All images by Lee Høwell. Used under a Creative Commons License.
Photography can be a powerful medium to spread awareness of a good cause and Lee Høwell produced a photo-series specifically to promote anti-passive smoking awareness. For the featured photograph above titled “Choking His Future”, Lee won the British Institute of Professional Photography Award in 2013.
Lee took advantage of innocent looking children to create the impact he needed in his photographs showing the negative consequences of second hand smoke affecting the children. The symbolism of passive smoking was effectively portrayed in these images by Photoshopping the smoke shaped gestures killing the children, such as hands choking and knife stabbing them. The children’s blank facial expression, neither smiling nor showing any pain despite visible imaginary smoke harming them, was rather apt in showing the real dangers of passive smoking; it not only poses primary health risks to the smoker but also indirectly and silently destroying the health of others in close contact to the smoker. Another reason why these photographs worked so well was the pure simplicity of the images, having just a child and the imaginary smoke killing gesture in each photograph drove the intended message home successfully.
You can find out more of Lee Høwell’s photography on his website here.