Thursday, July 7, 2022

This Williamsburg photographer’s exhibit is dedicated to local first responders

Michael Taylor's fourth series from his "First Responder Project" with Riverside Medical System is on display at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester. (WYDaily/Courtesy Riverside Walter Reed Hospital)
Michael Taylor’s fourth series from his “First Responder Project” with Riverside Medical System is on display at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester. (WYDaily/Courtesy Riverside Walter Reed Hospital)

Award-winning photographer Michael Taylor of Sigmon Taylor Photography in Williamsburg, has unveiled the fourth series of his “First Responder Project” at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester.

The photographic exhibit commissioned by Riverside Health System features first responders local to the hospital and will hang permanently inside the Emergency Department’s lobby.

The photo series is in tribute to men and women who the medical staff said in a news release are more than their “partners in healthcare.”

“We have all seen a lot of hard things together, we have been angels for each other,” said Shannon Klink, nurse manager for the Emergency Department. “Seeing all these images tonight and knowing they will hang on the walls of our hospital is like having photos of your own family hanging in your home.”

First responders from the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck regions, including Gloucester County Sheriff Darrell Warren Jr. and firefighters from the Mathews Volunteer Fire Department are pictured in the 30-image exhibit in Gloucester adding to the 146-photo collection already displayed at other Riverside facilities.

Riverside has been working with Taylor on the “First Responder Project” since 2014 when he accomplished the first series featuring emergency personnel in the greater Williamsburg area for Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg, according to the news release.

In 2016, he featured Hampton and Newport News first responders for an exhibit at Riverside Regional Medical Center. 

“I’ve never had a project I’ve had more freedom in or with subjects that I’ve cared and admired so much,” Taylor said in the news release. “I’ve enjoyed, loved, and put my heart into this project.”

A James City County Police officer poses with his motorcycle at the New Town Regal Cinemas 12 in 2014. The photo is displayed inside the Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg as part of the "First Responders Project" by Michael Taylor. (WYDaily/Courtesy Sigmon Taylor Photography)
A James City County Police officer poses with his motorcycle at the New Town Regal Cinemas 12 in 2014. The photo is displayed inside the Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg as part of the “First Responders Project” by Michael Taylor. (WYDaily/Courtesy Sigmon Taylor Photography)

Throughout each series, Taylor said he’d worked to not only showcase the teams’ specialty equipment but also give a nod to the localities they serve by photographing them in specific locations as he did with the James City County Police officer and his motorcycle at the New Town Regal Cinemas 12.

Riverside representatives said images exhibited at Gloucester’s Riverside Walter Reed Hospital are set along marshes and creeks, under the George P. Coleman Bridge, and on the county’s Main Street.

Taylor has also provided photos of Tappahannock first responders for Riverside Tappahannock Hospital and a spokesman for Riverside said they’re discussing another series for their location on the Eastern Shore.

“We have been providing emergency medicine in this community consistently since 1977 and it could never happen without the selfless and tireless work of our first responders,” said Esther Desimini, president of Riverside Walter Reed Hospital.

See more photos from Riverside’s “First Responder Project” by Michael Taylor by clicking here. 

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