Self-Portrait, Crab, Ansel Adams Workshops, Yosemite, California, 1974

Norman Locks, the director, realized they needed more models for the "Nude in the Landscape Workshop." Since I was an assistant in the Bookmaking Workshop, he asked me. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea for a photographer to be a nude model and wrote my MFA professor, Michael Recht, and my parents. I didn't hear back in time, so I said, yes. David Broda, a Syracuse student, visited me there and I took this self-portrait with a fresh water crab (my birth symbol) we found in the river and David standing beside me. I saw how images could reconnect people to 'oneness,' to a ' source.' We perceive photographs in the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls our heartbeat, blood flow, and hormones. Images, therefore, can provoke a physical effect on well-being. I taught "Photography and Healing" at Stockton College of New Jersey in 1999 and 2000 and "Healing Images", at Parsons School of Design in 2001. Parsons' dorms were damaged in 9/11 and the class postponed a month. They had been assigned to experiment with 'transformational' images. I'll always remember one student's series of her dusty teddy bear thrown into the sky, flying freely above Union Square Park, tattered but alive. The project, they said, overwhelmingly connected them to coping and solidified my belief in the power of images.

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