Do it anyways.
This week has been a long week at work. We had a special section for doubledays which required a lot of photos, finishing up all star portraits and then a girl was murdered.
I’ve been shooting a lot of the events around her death and was relatively unattached until today. Today I had to shoot this small service where people were bringing out flowers to where her body was found to create a memorial. Her parents showed up.
I took a lot of photos and used my long lens to get some photos of the family members and i took some grieving ones of the friends.
Then everyone left except the parents and I knew I had to get the shot of them placing the flowers so I waited. Everyone was gone except the parents, the reporter, myself and the lady who organized it.
instead of laying their flowers with everyone elses they walked closer to the place where their daughters body was found buried. I asked them if I could take photos because I didn’t want to be disrespectful and they said yes.
They knelt, placed the flowers and then completely broke down. It was one of those moments that was supposed to be just them, grieving together but I was there to document it. Everything inside of me wanted to turn around and give them a moment and just pretend I hadn’t seen it, but I had. So I pushed the button.
Sometimes people think that journalists are crass and can be harsh when we joke around, but we joke around about things to keep ourselves emotionally unattached to our stories. I went back to the newsroom to edit and found myself second guessing that photo, then I realized that I had become to emotionally attached to the story and had to take a step back.
As a photojournalist I’ve seen a lot of things - some hilarious and some sobering. I try to keep my emotions at bay until I’m alone and then I let myself feel it for about one minute before I force myself to move on, because if I didn’t I could never do my job correctly. So I took the photo and I’m going to fight for it to be centerpiece. It might be hard to look at (it’s only from the back of them and it doesn’t show the emotion on their face, but it still is a super emotionally charged photo) and it might make friends and family of the girl mad at me and the paper because we published it, but it shows what happened. It shows the pain of this family that was unnecessarily caused because someone murdered their daughter.
Belly of June by Horse Feathers
Problem with being a photog - as soon as you start second guessing yourself and losing confidence your creativity will suffer as will your photos.
I sucked it up today on All star sports portraits.
However, tomorrow I have another round of three more players including golf,baseball and possibly shot put again. So, I had a moment out on my roof, I’m going to suck it up and stop googling cool sports portraits and believe in my own creativity and am just going to do it.
Like a nike commercial.
The best thing about being a photographer are the days where you get a good surprise.
As I was driving home to change into something cooler I almost wrecked my car because I noticed a man riding a bike with a parrot on his shoulder. Fantastic.
I tracked him down and got a few photos.
By far my favorite moment of the day.
Airborne Toxic Event.
This song is amazing.
When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.
Today did not turn out how I envisioned. I thought I’d work a long day at work, take some photos and some video and then go home.
But one of my assignments was at the prison - I assumed that it was prisoners watching a performance from Cornell kids doing poetry and such.
But it wasn’t, the prisoners performed. Five men wrote and performed their own poems and stories.
They told their stories of being sexually abused, visitations with their kids, when their first child was born, having an exorcism done on them because they were gay and the first time someones dad told them he loved him. Their stories were raw.
And we were in a maximum security prison. That means they did serious crimes.
"I killed a man," one of the guys said during the q and a portion of the program. If I had met this guy on the streets, I would have sworn he was the nicest guy ever, but here he is telling everyone that he killed someone.
It can happen. Forgiveness. It can happen.
These men are legitimately turning their lives around. And here’s the kicker - they probably won’t be getting out of jail, but their goal - is to pay it forward.
Incredible. Once I’m done with the video I’ll link it up because I think the only true way to understand how interesting this evening was is to see it firsthand.
Game 7. It’s do or die.
Notice my awesome Pens earrings…
unfortunately I sort of look like a gym teacher today for work as I’m wearing that tshirt and black bermudas….but.. it’s the Penguins. I can sacrifice style for dedication.
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