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November 23, 2009

I think as photographers we are always seeking to improve our work as we are always unsatisfied when we return from a shoot and look at our edit.  There was always something more to capture, always a moment missed, and sometimes an ALMOST perfect photograph made.

I don’t think I will ever be completely happy with a shoot, even if one of the photos joins my portfolio.  I think this dissatisfaction comes from the fact that I get to witness the incredibleness of life, and sometimes a camera cannot capture every inch of that beauty.

I’m ranting because today one of my subjects passed away.  I enrolled in a Hospice Legacy class last year, where we were paired with a Hospice patient to document an appreciation for their life.  This assignment was sentimental to me because my grandmother passed away in a Hospice home.  I was never able to capture her story; it only exists in my memory.  I chose to tell Marian’s story in the form of a multimedia piece (video/photo/audio).  This piece in NO way was something I would ever be proud of as a photojournalist, as most of the photos in the piece were family album photos; the video was just a talking head; the audio wasn’t perfect; I didn’t nail the music.

BUT I made a difference in a family’s life.  I feel so blessed to have been able to produce this piece about her life so that it could be played at her funeral.  It is something her family can cherish forever, and her memory will live on.

I believe it is important to always remember that we are storytellers above being photographers.  While I will probably never be completely happy with the images I produce, I will always be cognizant of the fact that there is a greater reason for my work…and that is something I can be happy about.

Rest in peace, Marian.  I will always remember the importance of putting family first because of the example you have set.  Thank you for being an inspiration to me.

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