Love Through the Lens

By Elena F. Epstein

Anne Muller likes to use her talent in photography to not only create beautiful images, but to also illuminate what is normally hidden from the public eye. By focusing her camera lens on the nurses of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, she created a photographic essay that captures with astonishing accuracy the passion, dedication and compassion of these primary caregivers.

A professional artist and photographer, Muller volunteered her time to become entrenched in the daily lives of nurses. She spent a week at Childrens Hospital in the fall from the early morning hours to the late afternoons following nurses in various units, donning scrubs at one point to capture the nurses in the operating room.

Combining her great skill as a photographer with a keen conceptual approach to storytelling, Muller created a collection of portraits that convey the essential seriousness of the nurses' daily lives, but at the same time captures the joy of helping a child heal and the unique bond that develops between these caregivers and their young patients.

"Before I started I wasn't sure what type of feel I would get, but as I watched these nurses, it was so clear," recalls Muller. "This was an extraordinary place filled with compassion. The work of nurses is so important, but often they are the ones who are overlooked."

Entitled, "Love Through the Lens," Muller's collection of black and white photographs give insight to the complex duties of nurses at Children's Hospital. The photographs were recently displayed at a fund-raising event in Rancho Mirage and during Nurse Week at the hospital. Several of the photos will be used in the hospital's Magnet application.

For the past seven years, Muller, who along with her husband Thomas, splits her time between their home in Jackson, Wyoming and Palm Desert, has turned her passion for art and photographer into philanthropy with wide-ranging interests. She has volunteered her time to create documentary-style photo essays for various organizations including Hidden Harvest, which provides free produce to families in Coachella, California and the elderly care unit of St. John’s Hospital in Wyoming. She has spent three weeks in Bhutan, a country nestled in the eastern Himalayas on the request of the minister of education and has traveled to Mexico City on behalf of the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Muller approaches all her subjects with great affection and appreciation and her insightful photographs are truly a labor of love. "I do this because I love it, because I want to shine a light on what is hidden."

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