Behind The Scenes: Photographer Works Nights Inside Methodist’s ER

Daiyawn Smith is a photographer and videographer by trade. At night, he welcomes patients to Methodist Hospital, helping them navigate their financial journey.

The best photos are the ones of people – candid and not posed.

“People living in the moment,” says Daiyawn Smith. “The smiles. The expressions on their faces.”

The raw emotions. The sadness. The happiness. The relief. The joy.

Smith sees all of that inside IU Health Methodist Hospital’s emergency department. It’s a place of emotions. A place that, in it’s own unedited and magical way is a beautiful picture.

Of course, Smith can see that perfectly. He is, by trade, a photographer and videographer. 

By day, he takes photos – engagements, open houses, graduations and parties. He recently took a trip to New York City and shot photos in Times Square.  

By night – from 4:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. — he is a financial navigator inside Methodist’s ED. He welcomes patients and helps them with questions and concerns they have relating to insurance and other financial needs.

“I see a lot,” says Smith, who graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 2017 with a degree in telecommunications and a minor in African American diaspora studies. “You get a lot of emotions. It gets personal.”

But it’s also fun and rewarding, he says.

Smith, of course, doesn’t bring a camera to the hospital. But anywhere else he goes – anywhere – he has a camera with him. On runs and hikes. At social events. At family gatherings.

“You never know what you might get,” says Smith, who was born and raised in Indianapolis and graduated from Arsenal Technical High School. “It can happen anywhere, anytime.”

There was the photo at the lake in Bloomington. He and his friends had just graduated and were relaxing at the water. Smith had his camera and noticed the beauty.

He shot a photo in black and white. It turned out to be breathtaking. 

Smith says he’s “always been a media head.” It started in middle school and never stopped. In high school, he took photos and made senior videos. Then, he headed off to college to perfect his craft.

His dream is to one day be a full time photographer and videographer. He knows his experience in Methodist’s ED will serve him well in that career.

But in the meantime, Smith just keeps taking photos — looking for the extraordinary in everyday life.

Photos within article by Daiyawn Smith, Dai In & Dai Out Productions

— By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Benbow via email or on Twitter @danabenbow.