When we reached out to some of our alumni, we asked them to talk about their lives after school. Chris Capozziello is currently working on a book, here’s what he shared with us about it:

Ten years ago I graduated from the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences with a degree in Professional Photographic Illustration. I work as a freelance photojournalist for domestic and international publications. My work, as I see it, is primarily about inviting viewers into personal stories in order to understand different facets of life. Today, I am publishing my first book, “The Distance Between Us.” It is a story, complete with text and photographs about my twin brother. Nick has cerebral palsy.

I have always wanted answers and explanations for why some suffer and others do not. I have always wanted to know why some get better while others get worse. Is it fate or is it chance or is it just bad luck?

When the professors at R.I.T. urged all of us to practice photographing things around us, I began photographing Nick.  When I was home over school breaks, I made pictures of us tossing a ball in front of our parent’s home, of him spending time with friends, of him in pain. I couldn’t tell you why I continued making pictures of him over the years, but eventually, one picture has lead to another, and our story emerged. The time I have spent photographing Nick, has forced me to ask questions about suffering and faith, and why anyone is born with disability.

Growing up, I could never find the words to express my feelings, but I always wondered if my presence in the womb might have somehow made me responsible for what happened to him. It was a fear I felt I could never tell anyone as a child, yet as an adult I still feel it just the same.

In the end, I can’t answer the questions I’ve been asking myself our entire lives. But, after all these years, instead of asking why, I am starting for the very first time to ask what’s next for us. The pictures have unexpectedly begun to help me move past my own grief, past my fears, and past our family to find out what lies ahead for Nick and me. I don’t know how the future will look, but soon it will be just ours to figure out.

Last year I met a publisher while sharing this story at the LUMIX Festival in Hanover, Germany. Edition Lammerhuber, based in Austria, has come alongside me to produce our story in book form, and we’re looking for support to help make this book possible. The photographs, text, layout, and design are now complete, and we’re ready to go to press. For more information on the book visit Kickstarter.

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Chris Capozziello bio

Chris and Nick, photographed by Rick Gershon/MediaStorm