By Sana Ullah, // 2012 - 2014
SUP Shoots is a bottom-up storytelling portrait series where the subject tells his/her own story and helps direct their photo-shoot. This project began with the intention to prove that no matter who a person is, where he/she is from, or what his/her status may be, everyone has a story to share:
Every individual has felt happiness in his or her life, and every individual has felt sorrow. The moments may not be identical which is what makes us unique, but the experience of these sentiments is what connects us.
John Lewis wasn’t vegan his entire life. After his mother was diagnosed with cancer, Lewis began to research what may have triggered her illness. Whether the link was entirely clear or not, it was enough for Lewis to change his lifestyle.
“I am a woman of color who is visibly a member of a religious minority in the U.S. This means with all the blessings I do enjoy, I have to work much harder to prove that I am qualified, smarter and have a lot more life, people and cultural experience.”
Jawaad Khan used to try and mold into the person he imagined others wanted him to be, but after realizing he was never exactly sure what others thought of him, he stopped caring and allowed himself to grow on his own.
“I would hope my effort has value, even if I don’t reach a certain goal, or benchmark. I just hope I can do something good.”
“…I laugh a lot. Probably too much… But I can also have a cynical side in which I tell the truth and it's not all rainbows and sunshine. But I’d like to think I’m a genuine person who cares for others, but also wants to enjoy everyday.”
Garcia is an aspiring writer, a poet, a personal trainer, a graduate student studying marriage and family therapy, and a full time teacher-aide at a preschool for children with Autism.
“It’s beneath the stories that people don’t really realize…most people care about the crying, the sadness, the happiness…not the patterns connected between the pages.”