A Hospital Photographer Turns Her Camera on Chicago’s Artist Community

A hospital photographer by day and a creative photographer by night is using her artistic eye to celebrate an art she says has no limitations.

Physician headshots and surgeries are just some of the many images photographer Jordan Porter-Woodruff has been taking since joining the team at UChicago Medicine five years ago.

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“My boss comes into my office and he gives me this camera and says, ‘You have to learn how to use this,’” Porter-Woodruff said.

She took some classes and the rest was history.

The pandemic began shortly after one class, but with the techniques she learned, Porter-Woodruff decided to enhance her craft by taking artists portraits of creatives she’d always admired.

She started a blog and began to reach out to friends.

Before she knew it, Porter-Woodruff had created a new collection celebrating her favorite artists. It’s now on display in a solo exhibition at the Epiphany Arts Center, 201 S. Ashland Ave., titled, “Portraits: An Intimate View.”

The show features artists in the spaces they create and with their works. She aims to capture vulnerability.

“I want to show these people as people, as who they are,” she said.

While the stories behind Porter-Woodruff’s personal portraits differ from her work with UChicago Medicine, she says it’s all connected.

“A lot of my photography has also come out of my own vulnerability. I didn’t know where life was taking me there for a second,” she said. “I never imagined this being what I am doing. I was very uncomfortable in the process and I had to find my comfort in what was happening. I think for me what I want people to take away from it is a lot of beautiful things can be born out of discomfort.”

“Portraits: An Intimate View” runs until Feb. 11.

Follow Angel Idowu on Twitter: @angelidowu3

Angel Idowu is the JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation Arts Correspondent.

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