I Continue to be Amazed

When I decided to buy my first digital camera about 3 1/2 years ago and reacquaint myself with a hobby I so enjoyed when I was younger, I just never foresaw the doors of opportunity that would open up for me like they have in the past few years.

After plowing head first in this ‘hobby’ and relearning so many aspects related to this craft, I admit that my interest and passion in photography has only intensified. But unlike many photographers, I have yet to ‘specialize’ in any particular area of this art. Sports/action photography obviously is something I never tire of and so enjoy that it almost can be ‘addictive’ at times. And I’ll try shooting just about anything once for the challenge. Two weeks ago, I spent three hours at the rodeo arena shooting a barrel racing event, then ran home to clean up and was back in a local ballroom covering a cotillion a few hours later. Someone once said ‘variety is the spice of life’ and I guess I see that to be true with my photography.

Last summer, I considered myself privileged to be able to cover the sad homecoming of a local marine, Jay Hoskins, who was killed while on duty in Afghanistan. Being able to share the pictures with the community at large was personally a very satisfying and rewarding experience for me from a photographic perspective. A year ago, I had another opportunity to shoot and write about a subject matter that is very dear and near to my heart which documented a field trip I took my 7th graders on to the Holocaust museum in Dallas where my students were able to hear firsthand, the testimony of a living survivor.

So this year, after taking a similar trip with a new group of students, I was compelled to contact the museum. I wanted to express to them my appreciation for another rewarding and inspiring visit.

I also wanted to thank them for introducing a new guest who shared a powerful story with us of his own journey through a very dark time in history. It is so important for me that I take my students to hear in person these remarkable people because I realize that we won’t have this honor much longer as the years tick away. In fact, it was this idea alone that inspired me to write the museum and just simply introduce myself and offer my services to them as a photographer with the notion that it might be neat to capture in pictures, this special group of individuals who have made it their life mission to make sure their stories are never forgotten.

You can only imagine my elation when the director of the museum responded to my offer and seemed more thrilled than I was about me coming in to Dallas next month and covering a very special and solemn ceremony that will be conducted in a synagogue there in the city. It is known as Yom Hashoah – or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Some 50-60 living survivors will gather for a night of remembrance, and to be honest, I know very little of the details concerning this particular event. But simply being invited to come put my photography skills to use for such a gathering is so humbling and such an honor that I have been in awe ever since getting the invite.

I’m not sure what other opportunities may come of this, but for now, I’m hoping I might be able to meet some more of those in attendance and perhaps have a chance to get with them later for more pictures and insight from their lives. I was also humbled that the director who set this up and after seeing this web site, felt comfortable enough in my ability to ask me to come and shoot the pictures for them.

Interestingly, it was only about a month ago that I had expressed to a couple of good friends of mine that I had this yearning to start doing something a bit more ‘meaningful’ with my craft; something that would have a deeper and more satisfying reward. Then this door opened up in Dallas. I can’t wait! And in case anyone would speculate that I would want to ‘change careers’ and do this full time, let me assure you, I’m still enjoying my classroom teaching with my kids and have no desire to leave it anytime soon. 🙂

I’ll keep you posted on this this event goes, and of course, will post plenty of pictures.