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Faces from Africa - Boro native hopes his photography can help improve conditions
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Statesboro native Tyler Moore is shown with Kenith, who had anemia, malaria and worms. This picture was one of the only times he smiled all day. This picture was taken while waiting for the results of his blood test. - photo by TYLER MOORE/Special
    Photography has the unmatched ability of communicating the value of a human life," said Tyler Moore.  
    The photographs Moore pulled from his large portfolio were close ups of faces. Each photo had a story behind it: a young boy he helped send to school for two years; a woman named Melvina who was able to receive treatment for a painful hernia; a little girl whose severely broken arm was finally fixed; and another woman he bought a sewing machine for so she could have a source of income.
    A Statesboro native, Moore traveled the world for the past two years – from Liberia to Germany, from Prague to the Czech Republic – writing about and photographing victims of some of the most atrocious human rights abuses and worst living conditions in the world today.  He contracted E. Coli poisoning, visited refugee camps, and started interning for one of the world's most prestigious photographers, Jan Schlegel ... and he turns 20 on May 1.            
    After graduating from Statesboro High School in 2006, Moore pursued his interest in photography by traveling to Mexico and other countries, eventually moving to Paris in August 2007. An exhibit at the Louvre inspired him to contact fine arts photographer Jan Schlegel in Germany.  Since September of that year, he has been interning under Shlegel and seeing the world.  It was then that he realized the potential for using his art for the greater good.
    Though a fan of photography and writing, Moore doesn't use his talents for artistic self-expression. He views himself as a bona fide humanitarian, telling the stories of people who would otherwise have no voice.   
    "When you see a child whose family has been murdered in Liberia10 years ago and now lives a life [of] begging, you do not just see a 'good picture' and capture it," Moore said. "I will not take a picture of a person unless I plan to help them in a significant way. When you take someone's picture, they are giving you their hope and that is something that I cannot take lightly."
    Moore's photographs are used for more than just raising awareness. All proceeds from the sale of his photographs go directly to helping those in the pictures. He asks for donations or uses his own money to make up the rest of the costs. Also, in acts of kindness he regards as "small," Moore figures out who he can best help in a given area and does his best to do it, whether in the form of a toothbrush or a major medical procedure.  
    His pictures have paid for surgeries, medical supplies, food and education for refugees and others in need. In the Czech Republic, portraits of children were taken with them dressed like they want to be when they grow up. For these children who grew up on the street, the pictures were a glimpse at hope for a better life than the one they had known.  According to Moore, the people he helps often have no choice about the situation they are given in life.    
    "Life is basically based on the decisions you make...[but] refugees have a life based on others, based on war," he added.    
    Moore said his passion for altruism began in high school, when he helped homeless people as part of Rescue Atlanta and while working with various mission trips.  He feels a responsibility to help those in need, as an American, as a Christian, and as a human being.  
    He aspires to one day work for a major media outlet, like National Geographic or Time, to educate the public more about human rights issues. He wants to spread his message of altruism to anyone who wants to make a difference. On June 7, Moore's work will be on display at the West Main Street Gallery as part of First Friday downtown. He hopes to open more galleries featuring his work.
    "My hope is that if someone has a chance to buy a picture, they will walk away knowing that the check they wrote paid for Melvina Sherman's surgery and it only took 5 minutes of their time to do."
    After a few months visiting Statesboro to see his family and spread his message, he plans on going right back into the field, back to where he can help people.    
    "To you these people are photographs," he said, "but to me they are real, they are people that I love, the people I am fighting for. And I hope that my love is shown to you through my photography." 
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