Hannah's Story

How Hannah got her voice back

The Background

Hannah is a 17 year old girl who lost her voice for three months.  Her life slowly fell apart as she lost her ability to skate, to interact with her friends and to finish school.

The Concept

Jesenia Ramirez and I took this story and ran with it.  Though the location of the patient (Green Bay, WI) was far outside of NorthShore’s normal service area, we knew the story would have great visuals and an inspiring set of interviews.  We had no idea that the interviews would turn out THIS good though.


Nikon D3S

Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8
Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8

Kamerar BIG Slider

Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC

The Execution

I researched every inspirational photo I could find on ice skating and storyboarded them out into what would be a good visual story.  Jesenia and I went over them and determined which would work and in what order we would shoot them.  Certain images convey certain feelings.  And I knew that for some anticipated parts of Hannah’s story, I would want certain types of shots.  For example, while talking about being recovered, I wanted shots of her just skating and being happy and free.  For shots where she was talking about not being able to speak or skate, I wanted those longing shots of her looking at the ice.  And inbetween, I wanted the work-up of her getting ready by putting on her skates and stretching out.

Jesenia and I also had to work out a shoot schedule.  Because we had so much to do and because the rink was so large, moving lights from one area to another would take a long time.  We also had to ensure that we got the critical shots done first and the “nice to have” shots after that.

A lot of things came together for this shoot to work.  One of the biggest was getting ice rink time donated by Don Chilson at Cornerstone Community Ice Arena in DePere, WI.  Otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get these inspirational images.  The other was that Hannah and her mom and dad were amazing interviewees.  They were very open and enjoyed talking to us and gave us about three hours of their time.  The last and probably most important thing was that NorthShore allowed Jesenia, myself and Romi Anderfuren to travel up to Wisconsin for this story and they put us up in a hotel.  It was their dedication to our vision that helped us push it through to the end.