I'm Not Color Blind

February 7, 2018



I know your intentions are good, but I don't think the words accurately describe reality. I mean, some people are truly color blind. There are thousands of people who are just like Mark Zuckerberg. Well, their bank account may look a tad bit different, but if you can't tell between red and green, then you have at least one thing in common with the social media mongul. 


I'm very thankful I don't share this commonality because I marvel at the incredible beauty this world holds - every single shade and hue that details every story in my pictures. Every once in awhile, I will change my photos to black and white for artistic purpose, but many times the color variance is simply undeniable and without it, the image would not be complete.


My photojournalism trip to Hyderabad, India in 2015 was one of my most memorable assignments. I was taken each day to a new area to document, some as far as three hours away. I met hundreds of students at schools, worshipped in a variety of languages and dwellings, walked the dirt paths in multiple slums and villages and sat with countless patients in a medical clinic. 


One of the things that people in the States pointed out at in my photographs from India was the array of colored garb worn - even in the poorest of communities. The woman tending to her daily chores in the slum with no running water or electricity was exquisite. The woman in the labor village I found sitting outside with her infant was not only wearing a multitude of colors but also surrounded by an equally astonishing amount that amplified the image.




Every corner I turned, I found such incredible beauty in this country and often find the same to be true in other places around the world.


But, here's the thing . . . beauty is not just displayed in cultural wardrobe, but more importantly in the tones of each person's skin. That's what makes this world a beautiful tapestry of life!!!!


I once used an illustration to share this idea to a group of high school girls I was mentoring many years ago. I held up two pictures.


The first picture was that of a rainbow a toddler would typically draw with their box of crayons. The arch was layered with red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. 


Then I showed the girls a picture of the same arch, but with only one layer - red. I then asked the question . . . which one do you find more beautiful? They answered as I had hoped and expected - the one with multiple colors.  


Of course! A rainbow of one color is not as interesting or eye appealing as one painted with a variety of colors. 

In the same way, we were all created to be different. If we all looked the same. Sounded the same. Dressed the same. Acted the same. This would be a VERY boring and predictable world!  I don't want to live in a world without variety. I want to live with the 152 ultimate box of crayons!



That is why I proudly shout that I am NOT color blind!!!!


I see that my Haitian friend is a beautiful shade of dark brown, making his contagious smile shine even more. My sweet friend in India is a lighter shade of brown complimenting her colorful sari. The little boy who immediately stole my heart in Guatemala was a bit darker than my normal non-winter tone. And my own boys got their parents' ghostly white complexion that makes them easily susceptible to looking like a raccoon or a lobster in the summer sun.


(2015 summer . . . this is still after sunscreen)


I challenge you to not only see the color around you on this earthly melting pot, but EMBRACE AND CELEBRATE IT!!!!



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