Picture Story – 2014 What We Do

Congratulations to the winners and honorable mentions!

First Place

Bound by Joe Philipson


Push a button. A buzzer disengages the locks to a large metal door. An escort appears at the door and leads you into the basement of an industrial complex in downtown Rochester, NY. At the bottom of the staircase a new world opens of language, culture, and ritual, hidden behind masks, fake names, and fantasy roles. Beneath the ground, and only at night, lies the northeast’s premier dungeon that centers itself on a life of bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism, more commonly referred to as “BDSM”.

After a number of conversational interviews, I was initiated as one of the newest members of the Rochester Kink Society. What started as simple interest has turned into a photographic journey. The pleasure in pain was visually like nothing else I had seen. The prurient bond between master and slave intrigued me as I wanted to understand what it was that gave people this emotional and physical fulfillment. I learned that BDSM is more than just pain and perversion. For some, it is a way of coping with past traumas. For others, it is a way of engaging in the primal, violent behaviors that society deems taboo. BDSM can be a way of obtaining control in a life where there may be none or where persons of power comes to give up control and willfully place themselves at the mercy of another as a display of trust and love.

*To protect the identity and the privacy of the individuals in this community I have substituted their real names with their “scene names.”

Second Place

New Roots by Sarah Ann Jump


Nyirazana Munyarugero, a widowed mother of six from the Democratic Republic of Congo, arrived in the United States with her children and brother on February 4, 2014. After fleeing their country, the family of eight hopes to be able to live in peace in America.

Third Place

Because Hannah Means Graceful by Evan Ortiz


It’s quite common in college to question yourself as you start a new chapter in your life. Sometimes who you want to be and who you are don’t match up, and for Hannah this means a long battle with depression, bulimia, medication abuse, and alcohol. In her journey to learn how to care for herself, Hannah has started to develop an understanding of what it means to need someone and to know that it is ok to rely on another person. While there still is a long way for Hannah to be the person she wants to be, her relationship with her girlfriend Courtney, has helped her see something worth living for.

Honorable Mentions:

Bradley by Zack DeClerck

Mary’s Place by Sarah Ann Jump

Mary’s Place, a non-profit refugee outreach center in Rochester, NY, offers many essentials to families as they arrive in America for the first time, but most importantly provides a welcoming community for people from over the world.


Sponsored By

Gitner Family Print  SPAS




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