While most of us have to deal with bouts of photographer's block or lack of inspiration, a senior photographer still roams the streets of New York City in search of scenes and stories to capture even as she battles with illness and near-blindness.
It has been around forty years since she bought a camera from her first paycheck and started shooting, but it seems nothing is going to stop Flo Fox from taking photos around the streets of New York City just yet — even illness and near-blindness. The New York Times recently told her inspiring story, impressive works, and dedication to street photography through a short documentary entitled Flo: Portrait of a Street Photographer.
Fox was born blind in one eye, but it never stopped her from documenting everything she saw, every single day, with her camera. “Being born blind in one eye was perfect for photography,” Fox says of her disability. “You never had to close an eye to take a photograph. You never had to change three dimension to a flat plane.”
However, around 1976, she started having problems seeing through her good eye. A year later, she had to walk with a cane. A neurologist diagnosed her condition as multiple sclerosis, a debilitating neurological illness that commonly causes visual, motor, and sensory problems. “Call me when you got a cure, I ain’t coming back,” Fox said, unfazed by the threat of disability.
Fast-forward to the present, Fox roams the Big Apple on a wheelchair and has a companion to help her get around and take photographs, as she cannot hold a camera or press the shutter anymore. She is also with battling lung cancer, but not even that has managed to keep her from taking street photographs. After coming to terms with her disability around her thirties, she decided to use whatever she’s got, and that “the most important is to continue in a different style.”
“Isn’t this amazing, to live two blocks away from all the excitement?” Fox says about living in the Big Apple and being able to take photos around one of the world’s biggest and busiest cities.
Watch The New York Times video below to find out more about her story and see some of her impressive street photographs:
If you liked this article, you might also want to read These blind photographers are still taking photos — How about you?