29
Jun

The Illegal American

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Tear Sheets

Portrait of an illegal immigrant by photographer John Keatley.

Over the past few months, I have had several assignments featuring everyday people facing big challenges.  It’s a nice change of pace every once in a while, and I appreciate the opportunity to meet and work with people who have completely different stories than myself.  It’s a humbling feeling to photograph someone in their 4 million dollar home one day, and the next day photographing someone out in the sticks who is really excited and impressed by my Hyundai rental car.

This portrait is of an illegal immigrant who has lived and worked in America for the past 20 years.  There were no guarantees the subject would show up, which I guess is understandable considering the risks involved for her (being sent back to Mexico).  I was told I could not photograph her face, only her shadow.  However, after I met her and we talked for a while, she said she would let me photograph her from the back which is what I was hoping for.

I bought some small American flags the night before, and asked her if she would mind holding them.  She said, “No, I don’t mind holding the flags.  I love this country.”

Seattle Met / July 2010
Art Director: Benjamen Purvis

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