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photo of a lake
Silence of the Season. Photo by Rachelle Leon

A link to memories long forgotten

Rachelle Leon

Rachelle Leon. Photo courtesy of Rachelle Leon

Uncovering what’s been missing

by Rachelle Leon

In 2011, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Because of my brain lesions, I developed poor memory and facial recognition, along with other symptoms. I began to look at photos I had taken, and I’d write down whatever came to my mind. One emotion would lead into another and eventually I’d remember something long forgotten. The photos made me realize that my memories weren’t gone. They were just deep within my soul and needed help pushing through the uncertainty.

I love photographing people of all shapes and sizes—ill, disabled, or not—because I believe each person can teach us acceptance of all beauty types. To be able to inspire and to give someone a voice through art is such a wonderful gift.

Whether photographing nature, an object, or a person, my only hope is for others to be able to feel. I want my photography to be used as a tool to help viewers remember their own personal memories, pieces to their story that may have been missing. Memories are precious and powerful and fleeting.

And I realize there is another opportunity: to educate the public about those unique and individual experiences captured in my work.

It’s time to use my photography as a bridge so we can all walk together with our collective stories, our experiences, and even our own misconceptions in order for us to heal.

Rachelle Leon lives in Gorham, Maine, with her husband and their many animals.

Tags: Fall 2019