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Be Present and Experience Life

As guests entered the wedding, a sign requesting they turn off cell phones, cameras, and other devices welcomed them to the unplugged ceremony. When the bride made her grand entrance, all of the guests stood up and cell phones came out from every corner. As she made her way down the aisle, two guests stepped to the center behind her for a better shot, temporarily blocking my view as well as the videographer’s.

Every so often, I see posts and blogs from wedding photographers about how inconsiderate guests can be at weddings. One went viral not too long ago and was all over social media. However, I learned long ago that this has simply become part of the modern times, and it’s my job as a professional to honestly document events as they happen. Sometimes that may even mean a few photos have cell phones in them.

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Hope, Love, and Joy

There’s a terrible old saying heard in newsrooms all over- “if it bleeds, it leads.” It seems most every news station and headline sadly leads with tragedy. Our social media feeds are filled with thoughts, prayers, well wishes, anger, and sadness. As I recently viewed news and current events, I couldn’t help but think of photojournalists working to keep us informed. After all, it was my job for 14 years. Fortunately, I never had to cover the aftermath of  a mass shooting, but I did cover plenty of senseless acts of violence. I’ve visited with grieving families, mere hours after losing a loved one. I’ve documented candlelight vigils, memorial services, and more funerals than I would like to remember. The one thing that I remember most is the feeling of hopelessness and despair in these moments. A dark cloud of grief had filled the room, and it had sucked the joy and hope from the people in it. Worst of all, the one thing that’s needed most in those tragic moments, is the one thing we rarely get a chance to document. Hope.

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