Photography by student in wheelchair recognized

February 13, 2011 8:03:28 AM PST
An international photography project between children from Chicago's Altgeld Gardens and Paris, France La Courneuve included a photographer with physical disabilities.

To be part of the Eye For an Eye project is a dream come true for children from ages 10 to 16 who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

For one child with a disability, it has a different meaning from a different angle.

Andrew King, 10, is a fourth-grade student at Lighthouse Charter School in East Chicago, Indiana. He was one of 10 children from Altgeld Gardens to be selected for the year-round project.

"I like to take a picture of animals and stuff," he told ABC7 Chicago.

Professional photographer Ron Gordon was one of the teachers.

"What I tried to do is influence them in how to tell their story. Story is a big part of the way I teach," said Gordon. "And a lot of it is right there in their neighborhood around Altgeld, what they see, and so, I try to get them to tell me how they feel about their environment." 6:35

Gordon says Andrew's work was different.

"Because being in a chair, his perspective is a little bit lower. So, as a direct result of who he is, his perspective -- his point of view -- is unique to him. He 's shooting everything from the hip, so to speak. It's in his lap, and he does sometimes hold the camera up, but he's sitting down. So, his pictures, even when he's holding the camera up are at waist level," Gordon said.

"When you look at his pictures, you'll see that perspective all over -- even his self portraits are down low, and he does a lot of self portraits. He shoots his feet, his face, his friends from a lower level," the instructor said.

Andrew's level of interest in the project is strong.

"If you ask them a question, he's always the first one to answer, and he also may have two or three different answers," Gordon said.

Andrew's teacher, Andrea Bock, agrees.

"Andrew is a fabulous student, very energetic, always very positive in class, gets along with his classmates, and everyone is always willing to help out and do wonderful things," said Bock.

Being part of the Eye For an Eye project has changed Andrew.

"He's much more visual in class now. He's able to really kind of show us through pictures what he is learning and what he is," Bock said.

This spring, Andrew and the nine other photographers will be making a trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

"I'm so excited about this trip. That's like what I want to experience. I want to trip to Paris," Andrew said.

To learn more about the Eye For an Eye project, go to