Personal Project: We All Have a Story
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Tuesday, May 01, 2018
By Hayes Photography
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Almost six months ago I embarked on something that scared the heck out of me, but in a good way.

It actually began a little before that at the end of August.  Yes, I'm a professional photographer, but I'm also a teaching assistant at Webster Thomas High School.  That day in August, I attended the superintendent's opening day meeting for the upcoming school year.  Carmen Gumina had some wonderful remarks for the day, but one really hit home.  He talked about the fact that we all have stories to tell. By sharing these stories within the One Webster family and beyond, Webster CSD colleagues become even more connected to each other and the students they serve. 

As someone who's always been a talker and a lover of being around people, his message really resonated with me.  I spend my days, during the school year, working with students, talking with many people learning who they are, what makes them happy how they click.  I thrive getting to know people. The photography part of my life finds me creating images of people of who they are, what they like doing in places that they like spending time.  It just made sense to combine these two ideas

I'd been searching for a personal project idea and I knew this might be it.  I met with Carm and talked about a partnership to allow this idea to come to life.  Fortunately, he was on board and the process began.  

After hundreds of emails, over thirty interviews, 25 photography sessions and a lot of editing time, the culmination of all that hard work has paid off.  My exhibit "We All Have a Story opens today, May 1, at the Webster Public Library.  

I'm exhausted, scared, nervous, anxious, excited!

I'm so grateful to the district, Superintendent Carmen Gumina and those who opened up their lives and their hearts to me to create this exhibition.  My hope, if you're able, is for you to make some time and come see these unique, emotional collection of images, read the narratives (written by the subjects) and reflect on the fact that as human beings, we all have a story.  What's yours?

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Kimberly Matteson - I live in Dallas, Texas and cannot attend the exhibit, but I’ve been following the photography of Linda Hayes for decades. I wouldn’t enlist anyone else to capture my family’s portrait, or my son’s senior pictures, if I was in Webster/Rochester. She is warm, insightful and a true professional whom captures personalities and create personal poses that can’t be beat!