Reflective Portraits of Prisoners and Their Handwritten Letters to Their Younger Selves

After photographer Trent Bell discovered a close friend made a few bad decisions and was sentenced to spend the next 36 years in jail, he embarked on a project that would change the lives of other prisoners — for the better. He photographed inmates and superimposed their images over their handwritten letters to their younger selves. The writings contained warnings, encouragement, and inspiring lessons learned. “Our bad choices can contain untold loss, remorse, and regret, but the positive value of these bad choices might be immeasurable if we can face them, admit to them, learn from them and find the strength to share,” Bell said of the project. See more of Bell’s reflective portraits of prisoners, below.

Photo credit: Trent Bell
Photo credit: Trent Bell