Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

The Story of Abraham

Please welcome first-time contributor Heather Williamson, a 35-year-old woman from Palm Springs, California. Heather has experienced many ups and downs. At one point, her world as she knew it came crumbling down, and a new world had to be built. The new one consisted of Rehab, AA and various diagnoses, such as Manic Depression/Bipolar, GAD, SAD, PTSD and Clinical Depression. Heather currently lives in Palm Springs, surrounded by doctors, new friends, the program and other people healing. She has only recently started back up doing what makes her heart sing, including photographing and writing. Some of her images are blurry. Some are crystal clear, and some are just chaotic. She lets her camera and her subjects speak for her. And they do. By capturing a subject’s soul, she is able to express her mood, her thinking, and her soul as well. She does not edit the images, nor does she take more than one photo of the subject and they are all shot on 35mm film.

About this photo: I met Abraham in downtown LA. 

I saw him as I was closing my car door, quickly jumped out with my camera and ran to him.

As I introduced myself, I asked him what had happened.

He told me in a gravelly low voice  “They” had tried to kill him. 

“They” had pistol whipped him and beat him. 

As he was sharing his story with me, I noticed his helmet to care for his brain.

His tracheotomy to help with his breath and the bruises that were healing around his eyes. 

I noticed his rosary hanging from his neck for safety and guidance and his mouth that was dry and slow with words.

I then noticed for the 2nd time, his eyes. 

His soul.  His POWER. 

As his family member stood by for support, I asked if I may shoot him.

Which was probably not the best way to ask, but he agreed.

He looked at me with his dark determined eyes, and asked why?

I told him for STRENGTH and COURAGE.

I told him that to me, he represented LIFE and I wanted to remember him forever.

He stood there solemnly as I shot once and than thanked him and we both went on our way.

Abraham and the countless other amazing humans I come into contact with bring me back to LIFE and give me the COURAGE to keep going.”

You can find more from Heather at her website or blog.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here ▸ Now a 501(c)3 non-profit! Please donate here.

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9 comments on “The Story of Abraham

  1. kmanderson11
    April 11, 2015

    Great work!


  2. jazziesmom
    April 11, 2015

    Keep on rockin’ it Heat!


  3. Ashley Lily Scarlett
    April 11, 2015

    What a great and powerful image!


  4. Frances D
    April 12, 2015

    Powerful melding of word and image.


  5. Robert Crisp
    April 12, 2015

    What a great picture and story. I love this blog.


  6. Robert Crisp
    April 12, 2015

    Reblogged this on Recovery 101.


  7. Pixie
    April 12, 2015

    Beautiful capture of inspiration in the face of diversity…both of the subject and the photographer. Nice post.


  8. bluebrightly
    April 12, 2015

    Very intense! And a strong portrait.


  9. joannejerrell
    April 13, 2015

    He has amazing courage.


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