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Photographer Jennifer Shaw re-creates her Katrina story with toys and a toy camera. (Jennifer Shaw)

'Hurricane Story' Told With A Toy Camera

by Claire O'Neill
Aug 29, 2011

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Claire O'Neill

Irene was a forceful reminder that hurricane season is here. Six years ago today, in fact, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and brought the devastating floodwaters to New Orleans. That also makes photographer Jennifer Shaw's son exactly 6 years old.

In Hurricane Story, a tiny book of 46 square photos, Shaw tells the tale of how she and her husband fled New Orleans the day before Katrina hit and gave birth to their son in Alabama exile.

To simulate the hazy tunnel vision of those memories, Shaw re-created scenes with small toys and captured them with a toy camera — a Holga. With brief, one-line captions the story unfolds: A couple gives birth, they travel the country in search of shelter, they return to a destroyed city. There are major setbacks and tiny triumphs, and it all ends with the Dorothean maxim that "there's no place like home." You can see the full story on Shaw's website.

In the wake of Irene and on this Katrina anniversary, what is your hurricane story? Share your photos with us on Flickr.

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