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A Window Into Another’s World

Valley News - 12/31/2017

As part of my job, I often photograph people who are in vulnerable situations. Sometimes we seek them out; other times, they come to us.

Such was the case with Jessica Soule, a disabled Vietnam-era Navy veteran who was having a rough time last winter.

Numerous health issues restrict her to a wheelchair at her home in Grafton. Soule’s furnace had been turned off because of safety-code concerns, and she was hoping the Veterans Administration would help her with home improvements, but hadn’t been making much progress.

In the meantime, she was relying on a woodstove that a neighbor was stocking.

It can be hard for people to let others know in such a public way that they need help. We can’t approach a subject and say “if you let me tell your story, others may step in to help you.”

Instead, people whose stories I want to tell simply have to trust us that we’ll portray their life honestly and accurately.

It’s a shared exploration for myself and the subject.

The emotion on Soule’s face shows the humanity we try to portray in difficult situations that we think readers need to know about.— Jennifer Hauck


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