Martha’s Vineyard Photographer Gives Struggling Musicians Support
Martha’s Vineyard photographer Michael Blanchard, dubbed “the Ansel Adams of the recovery world” by Recovery Today Magazine, is donating a share of profits from his award-winning 2019 book, Through A Sober Lens: A Photographer’s Journey, to MusiCares, a charitable organization that gives musicians a support system of services across a spectrum of needs, including physical and mental health, unforeseen personal emergencies and disaster, and COVID-19 relief.
Blanchard’s message has found resonance with readers around the world since the launch of his Facebook page in 2012 and the publication of his first book, Fighting For My Life, in 2014. Through A Sober Lens won the Gold Medal for Most Inspirational Book at the 2020 Benjamin Franklin Awards, and the reissue of Fighting For My Life has been nominated for Best Art and Photography Book in 2021. Both books blend personal essays with vivid landscape photos taken on Martha’s Vineyard.
In Fighting For My Life, Blanchard chronicles his journey from the depths of alcoholism, suicidal despair and a court-mandated rehabilitation program to a new life filled with caring, joy and contribution through his newfound gift of photography. The book is credited with helping thousands of people better understand the disease of addiction and take the first steps towards recovery.
He further explores that journey in Through A Sober Lens. “As I looked at life through a sober lens, I began to see the world for the first time,” he writes. “My camera became my transporter to places and people I would have never known. I started chasing light rather than alcohol. I started seeing spiritual energy instead of only darkness. I finally acknowledged that darkness and light are required to make a photograph—and life—beautiful.”
Blanchard has raised tens of thousands of dollars through his writing and photography to support mental health and substance abuse treatment on Martha’s Vineyard. His publisher, Genevieve Press, recently released a “jail-friendly,” updated paperback edition of Fighting For My Life that will allow individuals incarcerated for drug and alcohol offenses to obtain copies of it.
Both books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For more information, visit BlanchardPhotoMV.com.