A photo album for the visually impaired
Bizarre or trending subjects? Catch a break with our curiosity. Wedding photographer James Day made a daring gamble: to create a photo album accessible to visually impaired people.
Australian based, 34-year-old James Day has photographed weddings since he was 18. “The receptionist at my dentist asked me if I could photograph her wedding and I thought, ‘why not?’” he remembers. To him, ceremonies are unique and moving stories he must immortalise.
After he met a young, atypical couple, Steph and Rob, James Day started picturing a new way to build a narrative. Steph suffers from Cone Rod Dystrophy, a hereditary disease which has cost her her sight. “How, then, could I photographer her wedding ceremony?” asked James Day. “How would I make this day unforgettable, to her?”
An exclusive sensorial experience
After numerous researches, the photographer opted for the confection of a tactile photo album. “I reached out to people around the world who had created images for vision impaired people… But no one replied”, the photographer tells us. Eventually, the wedding album makers Vision Art partnered with him, to create an exclusive sensorial experience.
One year after the ceremony, James Day presented his project to the couple. The wedding’s photographs were covered with different materials, enabling Steph to move her hands through the images, and picture their contents. A memory work, guided by touch. Next to the images, were ten samples of fabrics, and ten crystal vials, filled with essential oils, evoking the fragrances of the wedding. An original immersion into those precious memories. Though the photographer does not intend to repeat the experience, and views this project as “a gift to an old friend”, his transformation of the photographic medium is breath-taking. What if images could be accessible through our five senses?
© James Day