Co-Editor of Lens Blog & Senior Staff Photographer
@ The New York Times
based in New York City
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James Estrin is a Senior Staff Photographer for the New York Times. He is also a founder of Lens, the Times's photography blog and co-edits it with David Gonzalez. Mr. Estrin...
Women in Recovery, One Photo at a Time
Monday, March 27, 2017
By Evelyn Nieves: Once she got sober, Rocio De Alba began noticing women trying to stop drinking or using drugs everywhere she looked. She saw them on the news, interviewed in decrepit halfway houses. She saw them in documentaries, caught in alleys and corners dying for a fix — and dying to stop. She studied their close-ups in photo essays, their faces creased and spotted, roadmaps of their worst days.
None of them looked like the women Ms. De Alba met in her recovery meetings. Nor did they look like her — a fine art photographer and busy wife and mother, raising four children in Queens.
Ms. De Alba wanted to show the public what women in long-term recovery look like in the real world. Five years after she confronted her alcoholism, a scourge since her teens, she began to approach the women she knew from her meetings.