Live Through This - a story of addiction and hope

Posted by Tom Megginson | 20-12-2012 03:45 | Category: Drugs


When he was shooting portraits of the drug-addicted street community in Ottawa’s ByWard Market in 2010,  photographer Tony Fouhse met someone who would change his life. For the next year, Tony brought Stephanie MacDonald into his world — and she brought him into hers. It was a friendship and journey that Tony documented through photographs and Stephanie wrote about on slips of paper. Their story forms the basis of Live Through This, a self-published testament to human relationships, weaknesses and dreams.


“The first time I met you was the picture in the bikini top/shorts,” Stephanie writes. “I walked up and asked you what was up? what are you doing? you said that you were taking pictures of the crack addicted and Heroine addicts and you asked to take my picture and I said yes.”

“A couple of weeks went by and you came back and we got talking again. and that’s when you said “is there anything i can do to help you”? and i said i wanted to get into rehab. you told me you would help and of course i thought you were talking the talk but not ganna walk the walk.”

Tony did walk the walk. He did everything he could for Stephanie, at one point inviting her to stay in his home with himself and his wife. Stephanie went through ups and downs, health and personal crises. And Tony gave a play-by-play of his own journey on his blog, Drool. Eventually, they made progress.


I know Tony personally. In addition to his challenging personal projects, he is a much sought-after editorial and commercial photographer. We’ve worked together a number of times. What comes through in Live Through This is something that comes through when you talk to Tony in person. It’s a directness, an authenticity, and zero concern about making you uncomfortable.


Live Through This is not an easy journey to take. It shows the lifestyle of addiction in harsh detail. The intimacy the viewer has with Stephanie — her face, her environment, and her body — feels like a violation, and yet she was happy to share with Tony and with the world. Through it all, Tony, the unseen photographer, is himself exposed by Stephanie’s stare back at him.

Live Through This is available online from Straylight Press.

Straylight Press

My comment


Your comment will not be visible until a moderator approves it.

Some rights reserved 2005-2013 Osocio/Houtlust.
Disclaimer. Terms of use. Privacy statement.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Support us

Do you like our blog? Support us with a donation.
We're non-commercial. We all make Osocio pro bono in our spare time and we can use some support.

image of a graduation cap

Recent in Academy

Is this eating disorder ad too sexy?

It’s a serious question. This woman has the typical idealized body of a model, and despite the scary body painting, the portrayal is undeniably drawing attention to her curves and bare skin. When I think about eating disorders, I try to imagine looking in the mirror and seeing a funhouse…
Read more

Book review: Hidden Persuasion

33 psychological influence techniques in advertising Designing for behavior change is our thing here on Osocio.  We discuss the wide area of social campaigns from all over the world. ‘Is it a good or bad campaign’ is our first question. And we often judge a campaign based on professional principles…
Read more

About Osocio

Osocio is dedicated to social advertising and non-profit campaigns. It’s the place where marketing and activism collide. Formerly known as the Houtlust Blog, Osocio is the central online hub for advertisers, ad agencies, grassroots, activists, social entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans from around the globe.
Read more

(the about page is also available in Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese 汉语/漢語, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano, Nihongo 日本語, Ivrit עברית, Filipino, Polski, Português, Russian Русский язык, Slovenčina, Suomi, Svenska and Türkçe)