Oftentimes, in today’s society, prison inmates and the stories they can share are hidden away from the public view or discounted due to their past trouble. Photographer Trent Bell is trying to transform this perception, focusing his camera on both the convict themselves and their unfortunate sage-like wisdom.
His latest series, “Reflect”, incorporates letters from these men that are addressed to their younger selves. Superimposing the words behind each portrait, elevates their tragic importance and makes them come alive. Every sentence is filled with a plethora of emotion, as the men vocalize their regret, failures, and disappointment with the way things panned out.
During the shoot, Trent Bell took the time to record some video interviews that add another layer of melancholy to the series. Each of the ten men, ranging from 26 to 60 years old, tell their story and lament their poor decision making; while offering some sound advice for young people growing up. One of the key lessons: “Never be afraid to ask for help,” which should always be remembered.
Take a look at Trent Bell’s photos and video below. If you are interested in learning more about the project, head to his website for the complete story.