This series of photographs by Chuck Ramsay features informal portraits of seven individuals. It was first exhibited during May 2018 at the Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library. It focuses on Chuck’s desire to produce compelling images of interesting and diverse people who do not normally reside in the limelight. “I did not want to show people as they wanted to be seen, or as they envision themselves, but as others most often see them,” he says.

“The everyday people around us form a tapestry that can open our minds to greater acceptance and understanding of each other and foster greater access to human rights,” he believes. “All we have to do is make a connection between each other. This was the basis for building this collection of photos.”

Another aspect of this project was to impose some constraints as a personal challenge for the photographer to change how he would normally approach making a photograph and help him look at subjects more creatively at the same time. The first was to limit artificial lighting to a single, small LED fresnel spot supplemented at times with a single hand-held  reflector.

Next, an effort was made for each subject to be photographed either in their home or workplace or another setting that was relative and comfortable for them.

Each individual featured in these images can move into the light of our consciousness, and allow us to better appreciate their uniqueness and humanity once we truly “see” them. All we have to do is open our minds, then look and, just as importantly, listen.

Tony Windler, an extraordinary videographer and story teller, assisted throughout this project with lighting, encouragement, and positive critiques.

Bruce.

Car enthusiast and dad.

Open Artist's Statement

Artist Statement

Photo by John Montre.

This collection of images, which I call the  ONE Project, is about diversity, and to a certain extent, about how we view diversity.  Sadly, even today many do not recognize or accept the wonderfulness of having diversity all around us.

Whether it is ethnicity, age, religion, gender, education, wealth, nationality, or something else, I wanted to demonstrate that while there are differences among all of us, there are constants we all share.

Each of these individuals who collaborated with me and my assistant Tony — who by the way now resides in France — are bonafide, wonderful, talented, kind, and generous people. Yet, no two are alike. This is a diverse group.

Maybe if we viewed diversity differently?

Diversity should not, in my opinion, be viewed as residing on a straight line with extremes at either end and a gamut in between. Instead, I like to think of it as a continuum — a circle, a range of degrees. With a line, their is polarization. With a continuum, we are all connected.

During the months it took to photograph all seven models, I shared a sneak peek with some close friends. One made a comment that I chose to repeat: “Look into their faces and you’ll discover something about yourself.” So I’ll ask you to do that, and make an effort to connect with each person’s image in that way.

Don’t miss the opportunity to view these friends of mine and acknowledge them.

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Lyn.

Artist and yoga instructor.

Gin.

Model and house cleaner.

Amina.

Teacher and IT specialist.

Jane.

Holistic RN – emotions, nutrition, posture.

Bill.

Retired police officer and education activist.

Ji Ru.

Buddhist abbot and educator.

©2001-2018 Chuck Ramsay. Copyright applies to all images and content. All rights reserved. No image shown herein may be used anywhere, reproduced, or sold without express written permission of the photographer and author.