As a graphic designer, I have learned to think and express myself visually. I’ve come to understand that graphic design isn’t art; rather, it’s visual communication. It is a way to reach an audience in a more intuitive way. Learning how to best communicate with my audience came into play with my writing, as well.
I have found that I can most effectively express my ideas after doing research on the subject at hand. This really became the basis for my writing that accompanied these photos. I was able to give a clearer picture of the effects that food insecurity has on children using national and local statistics. Similarly, I compiled facts about the United States and Farmville to write about the Kroger closing. For both the Kroger photos and the F.A.C.E.S. photos, I realized that the best way to enhance the message of the photos would be to let the facts speak for themselves.
Taking the challenge of confronting those who receive groceries from the organization F.A.C.E.S.; I asked to take portraits of families and individuals in order to get a sense of the tone and character set in this location. Upon asking, those who agreed to get their photograph when leaving F.A.C.E.S. understood our class publication and exhibit towards developing an awareness of the food and diet of Farmville, VA. In my series The Many F.A.C.E.S. of Farmville, the people who lack the income to provide food for themselves and their families stare directly back into the eyes of my audience. All those in need do not express the same emotion(s) through their facial expressions, showing how many different stories and outlooks are joined together at this one place for the same intention, to collect a cart. One emotion that united my collection was the awareness presented in each person’s face; each understood their situation and the conditions that imply a need for support. More friends gather at F.A.C.E.S. each Saturday, recognizing familiarity and forming a weekly routine, even those who volunteer their free time benefit from the hospitality there. I present to you a group of portraits that provide awareness on the issue regarding hunger in Farmville, VA in hopes that change is made. – Heather Lancaster