what makes my job at DohJe so amazing is that I have the opportunity to take photographs of an organization’s staff when they onboard with us. This isn’t obligatory, but it sets us all up for success by including and recognizing those staff members that are so often overlooked. Sometimes literally overlooked. Individuals that work at large facilities, or organizations that have many physical locations, don’t necessarily know what their fellow employees look like. So I travel to the facility, set up my gear, and talk to strangers.
During each shoot, my goal is to bring out the “je ne sais quoi”, the THING that makes a person special, and coax it into the photograph. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s that light that illuminates a man when he talks about his passion. That fierce strength that suddenly appears on a woman’s face. The fascinating angles of a body when the human in front of you declares the story of their trials and triumphs. The thing could be named “beauty”, but it doesn’t really matter what it’s called. It exists in every single one of us, and I want it to come out and play.
How I see someone is not usually how they see themselves. I see wisdom in the wrinkles and burgeoning hope in the awkward smiles. I see lives lived or just getting started. I see authentic human beings … being. It is my distinct pleasure to be a part of something intimate and public, simultaneously.