Sharing Our Stories
For the grand prize markets do want tell us a little bit about what your thoughts were for this this telling telling your story contest you know like especially on day one I believe that you know there's a huge you know philosophical side that we need to be thinking about asking ourselves questions and you know especially a guy you know like it's really hard for us tio to do that you know I really open up be honest and to be honest I wouldn't be like this at home with my mates you know like and and I know there's people out there on the internet and things like that and the only reason why I'm doing it is because I think it's important um half an hour from now or an hour from now I'm going to have a beer and I'm not going to talk about any emotional shit is gonna be zipped you know I just want like you guys to know out there that it will make a difference is that you if you look inside your hearts and all the things that have happened to you in your life that has shaped who you are as ...
a person that it's going to make a difference um for the women I think it's easier you know I like women are like that they know howto talk to each other guys we don't have to talk to each other you know you like and that's why? When I'm I was reading through all the stories as so I moved like and some like I couldn't even read anymore because they were just so touching and so powerful. Um and I chose this one because it's actually quite personal arms and hits me as well. So all right, so this winner will be receiving a sandis compact flash memory card, a triple scoop music, the markets bell collection, tamarac big wheels rolling strongbox lp for the markets, bell master collection and a copy of adobe photo shop cs six so all told, that is a twenty, five hundred and eighty nine dollars value so that's a huge thank you to all of those people who provided ah prices for this winner who is congratulations to diana miller photo I'm going to read the story and I'm going to do my best but have skimming through before and and already it was difficult so I can do my best bear with me, she says I started my journey in the hospital, I worked as an rn in a neonatal unit day after day I witness the miracle of life, these precious individuals fighting for a chance to make it as I cared for my patients it was hard not to get emotionally attached, I would watch families come in and out during visiting hours mothers nursing their babies father's holdings the infants hand everyone praying for hope was moments like these I wish I could document I would often find myself going home to my husband and crying sometimes tears of joy when a baby would get discharged and other times sorrow one christmas he presented me with a gift that forever changed my life he gave me a beginner's slr back in the day of thirty five millimeter film camera he told me to use this gift to capture my emotions and share them with others like any good mother slash photographer who better to practice then but on my own kids I would take my slr everywhere with me and take pictures of my children doing what they do best being innocent, playful most of all healthy I would often share these images with co workers to bring morale up when most needed. Before I knew it, many of the other nurses were asking me to take pictures of their children. But one day I had a family in the unit that had really bonded with parents have been through a rough few months the mother had given birth to twins, one of which was born still and the other was fighting for life. I remember the joy excuse me, remember the join the father's eyes each time you held his baby girl and knew I had to document this moment I asked the father if he would allow me to take a few pictures of the baby the next day, and he agreed I could not sleep half the night. Tossing and turning is my brain went one hundred miles per hour. I was questioned my skill level, my equipment and my ability to take a good picture that would tell the story as I arrived to work the next day, camera in hand, I was informed that the baby was in critical condition. When I went to check on the baby in the family the doc the father asked if I had my camera he said he would really like a picture of his baby ago. All the planning and preparation went out the window. I know I only had a short amount of time and limited space. No fancy lighting, no pretty backdrop. No time for all of that, I had to use the resources available. A heat lamp not only served to keep the baby warm, it also served as my main source of light. The green surgical draping that line the table would have to do is my background. Lucky for me, I was shooting in black and white thirty two hundred. It took about six images somewhat the dad holding a little baby in his hands to showcase scale in perspective a recall printing the images in a dark room and feeling overcome by emotion is the image surfaced the image of the baby resting between her father's hands ended up getting published and I won several awards when I submitted it to the local professional photographers association to tie this story together I was recently asked to speak to a class of photographers at a community college as I was sharing this story with the class a young girl in the back row excuse me wow a young girl in the back row started to cry I approached her and gave her a hug she said that was my sister my parents love that image hanging in our living room it's the only picture we have of my sister needless to say as it is now two years started flow to roll down my cheeks as well it's moments like these that remind me why I gave up nursing for photography I'm so privileged and honored to be invited into my client's lives to share their special moments and to know my narrative of the event will be around for generations to come that young girl said the picture you took of my sister inspired me to major in photography congratulations diana miller taking away marcus reflections is like stories like ah the one that trust us we're now um they make us human and make us people and they make us unique so um is this lisa is this decline in mine? She married shane you know it's so uh beautiful, you know, like this image and I look at this image and um and I see my wife you know, it's what makes me photograph you know, being in love and understanding love knowing love what it feels like um and I'm blessed that I get to feel that love every day even though I know I drive her crazy sometimes push everyone to the limit um to do what I do and uh and that's why I want to do it the best I can we was mentioned yesterday about taking an image that if I ever found it hard to take in this was that image darryl the groom is dad passed away a couple days for the wedding and this is darrell's dead rubber said arrows uncle got up and said this incredible space and in fact he couldn't end been finishing but what he got up and said it had to be saying someone had to say it um and it really touched me and because of the experiences with my own dad and some of the images, remember how I was saying that I showed you that image where they with hands coming across the aisle and how that has helped me in in my life to understand and that's what I found is is that my clients give me this great gift as well so I walked past the table priest setting everything um how did fifty mil one point four lanes on and just will pass my flash obviously for obvious reasons and just took two shots and this was one of the shots no one else took me I took that and so we take that image but it was so remitted poured into remember that moment that just had happened in the story behind it for the p about a photograph and it's where it's bringing it back to how important what each and everyone if you do it's so important it's not like photographing a portrait where you khun decline can get another one the next year or that one's not good that can go to another photographer the photographing wedding where this is a only chance and if that means that if you don't do the best that you do that's what they've got to live with and if you're coming into this industry and you don't understand like the full responsibility of what you're getting into and in fact like moral obligation of what you are signing up to do that's what I want to let you know is that you need to know you know the playground you're playing so really important one and the one that you only get one crack it this was taken moments after that shot this is darrell's and this is a son you know look at that joy you know remain and the way she's touching his little face you know and it's special to me because I see how important children are to us now that I have three boys and that helps me be a better photographer make helps me to be a better you know person and I try you know my hardest you know like sometimes we get it wrong sometimes but not the best of everything that's okay, we just learned and we changed we go a different path for try a different tact and but as long as that you know, we stay true to ourselves and we also understand that next time we can do a better you know but were kids you know, we sometimes we only get one crack in it so this is sam this is evan and rohan is my twin boys and the beautiful this is um just like when they're going home but they didn't start life looking that way um I'm going to the full story but this is how it it started for us no born print me and that's probably why you know that story means terrible on is that my wife was still getting over all the medicines and everything like that and she wasn't totally with it and the doctor said us down and said that ruling was gonna make it what happened was a miracle like a couple days later he started breathing on his life and a week later my wife was able to hold have babies for the first time end it is what makes me as a photographer this is what makes me me and like I wouldn't normally share a story like this because it's so personal and penny is going to be pretty pissed off that don't tell him a story but you know and in three two noise that like these moments in our lives affect us the good the bad they make you someone special and I know all the hardships in my life is always good come out of it you know I feel differently I think differently and see the world differently and then almost I blessed you know like, uh these guys just started to get better and better um we're able to take them home you know and now they're like, you know, seven years old skateboarding and having a great time you know and this is what's important and this is what I wanted to know if you guys have had a chance to start writing your list of moments that of shapes here yeah I wrote last night I don't know if I have a way to look at what I wrote I don't know you know how to put into words how um thanks you just want to share it kind of our story definitely um I don't I don't even know if I can because I got a excited its feet very well my thoughts but just basically, um the gist sort my story is just first of all I just I feel like it's so important brussels photographers like we document life through through our images and I just really through this workshop have um I understand how important I think it is to document with text teo and to document our our journeys photographers kind of what marcus has said about how how our lives have shaped um I would say this is how we've become, who we are through our life and if and for photographers and there's a lot of our life experiences that have, um that have turned us in to who we are as a photographer and um and that we have and that that's how we could be different in the saturated market is by bringing ourselves and our own stories to the table and I just I'm thought last night I kind of started processing everything from the last two days and it's been incredible for me um and two things stuck out one was wedding photography obviously um and I thought of just one of the experiences that came to me that I had forgotten about e trade deal um isa stirring through my wedding um my my dad and I worked I mean we're kind of close but not and we just don't share anything there's kind of like a wall there emotionally on dh when he got up at our reception too just do the toast he just went speechless and couldn't say anything and sat back down and touched me because I felt twenty years of his emotion than my emotion and just all the experiences we've been through together and he he told me later that day actually the cool experience with him last night because I went to him said dad, is this relief what what happened? Because it was so it was a while ago and I you forget things if you don't have images of it and we do have an image of it thank goodness, but, um he said that he thought, um it just came to him in his mind a picture of me laying on the table a tw the hospital because I had been ejected from a car really serious car accident and, um he just wondered, you know what if what if I wasn't there? What if all these people were together for this moment to share and um and it was they were not kind of thing happens at weddings that doesn't happen any other day in your life? I mean, it can for some families that share a lot of our doesn't, um so it's just so meaningful and I just knew, you know, I just know I want to capture that and um and just the other day the other thing when I really actually got into photography was when my son was born and I documented his life and I'm just real quickly started talking well he he ended up being diagnosed with autism and um I had documented everything um and I was able to connect with him through a camera and um and so I knew when I started worrying about what autism meant when he was three when he was diagnosed um I knew that I knew him I knew he waas and um thankfully, we were able to get a lot of help for him and he's come so far and I I have a document of his journey and when he wasn't talking but I could connect with them through the camera and see in his eyes who he really was um and up until now when he's talking and playing with friends so I just knew I just one a document life for people and especially I've been interested um photographing kids with our kids and families that are blessed with special needs and so it's kind of another direction, I want to take my business and I wouldn't have put that down on paper and realize that if it weren't for the workshop and just thinking about my story and so I think it's so important for us photographers I'll do that it's just beautiful on you know, I'm just glad like you I would tell people that because, you know, it's these feelings and it's these experiences that are going to really, you know, make a difference and just opening ourselves up and being able to share that, you know, it makes a difference or you'll see different, you know, just identifying yesterday, I was worried about technical and I feel like I was a better photographer when I started out in a way because I just saw and just was instinctive, and then I got so caught up in technical that you just forget about just capture that moment, and today was life changing just that I couldn't just capture what I saw and not worry about it and know that I will post made images, and it doesn't matter what other people think exactly, yeah that's great danger did you want? Yeah, I decided that I kind of wanted to share my story too, and I'm through my life. I have never really been a very emotional person, I don't cry very often, I don't you know, I don't I think it's bad, you know, I just don't do it and it was my early twenties I had already howto million jobs I same thing I was like I hated every job I did I didn't find any sort of passion in anything and I was on early morning a man had broken into our house while we were home and our life was threatened and with huge deal um and you know, it took like six police officers to get him out of her house and it was just this huge thing and my husband he was we weren't married at the time but my husband I sat there at the end of everything and looked at each other and said this is precious like our life that we're here and and and we are still breathing and everything worked out okay unscratched I mean really and it stuck with me for so long that I said the life is too short I can't I can't I can't live this way anymore I can't hate what I do every day and so it's still went on for a few years that I've state in these jobs and I even went to college and they turn me away from photography they said no, you won't make any money you know it's the two saturated and industry it just won't work don't do it so I listened and a few more years goes by and my son was born and I knew that I wanted to capture every moment of him and so with no camera no training, no clients, no business. I started telling people that I was going to be a photographer, and then I would I get emotional about it, you know, like I would actually get tears, and I it wasn't me, you know, and and I realized that because I have so much passion behind this for it to actually bring forth emotion for me, I have to do it. I just there's no ands ifs or is or buts about it, and here I am, you know, three years later, give or take and you know, you know, and I can still think about pictures I was taking three years ago when I first started, and I get, um, excited about him, and so I know that this is where I need to be, but it also helps when I would have never really thought to put my situations into my work, as in I'm know that I'm there to capture my client's moments, and it was just a really nice eye opener this week, this last few days to see that, you know, when you told us to start writing the list of events, it started kind of clicking and realizing, but I think that's where, you know, I found my connection with my now career, yeah, that's fabulous. You know, and it's what you know creating this list is going to be all about is that you can keep drawing on that and, you know, sometimes it's going to be hard tio reflect back on some of these things and often you know they're very joyous moments as well, and other times you know, some harder moments but the moments that you got to explore and you know, to ask those questions of yourself so you can see differently as well, I just want to say thank you first for those that have shared their stories lindsay and angie those air beautif awful stories and and it's great to see that we all have some place to come from that every story is valuable there isn't a story that's better or worse than anyone else, all of them are worth something and that's one thing I've always loved about photography is that every story is worth telling ever since I was a little girl my mom has been a photographer albeit she is a terrible photographer, you know she but she always had that love of the moment and the joy that comes from being a family and that impressed itself upon me and even though we have albums and albums and albums of terrible photos that are all blurring out of focus, she never throw one away and when we go to her house to visit her she has a screen saver with all of these bad photos on it, and everyone that comes to visit sits and watches her screen saver and they watch her entire life and my father's life and all of my brothers and sisters lives pass in front of it, and it is so beautiful even though the images have no technical quality to them, they are beautiful, awful and is her love of family that has really become the most important thing in my life. In a year ago, I had my spleen rupture, and I was in the hospital. They didn't know if I was going to live or die and was bleeding internally and, you know, it's bad when the doctors won't talk to you because they're arguing and they just don't want to tell you anything, andi, it took several months for me to recover, and I didn't think I was going to be able to pick up my camera anymore. I didn't think I was going to work again, but I remember being in that hospital bed and I have a religious person, and I remember asking god to give me a few more days with my family. I didn't care if I ever voted draft again, I just knew I needed to be with him, and so now that I am healthy and I'm capable to be with my family I feel blessed to have the opportunity to then take take the time to help other people have those same memories like on my mom's screen saver and I'm so grateful for every day that I'm alive and I'm grateful for for this workshop reminding me that it's not just about business that it's not about you know those things that we get caught up in all the time it is about the relationships and and the little moments that really count thank you marcus thank you for that like thank you for sharing your story you know it's a justin eyes and you know and I think it's just you know I don't you know like you now share something special with so many people that your photograph its is fearful thank you hey everyone we're looking we're looking at the guys I mean you know you know like you guys don't have to tell a story but today I just want to ask you a question right I know you like you got a little girl and I just wanted us like you know what is it like um ah I mean this is not church camp so I'm not going to start crying um throughout my wife's pregnancy she's like derek I'm pregnant okay yeah you're pregnant and we're gonna have a baby and the baby came in I was like huh it's a baby they yeah they come like that yeah it's a baby derek hold baby mm it's cool it's a baby about two weeks ago um my wife ah was sleep and my wife runs in the room she says she says uh huh she says um derek huh lee's ah lee's choking not in that way not in that way and a soldier jumped out a bid man that had just grabbed the baby pattern mullet back he's choking so he's breathing get in the car we can't wait for an ambulance so we go get to the hospital put her out I said you take the baby and they're going to go home get some clothes we need clothes I got about two feet from the hospital and I started freaking out oh my god my daughter is going down that god is going to die oh my god oh man pulled together you poop yourself right then and there I knew that ah and my my wife probably sees you don't know this um but um right then in there all right you know what praise god that's almost say s almost say everything happens for a reason and this is the result of their reason photography for some of us and for some of us saving lives donating the charity's given our salaries away so you know I'm a passes mike and when you guys go talk it eh all right I did have something and I wanted to wait just a psych until I I pulled it up because it was related to an email that I got a little while back this isn't something directly about myself from my family, but about one of the couples who've really touched our lives and kind of made us really reevaluate how we thought about what are job wass and how it was so much more than just what we went out to do to, you know, make money to pay the bills and all that stuff that we get wrapped up in from day today it was amazing couple that we worked with this fall. Ah, the bride's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the year of the wedding, and she was not expected to make it, but she was by far one of the strongest people that we had ever, ever met. She fought and she made it all the way through to the wedding she just passed a little while ago. We were of course, very sad to hear that, but following when we first shared thea pictures with them after the leading ah, we got a kn email from the bride that it was just something that really touched us, which she said, you've seriously made my life I was never so happy you're filled with positive emotion any other day, professing my love for paul, honoring my mother and celebrating her life and sharing a special bond and moment with my brother these air things I'll never forget in my heart and can now share with my children who will never get to know other grandmother I have you to thank for that and it's the most special gift we've ever been given and just getting that from a couple just absolutely moved us I mean, I've never heard anything like that about our work before and that just put everything in a whole new kind of perspective what we do capturing that moment in time and so much more than just a still image that we present to these people it's something that can take them back into that memory that emotion something that they khun treasure in their hearts with so much more than just a printed image or just a digital image it's something that will be passed down to like true saying their children something where they're able to show them what their grandmother was like, how strong and how amazing the person she was and if we weren't there, what are the chances that you know that might not have happened so that's just something that really kind of moved us and our career and really kind of reinforce that message with us and it's powerful to get something like that? You know, because it's a a beautiful reminder of what you did to get yourself today you know, man and also puts things in perspective and you know, like because you put a lot in tio what you do like business time sacrifices as well and for me that's what we get like they're those rewards, you know, I mean that's what's special about, you know, picking up a camera, seeing you know, someone else's life, you know, three your lands and being able to capture that for them, you know, it really is a gift you don't have tio thank you I've got the next slide ready to row also say is you reminded me why I got into photography and the emotion and it's not so much the business end of it I'm glad we didn't go over business, the emotion I needed to bring that back into photography so thank you, but I'm now that's alright anymore. You know, I wanted to bring us back to the honor in one when I first started, you know, three days ago we were going in and talking about what it meant to her and I just loved her words where you know that this image specter of vulnerability, trust and respect those were her words and that this image to her is an image of joy you know, I was just so amazed by her boys and to be able to just witness this joy in someone's life for me it's just sigh special so when I talk to you about frieder and artemis these air an incredible family I got invited into and it was a couple years ago I wass asked to photograph a fiftieth wedding anniversary was a couple days before christmas and I thought, you know, we've had such a busy year I didn't know if I want to do this, but the brother I I didn't say lead that on to the to the to the sun that was, um looking at hiring me, it was just in the back of my mind and something like he said and and I thought, you know what? You should do it and so I did, and I went along and witnessed this amazing celebration off life it's hardly floored me, you know? It really floored me because, you know, I do put a lot of time and into what I do and I take so much time out just like you guys just like the people you know, at home, you know? And I get caught up in all that. And there was this moment during the night where the three sons present a gift so their moment dad who have just been married for fifty years that they're got all their closest family and friends celebrating that night with them so frieder on the top of a voice, yells out, oh my god look at my three beautiful boys and their beautiful wives and his beautiful grandchildren and they're given to us and I was just stopped in my tracks in that very, very moment because here is our nima holding this portrait off his family and I'm just realizing that he has his whole life's work in his hands the most important thing to him in his world is in his hands in this image it was it affected me that night and it affects me every time I see this image or I see a picture of them because you know what I'm reminded of the beautiful relationship the beautiful outlook on life they're amazing family these incredible people so what I want to share with you now is this story that night that way wait wait wait wait wait but a celebration of life hey it's amazing like ah for me it was just a privilege you know? I wish I got to do that every day and I do I love what I do, you know and that's what is so special about what you guys get to do is that you're always recording history for people yeah, maybe we're not you know scientists and doctors and finding the cure for cancer when no, we're not rock stars ever, but what we can do is like seriously give a gift to people you know and just I feel something in your life and live of life, you know, wife, living. I think, for me, it's, the difference between just being ordinary and being extraordinary. So I want to thank you. Or for the last three days, I learned probably as much as you guys did, you know, and, um, I just encourage you on your journey on your dreams, on that passion, or reconnect with that passion, if you've lost it along the way and be everything that you can be. And good luck. Thank you.