I was contacted by the Mental Health Organization to photograph one of their success stories in 2012 for use in their annual report. As a budding photographer it was quite an honor to even be considered. When they asked me, "what is your rate?", numbers immediately started crunching in my head and finally it hit me. This one is on me. How great is it that this person I was asked to photograph battled back from so many issues to be holding down a job, mentally stable and thriving? How can I charge for that?
I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing AJ. He shared with me his stories of his struggles and how he got a second chance at life. He is truly an inspiration to us all and we could learn a lot from his perseverance and determination to battle back any demons he was battling. My hats off to you AJ. (it didn't hurt that he was also a Yankee fan...)
2013 Success Story from Mental Health Association of New York City's Recovery Works Program © Erik Teng Photography