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Rene August Whitfield
I have lived together with my wife for the last 10 years, in Denmark.
Every year she goes back to her roots in Estonia.
I have been witness to the happiness and the sorrow that unfolds around her family: an ordinary family struggling to survive every day.
These images tell me a story about loss, and of how to deal with it… and about the youngest generation in a family touched by hardship: my wife’s family.
I was born in Denmark in 1972. By trade I have been a stone cutter for ten years, but was diagnosed with spinal degeneration in my neck two years ago. Currently I work as a volunteer, helping homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics in Copenhagen. In my early youth, I had a brief stint at art college in London, but didn’t finish. Moving back to Denmark, I did the wrong thing, and was sentenced one year in jail for armed robbery.
In 2003, I set up my own business as a nude photographer, relatively successfully, but after 2 years I had had enough of it; the initial rush of being surrounded by beautiful women quickly faded away. I changed focus, and wanted to tell stories with my photography. Currently I’m considering an education as a photojournalist – meaning I’ll be at the grand age of 43 when I’m let out into the world :-)
I live in Copenhagen with my wife and my teenage son. For me, photography is a way to constantly refocus on the things that matter.
Danish girl photographer of the year 2003
Cover photo on ”American Photo” magazine (Dec.2003)