I have my days when I think of what I do for a living to be a joke.
It takes but a fraction of a second to make a picture.
While I was at the newspaper, except for natural disasters which affected many lives, the importance of my photography was seldom real.
Often I would ask myself, “Why am I being dispatched to traffic collision especially if it happened hours ago?”
Was it ever going to change how people drive?
Would people think twice about texting or drinking and driving after reading about it?
I highly doubt it.
Journalists like to think the stories they bring you daily carries that much weight.
Nothing hits home harder than hearing a story first hand.
I met Samantha Aarts through her mum, Mary Pope when they modeled for my students and I during Small Flash Lighting workshop.
Shortly after, Samantha passed away from an accidental morphine overdose.
Her mum Mary Pope, a dear friend, has taken on a huge challenge.
She recently spoke to incoming freshmen at Cal State University San Bernardino during their orientation.
Because this extremely courageous mother shared her painful story in such an intimate way, I dare say that those who heard her story will surely think next time they head to a party.
She contacted me to say she was giving such a presentation and that she would have the portrait I made of Samantha on the stage with her.
The more time I had to think about it, the more I realized how important and special a still photograph or portrait can be for loved ones.
Mary and Samantha modeled for me when I taught a class on lighting.
Afterwards, I did some portraits of Samantha for Mary.
I didn’t get to know Samantha very well, but I could see she was a very special young lady who loved her life and what her mother had provided.
There was a very special bond there.
I was very bummed I couldn’t be there to hear Mary speak in person.
I could only record and share the coverage from one of the tv stations (KCAL-9) below.
My friend Press-Enterprise columnist, Dan Bernstein, had this to say in his column.