Photographer Rob Woodcox was adopted as a baby and removed from an abusive home life. His series “Stories worth telling” seeks to bring attention to foster and adopted children. Funding and resources are sorely needed to help care for those born into dangerous environments and Woodcox does an amazing job of bring this topic to light.
You can see more of his work here.
Can you please tell us more about the meaning behind the series and why you created it?
I began creating Stories Worth Telling after attending a foster camp as a counselor. I was like a parent for two boys for a week, two years in a row and I also mentored some of our campers for the year in-between. The experience was life changing to say the least and I got a very vivid, close experience of what these kids were facing. I was adopted when I was a baby, so although my situation was pretty dangerous, I was rescued prior to the age where I had memories of abuse. Being able to help these kids who were facing more than I could imagine made me want to do even more to tell their stories and raise awareness. The purpose of Stories Worth Telling is to bring light to the need for foster parents, adoptions, and volunteer work relating to these children in need.
What kind of theme/direction were you going for?
When I was conceptualizing the series, I decided it was important to show foster children’s struggles from their darkest points, through their most triumphant moments. The series shifts from darker images of loss and brokenness, to images where these children find community and love and hope. I chose to make the style slightly surreal so that any past or current foster child could relate to the story as an adventure, rather than a frightening struggle.
What was the most rewarding part of creating this series for you?
The most rewarding part of creating this series has to be the hundreds of messages I’ve received from past foster kids or current parents who foster and adopt. People are always saying they’re inspired, encouraged and changed by seeing my work and I can’t imagine a more rewarding way to use my art! One of my favorite messages was from a current parent with adopted kids who showed the series to her kids as well—she said the whole family was moved and encouraged by my images and that made every second of the process worth it.
What would be the one message you would send to foster kids out there?
My one message to any foster kids out there is that you are SO valuable and SO loved. Nothing anyone can say or do changes that, and someone is out there that wants to help you, be open to letting that person or family in!
Via My Modern Met