Why faces tell us stories…rich stories…


Meet my friend Sarah…I met her this past Friday at the SC Mission 2014 event in Columbia, SC. She is 62 to years old, walks with the assistance of a cain, and needed glasses. Yes…her vision is not good, but she knew that if she could find her way across Columbia…she could have the opportunity to get a new pair of glasses.

SC Mission is two day event that provides free medical and eye care to those in need. This year’s event experienced 535 patients in search of multiple services over a two-day period. There were 744 patient encounters including 331 eye exams, 275 free eye glasses, 413 medical exams, 101 mammograms, and 381 prescriptions. Over 100 total volunteers made this event possible, including the 500 clinical volunteers.

Sarah was definitely not alone and you can see the happiness in her eyes. So let’s step back from the numbers a bit and learn a little more about Sarah and her journey to SC Mission.

SC Mission 2014 was located at the State Fairgrounds right next to Williams Brice Stadium. Sarah explained to the volunteers at SC Mission that she walked from a location near Providence Hospital downtown Columbia. If you look at the Google Map below, you will see the potential routes she could have walked from Providence Hospital to the SC State Fairgrounds.


You will see that Google estimates it will take her roughly an hour and nine minutes. But, let’s consider Google estimates it takes someone to walk 15-30 minutes per mile, then factors in terrain, walking in downtown city setting, hills, traffic lights, etc.

Now, let’s look at another shot of Sarah…a wider shot of her.


You will notice she is sitting in a golf cart holding a cain. Now, this visual represents so many things.

First, she is probably not going to walk at the same speed as someone who does not need the assistance of a cain. I am guessing that the above  Google Map (based on walking speed and distance) is probably not a fair representation of Sarah’s travels.

sara-faces-blog4Second, since she was in need for glasses…she knew she had to be one of the first in line. This is because there is a limited supply of glasses provided for free. She wanted to be there early. Many people were lining-up outside the State Fairgrounds as early as 12:30am, the morning of the event.

Third, Sarah probably walked overnight and it probably took her two or three hours to get to the State Fairgrounds. Her goal…eye glasses. This means she probably did not see that well at night when walking to the event.

Her smile is represents so much. I think she is just happy…happy that her travels got her there in time to receive a pair of glasses.

Faces tell us so much. There are so many, little stories behind the faces we see each day. I love documenting faces, capturing the emotion, the texture of a person’s expression.

Sarah’s smile touched my heart Friday morning at SC Mission 2014.

Here is a slideshow of the many faces that have captured my attention of the past few years.