In July I photographed a two-day event that I will never forget. It was hot, exhausting, and a completely worthwhile adventure.
TPAN, the Testing Positive Aware Network, reached out to me about photographing their annual fundraising event—the 14th annual Ride for Aids Chicago. The event was a 200-mile cycling journey raising money to benefit people living with and vulnerable to HIV and AIDS.
The event started at Chandler Park in Evanston on July 8th. Each rider made their way along the route to Camp Lutherdale in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Once there, they relaxed and refueled. (I did, too. Or at least I tried.) The following morning, again at daybreak, the riders made their way back to Leahy Park in Evanston.
When the riders made it back to Leahy Park, they were greeted by a marching band, a finish line made of balloons, and were surrounded by cheering friends and supportive riders who had finished before them.
The elation of this moment—of completing a 200-mile journey—was my favorite moment to capture. Going into this event I had envisioned a few ideas and images that I wanted to create, but I was unaware of how truly emotional the finish line would be.
And sitting here, four months later, I still cannot say how truly impactful this experience has been. From the images I made, to the people I met, from the stories that were shared—I am grateful to have had this opportunity to help a great organization and a worthy cause.