I've spent more time on this post than probably anything I've ever written. The challenge is I simply don't know where to start let alone what to really say. My heart goes out to the families and my prayers are with so many people.
But there's a sidebar to this, because Boston was always my town. My first apartment was on Hereford and Newbury St. in a basement - just me and a few thousand bugs. I worked for Polaroid for 17 1/2 years and spent most of the time in the greater Boston area.
I have two kids, grandchildren and friends all around Boston. In fact, I called my daughter to check in on everybody the minute I heard the news. Everybody was fine, but as I watched the special with Diane Sawyer I realized it was time to either delete this post or publish it.
This week's tragedy in Boston would have been a tragedy no matter where it occurred, but when it's your "hometown" it hits even harder. I watched the story as it was unfolding and like so many of you sat in silent shock.
Since then, every image I've seen has taken me deep into the tragedy as if I was actually there. I know we all felt the same way last year with the shooting in Connecticut. Everybody remembers every minute of every day when 9/11 happened. It's imaging that brings the tragedy right into our hearts. It's that ability to capture memories, even when they're horrific that makes me so proud to be in this industry.
Years ago I was at the ICP luncheon held at the UN when Monte Zucker was given one of the Photographer of the Year awards, representing WPPI. There were at least four photographers being honored and two of them had documented 9/11. Monte was truly humbled by the recognition and said,
"I'm so honored to be in such incredible company and so proud to be a photographer, but there's a huge difference with the kind of work I do. You see, you guys photograph the way the world really is, but I get to photograph it the way it should be."
I don't remember what else he said, but there was a tear in his eye at the time and it was all because of his incredible pride. That's the legacy that Monte left us. As professional photographers, whether you're a journalist or not, you've got a huge responsibility to never compromise on the quality of each image, to never stop building on your skill set and to capture memories, both good and horrible to simply share with the world.
Didn't mean to get on the soapbox...just don't know how to explain how the word "pride" comes into the picture with so many other feelings of sadness. I feel proud of the work being done every day by photographers, videographers and people involved in imaging all over the world, especially this week in Boston...and that's what makes this industry so amazing.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.