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Mike Spitz: Medicated for your Protection – Portraits of Mental Illness

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Looking for traces of normalcy01052014-Dirk-651x537

Sometimes an image can help us have a difficult conversation. Mental illness is one of those topic areas we continue to have difficulty talking about.

Mike Spitz is a clinical therapist and photographer who set out to document the faces of people with mental illness. Here’s his process:

Despite their mental and physical deterioration, abandonment by friends and family, and their pathology, my aim was to capture the subjects’ humanity, dignity and any traces of normalcy. I was not trying to present them as “crazy.” I shot in a straight forward manner without unusual angles, blurring, or other tricks to create a madness “effect.”

Mr. Spitz shot photos on weekends and nothing was pre-arranged and the photos depended on the willingness and mental condition of the people being photographed:

Most of them were friendly, helpful, eager to participate, and lacking in the usual self-consciousness and inhibition of models and other “normal” or “sane” subjects.

Check out the full post at Lenscratch, which remains a daily must-read for me.

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Image credit: Mike Spitz via Lenscratch

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Written by kirkistan

January 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm

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