The Unseen Among Us

As a child I was enthralled by the human condition. It perplexed me that so many had less, and even struggled to survive. Early on I was intrigued by black and white images that conveyed suffering. At the age of nine I bought a print by photographer Dorothea Lange, who took many images of the migrant workers in the 1930s. Her iconic “Migrant Mother” image was etched on my heart. It changed my perspective; by the age of ten I no longer was comfortable in my middle class life. It felt unjust to have more than others. The camera became a tool to bear witness to the human suffering that I began to notice in the world around me.

Julie K. Taylor | Light And Matter

The world is a  revolving  door. We are defined by our positions in society and by our productivity. The more we amass the more we are deemed  important. I have been compelled by something else:  the unseen among us. Those who are unobserved or unperceived. Those who are barely noticed as they quietly go about their days in the background of our everyday lives.

Julie K. Taylor | Light And Matter

I remember seeing a gentleman meandering up and down my block, countless times a day. He was elderly, shoeless, and unkempt. I wanted to will him the knowledge that he was as important and dignified as the people driving so quickly by.  Perhaps he already knew his worth.  All people inherently deserve dignity and kindness.  All people suffer.  Some people prefer  isolation. It is easier to be alone, to fly solo.  Some suffer with the available remedy on the shelf, with the loved one there to administer it. The isolated often suffer mentally, physically and emotionally alone.  I liken it to the arm dangling from the socket,  vulnerable to being brushed against. Often the approaching help seems the enemy.

Julie K. Taylor | Light And Matter

Some years ago I had the opportunity to visit and photograph several people who were battling the AIDS /HIV virus. They were all residing in the same non-profit housing project.  Each person was  eager to tell their story , and have their images taken.  I spent much of my time with Tony. He was a gentle giant. Tony contracted AIDS via shared needle use. Tony was a deeply kind  individual. He was gracious. He refused to be defined by his illness and beyond that he refused to be defined by the people who judged him. He was shunned many times, but his kindness prevailed.

J.P was a younger gentleman. He was eager to share his story as well. He had fallen out of a window as a child and sustained a brain injury.  On the day we visited he had just received a certificate of completion from a self-improvement program. He was so proud to share his victory with me.

I met Larry who was a corporate businessman for 25 years, who had decided to change direction. He was in  the process of becoming a monk.  He was gentle and receptive. He and J.P. wanted me to see their rooms.  They took pride in who they were.  There was Tom, who told me that his friend Sparky the dog was his only friend on earth. Tom had contracted AIDS via a tainted blood transfusion.  Tony and Larry have since passed away from complications of their illnesses. It was a honor to meet each one of these individuals.

Julie K. Taylor | Light And Matter

Separation in society and apathetic tendencies are pronounced when we are unwilling to meet others in the reality of their pain or their experiences. The walls of judgement dissipate when we recognize that pain is pain. Isolation dissipates when we are willing to be in relationship with those who are different then us. In some sense we all isolate and protect ourselves. People are hard to dislike close up, so move closer… closer still. Move on in. Loving is not an accolade but an action. The reward of love is improving community, not to be loved.

Julie K. Taylor | Light And Matter

I decided one early Sunday morning to walk downtown and take some photographs.  I saw Chip on the corner with his sign “Anything helps”. He was dressed in a worn, warm dark jacket, bright blue sweat pants, black hat, bare hands, and a great smile. He had a tear tattooed under his eye.He had worked the docks for years but had run into some tough luck. He now was taking it day by day, staying in shelters and pan handling. He told me he could not talk long as he had to get back to the job (collecting money).  He was dubious also of the police making their rounds.  We embraced and said goodbye. Chip lives life day to day.   I often think about Chip and how he is visually seen daily on street corners but in some regards remains unseen.

Some of us forget what we’ve seen. We go home and let go of the notion that others have no bed or food. We justify our neglect by claiming that those who go without are merely living through the consequences of their poor choices.  Some of us supply the temporary band aids to relieve the suffering; we relieve our guilt. We help from the heart.  I think the concept of relationship is paramount here.  The idea of forming a relationship with the unseen can be daunting for some. This is where the true healing begins, though, where the social justice issue becomes a real human being. The goal is recognizing ourselves in the other. We truly are not so different.

Some years ago I met a young mother. Her name is Heidi. She was battling a drug  addiction, and was mothering a young son. She lost custody of her child. A year later, after she completed several programs and improvement steps, she asked me if I would go with her to her court proceedings to regain custody of her son.   She had made great strides and was rewarded custody.  Heidi worked hard to improve, to right her wrong. I cannot imagine the tenacity and courage it took to overcome the addiction and mental illness, but she did. She is now working and doing a fine job of raising her son. Heidi taught me life lessons.  She has a compassionate spirit.

Julie K. Taylor

The lens has the capability to witness and document injustice. As a photographer I am compelled to capture the suffering I encounter with the hope of stirring the same degree of compassion in others that I feel. Ideally, the emotional response will become the catalyst for empathetic action and change.

My intent is not to traffic in pity, but to open eyes to our commonalities. All people deserve dignity and worth. Isolation and suffering are universal. No one escapes, whether we are integrated or unseen and isolated. My intent is to capture the truly extraordinary tenacity and resiliency of a body of people who often are overlooked. When one suffers we all do. When one triumphs we all do. It will be our common suffering and collective compassionate response that will be the catalyst for change in our communities.

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This beautifully written article by Julie reminds us of what is really important in life. She captures the heart, soul and spirit of people in her beautiful photography! She has such great compassion which is communicated through her words and pictures. Well done Julie!


Eye opening in words and photos, beautifully done piece! Thanks for sharing your talents with so many, in away that will help so many.


I understand your concern and the important thing is that you are doing something about it.

John Helgen

Julie combines the power of her amazing photographic images with keen insight about the human condition and the results are incredible. Great article!


The conventional wisdom is that a picture is worth a thousand words; in Julie’s world, the math is a bit different. A few thousand words and a few dozen pictures tell a story more worthy than the constant drivel of “News” that we see and hear.

Well done, good and faithful servant. Julie, you are amazing.


Amazing photos! I love when photography is able to not only capture a moment, bit also invoke an emotion. Powerful and lovely.


Beautiful and humble
Real and mental
A good dose of “life is art”
A wonder of talent


Beautiful photos and heartfelt sentiments!

Teresa Patton

These are incredible photographs. I was going to say which is my favorite but I couldn’t decide. There are so many good ones. They really capture their subjects. Thank you, Julie.

Kathy Perschmann

Julie- your words and photos are beautiful and inspiring… I am glad you are doing this important work.


Amazing photography as usual. By way of her photos, she shows the heart and soul of the people in them. Good reminder to us all to treat all people as equals – you never know their story.


Wonderful photos Julie, and even more so while reading the stories of the people in them, as well your thoughts. Photography can bring together worlds that have seemingly become foreign to each other, especially in situations where words can easily fail. Your work is a genuine example of that, moving us closer. I hope you keep sharing your experiences and thoughts with us, and those of the people you meet.

Alan Taylor

Wow Jewels, I didn’t know you could write! God bless all the friends we’ve met……


Of course Jewels can write too.


This article was well written and made me think deeper about my perspectives on people that I have personally overlooked. I desire not to look past anyone and remembering they’re an individual that matters (whether I know them or not) really helps in this. I lose sight of that at times, and it’s good to see you helping people to regain sight of this.


Julie, thank you for sharing your lovely words and photos. Your genuine love for others shines through.


Beautiful pictures and heartfelt story! Julie has the ability to capture the essence of the human spirit.


The photos show a gentle grace !

Rachel D.

Julie photography captures a raw truth that is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. What stunning images and a poignant, thoughtful article. Thank you for sharing.


Loved this piece :)

Pete and Betty

Your photographs truly tell a story of compassion. You have an insight in to the pain and hurt in our communities that so many of us fail to see. May we all open our hearts and minds. Thank you.

Julie Hodge

Such a beautifully poignant look into the human soul. Through the eyes of a photographer we see and feel the compassion every human longs for. Well done Julie, please continue to share your journey.

Julie Hodge

I am amazed at the depth of your writing. Thank you for sharing your talent and compassion with all of us. I was truly moved by all of your work.

Juliee Winkels

Julie, Exceptional photography and writing. You have a great gift that you share with others, a gift of love and compassion and it shows through your work. Blessings to you. Julie


such beautiful work! wow tender and perceptive!!


Julie, you have such an amazing gift both through your writing and your photography. Thank you for sharing your gift and helping to show the life of those around us. Blessings to you.

Crisman Dwight

Somehow B+W tells another story, it reminds me of the story August Sander of Germany and his photos gave of ordinary people and their life……

Paula Anderson

Dearest Julie,
This is an I credible article, words of a poet
& pictures that capture the hearts of how deeply you love others & how these precious hearts of people who are unseen
But not forgotten. They are not forgotten because you are making it known.
Thank you for your heart for the hurting & opening the eyes of us who need to see.
Compassion for others is truly what we need to show the love of Jesus to a suffering world. Well done my friend


Magnificent work, amazing to know you had a love for capturing photos early as a child it shows in every photo.

Julie Elliott

Julie, thank you for sharing this article. The photography you captured to share about the unseen are absolutely beautiful…just like you. You have such a kind and compassionate soul. Again, thank you for sharing and opening our eyes to see the unseen. Julie

Halle OFalvey

Oh Julie, your work is astounding.You can capture the pulse of the moment with your black and white documentation. I learn so much from you.


Julie’s photos speak volumes, but her words add another dimension—one that draws me in even closer to the people she meets on the street. Thank you so much for your powerful gifts, Julie.


Julie’s life journey of her passionate eye of photography capturing the deep humanity of individuals lives of all mankind in all walks of life just says it all. To love one another unconditionally to all extremes!


Well done and what a beautiful gift.. I love seeing life through your camera ♡

Ann Rahn

Well done

Ann Rahn

Wonderfully written and nice photography.

Bridget Mueller

I enjoyed seeing the black and white photos and reading about the circumstances surrounding each carefully designed frame. It made me think of the every day struggles that so many of us have never had to face. Julie made the people feel comfortable and willing to share their stories. Very well done.


Beautifully written, Julie. Beautiful, insightful photographs.

Megan S Spark

I’ve enjoyed following Julie Taylor’s photography on her facebook page for some time; it’s a blessing to read these words of the heart while considering the faces — to hear the song conveyed in her gentle art. How encouraging that the thought and tenderness expressed has not been lost in our time. The unseen among us are assuredly where we find God. <3


Its not easy to learn of the pain and suffering of the human race, but necessary for us to not turn from it, but instead, serve and show the unconditional love of Christ. Thank you for being a vessel for Christ, Julie, and for being an example of what it looks like to do what he calls us to do in boldness, and not in fear. Nice work!


I am sorry for my mistake. I was obviously referring to Julie K. Taylor.


Looking at the photos of Jacqueline Taylor, I thought she was a person of good nature. This article corroborates the idea that I made. She deserves the gift of expressive ability she has!


It is nice to get to know some of the thoughts and motives behind the extraordinary work of Julie Taylor. Every one of her pictures gives you the feeling that there is a message inside. Now I have a feeling as to what that message may be.

Aethan Hart

Julie opens her lens aperture and our eyess to see those we ignore. It’s like hearing but not listening.

Getting the stories behind the images makes images even more powerful.

Moving words and pictures.


Love your work Julie! ✌️?


Give a saint a camera and a pen… this is what happens. The great spirit of divine love loves us all with a force that is unfathomable. The problem is that our suffering cuts us off.

I agree that we are all equal that we all deserve respect. We all deserve much more than this place will give us. This world unfortunately is unforgiving and intolerant of the divine. Julie captures this unfortunate fact with grace and dignity.


Beautiful. You capture the human spirit and uplifted my heart. I see the joy, the courage, and optimism. Thank you for reminding me to see everyone and everything.


Written wonderfully!

Renee Thoreson

Julie, I love the beauty of your black and white images, but really love the gentle way you bring forth these people who are out brothers and sisters. You truly have a gift.


A beautiful story by a beautiful woman. I am so proud to know you and to be your friend. You have changed my life and way of thinking in many ways and you are a true blessing.
Your heart and kindness are amazing and the world is such a better place with you in it…


Thank you, Julie! Beautiful photos and words. It is my prayer that your work will draw attention to the unseen among us and call people to respond. There are opportunities to help and lift others up all around us!


The system has created ways to keep us in a loop demanding for quantity and meet the needs of the structure itself. It infuse us with things we don’t need disconnecting us with brainwash technology and society manipulation. We are in a state we care about more for the things and objects and not about facing and looking into the true essence of life and above all, the problems that exist which are a foundation for a healthy society. The root of all problems lies into the core matrix of the society . The knowledge and the awareness of the people around us. I feel grateful there are people like you who truly see , penetrate, expose , and reestablish the reality of the situation , the truth, create windows to awareness and connect the heart with the mind of people by allowing them through your photos and words to take action and transforming the problems into solutions for safety, comfort, recognition and reclaiming the human rights to experience with dignity, love and happiness the life as it should be !!!!! Thank you Taylor once again for your active contribution !!!keep up and be the voice for those who cannot speak !!


This is beautiful and thought-provoking, Julie. If we just look around, it won’t take long to find someone who you’d rather just ignore. A smile, eye-to-eye contact, and a warm hello can be a day-changer, for both the giver and the receiver!

Alfred Lopez

Nice work! I’m curious to know how you approached your subjects. I’ve always wanted to do a piece like this one, but I have some apprehension about approaching people.



Julie you have touched my heart again. Beautiful insight and pictures. You are so beautiful.


Well, I don’t know much about art but seeing this and reading it made me slow down and think for the first time in … a safe estimate would be *weeks.* Thank you for your work!

Vickie Froemming

Congratulations to Julie Taylor! What a beautiful person you are- I love your photography and I love your stories. You know my favorite photo ever is the curtain in the window photo! It makes me dream that I can do anything. You are such a special lady and it is hard to find too many as special inside as you are friend.


God is love! Pass it on!

1 John 4: Beloved, let us love one another. God is love. Whoever dwells in love, abides in God and God abides in them.

José Pereira

This is a fantastic article, but it doesn’t surprise me coming from Julie Taylor. This should be read by everybody because it’s an ode to human dignity, the most important value to mankind, very often forgotten. Congratulations and Thanks to Julie and the Publisher.


Beautiful work, beautiful words, beautiful insight.

Lori Conley

Another insightful photo essay. Julie’s work has often reminded me of Dorothea Lange’s work, so it was fun to learn of Julie’s admiration for that photographer. Like Lange, Julie has a remarkable ability to capture the essence of each individual.