I recently produced a short documentary for a local Photographer in Northwest Florida named Melissa Thurber of Melissa J Thurber Photography. Melissa has been developing a photographic art book over the last few years and as with most projects I have worked on with Melissa, it is one that is personal and very important to her. The subject of her book is looking into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or as most people refer to it as PTSD. With the advancement of media, we have started hearing more about this disorder that has long been hiding in the background and often suppressed. The unfortunate aspect that is often the case is that we tend to hear about the extreme symptoms that can accompany PTSD and the silent majority remains quiet. Melissa expressed her frustration stating that "we are not monsters...we can live stable happy lives!"
Melissa feels such passion for this project because for 8 years she served as a Medic in the Army, 18 months of which were in Iraq, before pursuing photography professionally. Her drive for her book is fueled by the lack of understanding and voice for herself and fellow soldiers who she hopes will gain some healing through participation and viewing the finished book as she gains some herself.
It has been a humbling experience interviewing and filming Melissa speak candidly with me on such a misunderstood, painful and personal subject.
Since making this video, Melissa's GoFundMe page has reached the half way point of her goal of $5000, her crowd funding page has been shared over a thousand times and the accompanying video has over 400 views on Youtube. With all of the great news,she was gracious enough to sit down for a follow up interview to give us a greater sense of her, a deeper insight into her project and how the response has been so far.
I welcome you to listen to the interview (16:21) to get a more in depth look at Melissa's story, her project, what donation money will go towards and various other things along the way. It was a fun interview and the time flew by.
You can find more information about Melissa's Photographic Art Book on PTSD and donate at http://www.gofundme.com/FundingForPTSDBook to support Melissa's efforts.
I also encourage you to check out Melissa J Thurber Photography.