“Oxygen” Is the Story of Dancers Living with Cystic Fibrosis

Katarina Premfors’s work with Scuola di Sci Monte Bianco and Courmayeur la Danza aims to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, a condition that impacts roughly 100,000 people worldwide.

“There is no known cure and only half of those with the disease live to the age of 40,” explains photographer Katarina Premfors. She continues, “the symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis affect the respiratory system and the digestive system. Those who have it often find it very difficult to breathe.” Cystic Fibrosis is a rare disease, and the impact it has on those who are diagnosed is heartbreaking. But because it’s so uncommon, many people may not be aware of it and the impact it has on people who have it. That’s why the work Premfors does is so important – especially in a time when those with respiratory conditions are at great risk due to COVID-19.

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This Beautiful Kickstarter Photobook Project Hopes to Help Raise Awareness on Cystic Fibrosis

Photobook project “47 / A Life with Cystic Fibrosis” features intimate portraits of individuals afflicted with the disease. 

Once again, photography proves how powerful it is as a tool that to help impact the lives of many people. In this case, it’s those who are afflicted by cystic fibrosis (CF).

Just last August 22, British photographer Simon Wiffen launched a Kickstarter project for his photobook, 47 / A Life with Cystic Fibrosis, with the goal of raising awareness on CF and to gather funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the UK. It was a simple yet powerful idea: Wiffen took the portraits of 47 individuals aged four to 61 years old afflicted by CF, and placed them side by side with short extracts from the conversations he had with them during the shoots.

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The SaltyKids Photo Project Aims to Help Children with Cystic Fibrosis

Salty Kids

All images by Ian Pettigrew. Used with permission.

Photographer Ian Pettigrew, who did the Salty Girls photo project, is continuing his process of documenting people who suffer from cystic fibrosis. But this time around, he’s photographing children who have the problem; and it’s called Salty Kids. To accomplish the goals for the project, he’s looking to raise funds on IndieGoGo and only has a couple of days left. Once the money is in place, he can begin shooting in the late Spring/early Summer.

Salty Kids will document children (and some family members) as they go through the ordeal together in a studio portrait session–just like Salty Girls. The sessions will then go into a book called Families: The SaltyKids Project.. To be photographed, Ian has some guidelines on his site and they involve the family members dressing in dark colors while the affected child wears white. That way, they’re easily distinguishable. However, from what Ian has so far we probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between these and regular family portraits.

Ian has helped a lot of people so far; and even though there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis yet, he’s still trying to find a way to raise funding for research. In fact, Ian himself has Cystic Fibrosis but a very mild form of it. In emails back and forth with me, he talked about how he feels like he’s been given a moral responsibility to try to raise as much awareness about the condition as he can. Salty Kids is his way of trying to help children.

Photographing the Faces of Cystic Fibrosis: An Interview with Ian Ross Pettigrew

julius motal ian ross pettigrew

Ian Ross Pettigrew is a photographer who got his start in advertising. Having worked with photographers for over 20 years as an art director, Ian further developed his eye for beautiful images. He’s been honored many times over for his portrait work, and it was after he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis seven years ago that his photography took on a personal tone. Ian’s in the process of raising funds for a nationwide portrait project for adults with cystic fibrosis. He wants to change the conversation about the disease because it’s not just a disease that affects kids.

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