Portfolio: Patricia Lay-Dorsey, Falling Into Place: Self-Portraits

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1942, Patricia Lay-Dorsey brings her training as a social worker and decades as a visual artist to her work as a photographer. She is all about seeing herself and others from an insider's point of view.

Patricia's essay, Falling Into Place: Self Portraits, has been featured on the New York Times Lens blog, Visura Magazine, Lenscratch, Burn Magazine, New Mobility Magazine (print), and in Catherine Edelman's "The Chicago Project." The cover image was included in the 2011 Beauty CULTure exhibit at The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. Falling Into Place received 3rd prize in the 2010 FotoVisura Grant for Outstanding Personal Photography Project. David Drake, Director of Ffotogallery in Cardiff, Wales, has begun work on publishing the book.

Patricia and her husband Ed have lived in the Detroit area since 1966.

A statement on the work follows the images.

Series Statement: So many stories are told of persons with disabilities from the outside looking in. Often portrayed as tragic and / or brave, it is easy to lose sight of our common humanity. We are seen as other. For years I resisted and resented this attitude whenever I encountered it in person, print or online. In June 2008 I started taking self-portraits that could show from the inside the day-to-day life of a person with a disability; that person being myself.

As subject, I was surprised by my feelings of shame and "otherness." As photographer, my differences were interesting rather than shameful. As viewer of the photos, I saw how hard my body works to do what I ask of it. If anyone had to change their attitude, it was me.