I am a photographer because I like to tell people’s stories. I was a journalist for 20 years and wrote about people and photographing them. Now I’m a photo journalist. I told stories of people who were homeless to people who held prominent positions; students and people who were making a difference in the world. Dogs also made headlines as special friends to their masters. I once covered a dog’s funeral; he looked out after the people of a homeless shelter, and of a dog who welcomed people to a parish and its office. Of another who was their when it’s master took his last breath.
One of my favorite stories I wrote was about the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea in conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States. It was celebrated that year on May 23. I wrote about a graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He was stationed as a surface warfare officer in San Diego.
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than on the ocean,” he said. “I run on pure grit and a steady injection of caffeine.” Stepping outside and smelling that fresh ocean breeze gives me all the hope and energy in the world. I look out into the open ocean, not another soul in sight, at the most beautiful skies I’ll ever see and I fall in love. Granted that scene quickly gets ruined by other, less-than-friendly nations aggressively driving to within shouting distance of us, but that’s just part of the job.”
Knowing he is in harm’s way “makes the natural beauty of the world infinitely palpable,” he said. “Life at sea can be serene, beautiful, calm, but it can also be terrifying and lethal. One day you wake up and the sun is shining, a gentle breeze kisses the surf and dolphins play with you as you drive the ship. Hours later you’re suffering from 15-foot seas, 20-degree rolls, and a storm that could break your ship on a whim as it tosses you about.” (Intermountain Catholic Newspaper May 13, 2016)
I connected with people and they told me their deepest emotions; it was a joy and a thrill that kept me going for 20 years. Now I share people’s emotions with my camera lens: their love, their animals, life, the beauty of children, and scenery.
Going on walks, or hiking, or talking to people sometimes at the same time are enjoyable. Sharing people’s stories can be done with an ID badge.
I chose Saint Veronica as my branding logo. She is the woman who met Jesus on his on his walk to Calvary; shed offered him a cloth to wipe the blood and sweat from his face. An imprint of his face remained on the cloth. She became known as the patron saint of photographers. To me she is a guide and mediator with God. She gives me inspiration and direction.