Teenage Runaway - A Parents Nightmare [People]

© Heather K. McFarland

Teenage Runaway - A Parents Nightmare

Uploaded: October 28, 2007 19:03:25


A recent story of a teenage runaway touched me deeply. It would be a nightmare for me not to know where my son was staying or sleeping, or if he was safe, fed and warm. Many teens think they are running to a better place and a better life with no rules, yet end up living in fear and squalor unable to get back home. I asked my son to model for me in an old abandoned cabin to create an image that shows how many runaway teens end up living. I hope that someone thinking of running sees this image and decides to stay home with their families who love them. I have mixed emotions seeing my son in this image. I feel extremely lucky that he is a happy, healthy teenager and thank God, that he is safe and warm here with us. On the other hand, my heart breaks for all those parents who do not know where their child is tonight.


Andy Robinson October 28, 2007

Great image! Love the tones, emotion and mood! #773199

Cindy Bendush level-classic October 28, 2007

Good for you for portraying something few want to see in order to call attention to this teen plight Heather. And, kudos to your son for such a job well done modeling - great expression! #4997429

Jennifer L. Alder October 29, 2007

I AGREE! Very touching image, Heather!
The comp and treatment here are fantastic
Very well done #4998057

Megan p October 29, 2007

This is excellent!! I am not there yet with teenagers, but gosh this hits home! well done! #4999020

Linda D. Lester level-classic November 04, 2007

Excellent shot....It is so sad to think they want to run away! Also there are always two sides to every story! Which is sad too. Great job! #5025877

Murry Grigsby November 14, 2007

Great idea, setup and image Heather! Your son's pose is very well done also. I hope your photo and hard work will keep at least one child home with family but better yet a whole bunch? #5074701

"emmanuel ""nolax""" N. Montemar November 16, 2007

wow! the treatment is superb! may I know the filter you used on this one, Heather? thanks. #5082095

"emmanuel ""nolax""" N. Montemar November 16, 2007

wow! the treatment is superb! may I know the filter you used on this one, Heather? thanks. #5082096

Heather K. McFarland November 16, 2007

No filter was used at all Nolax. It is an HDR image. Meaning I took 3 different exposures on a tripod ( EV's -2, 0, +2), only one with my son in it. Then combined the 3 exposures with Photomatix and other work in PS. #5083606

Heather K. McFarland November 16, 2007

Oh and I forgot. I did use the Dragan action on the image also. #5083612

Margot Petrowski November 26, 2007

Congrats....wonderful and thought-provoking!!! #5127604

Melissa Olsen November 26, 2007

Congrats Heather, I love this image!! #5127811

Kay E. Mahoney level-classic November 26, 2007

Congratulations on your finalist, Heather. #5128046

anonymous November 26, 2007

Congratulations Heather on your finalist! B- #5128197

Cynthia L. Deters November 26, 2007

Great story. Wonderful idea. Congrats on the finalist! #5129437

Wende Trew November 26, 2007

This is soooo AWESOME and very moving image to me! Congrats on a well deserved finalist!!! #5129769

November 26, 2007

Very poignant image Heather. It's beautifully done. Congrats on this well deserved finalist. #5129954

Cary Rogers November 26, 2007

Congratulation on this Finalist, Heather! Great lighting, textures, composition, and earthy colors! #5130105

Megan p November 26, 2007

Congratulations Heather!!! #5130505

Terry L. Ellis level-classic November 26, 2007

A compelling finalist, Heather! Huge congratulations! #5131053

Lindley Johnson level-classic November 26, 2007

Excellent image, Heather, with an important message. Nicely conceived and executed. Your son did a great job, too. Congratulations on your finalist. #5131074

Kathy L. Clark November 26, 2007

Heather this is such a wonderful image. Very well deserving as a finalist. Congrats my friend. #5131283

Amanda Chapman November 26, 2007

P O W E R F U L !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deserves to be sitting in the finalist seat!
The clarity & definition is perfect! #5131634

Erin Tyler November 27, 2007

Congratulations on your finalist! #5134530

Nadya Johnson November 27, 2007

Awesome photo Heather, and the message is compelling! Congratulations on your outstanding finalist! #5135667

Karen Engelbreth November 27, 2007

Congratulations Heather! #5136272

Jennifer Rennison November 27, 2007

Very moving, emotional image, Heather!! Excellent work, congratulations on your finalist! #5137041

Michael Umbreit November 27, 2007

Heather - Congratulations on your finalist! - Mike #5137620

Jeff Robinson level-deluxe November 27, 2007

A powerful image Heather and a very well deserved Finalist! Great Job! Jeff #5137641

Linda Blair November 28, 2007

Soooo powerful...a big congrats on this finalist!!!!! ☺ #5144224

Luca Diana December 10, 2007

Thanks for this wonderful shot, Heather, and the great caption.

www.lucadiana.net #5191993

Richard D. Amelio December 11, 2007

Very Very creative, another great job #5195146

Lisa J. Boulden level-classic December 26, 2007

Such a powerful image, Heather!
Creative and so very well-captured!
--Lisa #5254846

Carolyn M. DAlessandro July 02, 2008

I totally agree with you Heather,I also have a son whom I feel blessed knowing he is well...but it has become epidemic what is happening with our children. Your image is outstanding, powerful, and well done!! #6131946

Lynn Haack August 24, 2008

Just enjoying a stroll through your amazing gallery.....this one really touched my heart. Amazing emotion in this image...your son and you did an excellent job! My son's friend ran away and stayed in an abandoned shack for days. His family was frantic! The story does not turn out well....he went on to commit a robbery (not at all in his nature.) Illegal drugs.....destroys so many lives. #6361385

To discuss, first log in or sign up (buttons are at top center of page).

Get Constructive Critiques

Sign up for an interactive online photography course to get critiques on your photos.


Did You Know?

Discussions by Category: You can view photo discussions on various themes in the Community > Photo Discussions section of the site.

BetterPhoto Websites: If you see an orange website link directly under the photographer's name, it's totally okay. It's not spam. The reason: BetterPhoto is the one that offers these personal photography websites. We are supporting our clients with those links.

Unavailable EXIF: If there is no other information but 'Unavailable' in the EXIF (meaning no EXIF data exists with the photo), the 'Unavailable' blurb is not displayed. If there is any info, it shows. Many photos have the EXIF stripped out when people modify the image and resave it, before uploading.


The following truth is one of the core philosophies of BetterPhoto:

I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.

You learn by doing. Take your next online photography class.

BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist

Copyright for this gallery photo belongs solely to Heather K. McFarland.
Images may not be copied, downloaded, or used in any way without the expressed, written permission of the photographer.
Log in to follow or message this photographer or report this photo.