by Skip Cohen
Today's post is a little different than the previous weeks - only because the Bubble Trailer Light Tour is at the halfway mark. After teaching at AVC Photo School today, Suzette, Jonny, and Ms. BT are taking a few days off. However, there's a remarkable story to share, and it's all about "Hope." It's not a sappy vague concept, but about reality and a story about a real-life miracle.
Suzette Allen and I have known each other for a lot of years. I initially met her the same way many of you have, as one of the industry's most respected Photoshop instructors. In 2013 she became a LUMIX Ambassador, and that's where the friendship started to blossom. A couple of years later, her husband, Jonny, officially became part of the LUMIX team as well. We taught together at Marathon's MAP Getaway a few years back, and the four of us as two couples being together added another dimension of friendship.
Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of Suzette experiencing a horrific accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. She shared the story on her blog yesterday and I pulled a few paragraphs to share.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of my accident with a bull moose in Alaska. Many people don’t realize that I am a survivor of a brain injury that happened 30 years ago today. I was driving home from a dance class in my car when a legal bull moose was standing in the road and I hit him going probably 55 mph.
When you hit a full size moose with 6 foot antlers with a car, you hit them in the shins and the body comes through the windshield and crushes the entire car. The moose’s body broke out the windshield, cutting up my hands, but the fur hit my face so my face didn’t get any major cuts- it just shattered my entire face with the impact of over 1500 pounds.
...But honestly, as horrible as that sounds, it was all minor in light of the real damage: a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Unfortunately 30 years ago (and in Alaska) not much was known about brain injuries and I was not diagnosed for over two years, while my life spiraled downward in a horrible spin, ending very badly. Not having disability insurance as the wage earner meant we suffered the loss of our two businesses, our home, everything we owned, and sadly, because of my instability and emotional state of a two-year-old (damage to my frontal lobe emotional centers) my husband of 10 years took me home to my parents in California and divorced me. Click to read the entire post on Suzette's blog.
And here's my point - There are so many ways to find inspiration in this industry. So often we're inspired by the skillset and technique of other artists. But, sometimes, there's more inspiration to appreciate when you meet and spend time with them. It's not about what they share, but why!
Over a year ago, Suzette and Jonny had an idea to teach and meet photographers in a unique way. The Internet and online education have changed our lives, but we're so often missing human contact. Meeting somebody face to face, a handshake, a hug, and talking, enriches our lives. The only thing better than capturing moments in a photograph is making memories directly.
Now, halfway through the tour, they're taking time off with friends. We couldn't be more proud to know our house is one of the stops. While there's plenty more time on the road, probably a few meet-ups and a lot of photography along the way, their next major presentation is on October 25 at Arlington Camera in Arlington, TX.
I hope you'll take the time to join them on the back half of the tour. And, take the time to read Suzette's story of hope going back thirty years ago. She's inspirational in her love of the craft, life, and spirituality. And, with Jonny, they've become much more than just LUMIX Ambassadors. They're Ambassadors for hope, inspiration, creativity, and an industry so many of us love dearly.
Suzette also wrote...
So today, I KNOW there is always HOPE and also that persistence is omnipotent. My Why in life is to Inspire and Encourage...The brain is capable of so much more than we realize, if we just believe and persist.
Great programming doesn't happen without strong support. The Bubble Trailer Light Tour is sponsored by some of the finest companies in our imaging. They don't just make great products - they believe in education and helping artists raise the bar on their skillset to thrive, not just survive!
The Bubble Trailer Light Tour needs to be on your radar. Here's the schedule for next two weeks. Occasionally dates and locations are subject to change. The complete itinerary is available with a click on the button below!
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.