Another day, another prison visit... that sounds pretty casual doesn't it? Well, there was NOTHING casual about this visit inside a medium security prison. I thought the day was mine to work on backlog for my business, but the call came at 10:30 AM from my client. He wanted to know if there was any way I could make it to this event... it was last minute for everybody involved, AND, they were allowing photography inside this prison!
I had several things on my plate that I didn't feel like juggling, but the thought of getting to photograph inside a prison had me VERY intrigued... so I made the calls to see if the juggle would happen, and then I rushed to get ready to meet my client. I had to walk through the medal detectors more than anyone in our group... I just kept beeping... finally, I had everything off but my clothes... I'm in.
We walked down this never-ending hallway that had large elaborately painted words (TRUST, INTEGRITY, RESPECT, & LOYALTY) on our way to the cellblock where we would spend the next couple of hours with medium security inmates who had qualified to hear my clients talk.
I was given free reign of the facility (photographically) with an escort whom I welcomed to carry my gear so I could easily change lenses. All I can say is, "it took a few days for the numbness of this experience to wear off." I shot close to 200 photos, I could have taken 1000 (easily).
It was a day that I will NEVER forget. These are people inside paying for what mistakes they've made... hopefully LEARNING from those mistakes. I figure we're all just one mistake away from being just like them. And, as my client would say, "You each have been presented with an Opportunity!"