Randy Bacon is a long-standing, acclaimed contemporary American photographer based in Springfield, Missouri. He has an extensive history in portrait and documentary photography, as well as, humanitarian work. At the core of his work is the ability to present emotive, authentic visual stories of the people he photographs.
Just As I Am, presents a series of large-scale black and white studio portraits and personal narratives told directly by the subjects Bacon photographed. Just As I Am invites us to view the world through the clear lends of someone living with Down syndrome; a lens of pure love, honesty and compassion. The exhibit's aim is to create awareness and a better understanding of Down syndrome through intimate studio portraiture, raw, authentic narratives and short film series, as to change the way we see those with Down syndrome. These individuals are not deficient in any way; but are in fact "extra." An extra chromosome gives those with Down syndrome an extraordinary ability to see the good, the joy and the beauty in this world that the rest of us often can't see. This project challenges us to celebrate those with Down syndrome just as they are and to recognize the unbridled joy, genuine compassion and clarity in life they express every day of their lives.