The Story of 4 Days

Who is Christopher LaVoie? Man behind ‘4 Days’ reality shows has history of run-ins with police, dubious business ventures, and questionable life choices

On April 1, I landed at New York’s LaGuardia airport with my camera and tripod.

This was about four years ago.

At 10:45 p.m. on that very night, about 30 people surrounded me. I asked them to leave. A police officer told me, “We know you” — that I was a photographer with a “proper permit.”

I was stunned. I had been planning a very different sort of story: capturing the lives of the people who surround me — in real time — in their daily lives. “4 Days,” my project, was born that night.

I’m very lucky. I’m a filmmaker who is able to take pictures that live in the Internet for eternity. My work doesn’t sit in a museum or a library. It ends up in the archive like old photos in a shoebox.

But that night, for the first time, I began to realize I didn’t do this for fame or money. I did this because I believed my story could change the world. And I had found my calling, which took me to a place I had never been before: the world of reality television.

“I had a dream. I don’t remember what it was exactly,” LaVoie told me. “I had this amazing, magical, deep desire to be a father to a family of 10.”

Four days later, I was still on a plane. After a month of filming, I returned home. After a year of work, I returned to the job I knew best: being a journalist. And I realized that I had reached a place in myself where I couldn’t get up off the floor. I would stay in that place for years.

“I couldn’t get over it,” LaVoie said. “It was an amazing, amazing moment, and it was very humbling. I never thought I was capable of making it happen.”

On April 14, I met with Christopher LaVoie, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and sometime

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