On February 16, 1995, I watched through the rain and lightening as a tornado passed within 500 feet of my house. Later I learned that six people lost their lives along its path of destruction. On the Sunday following this tragedy, our church had a memorial service for the victims and survivors. During this service, a photographer captured an image that I will cherish as long as I live.
In his earnestness to capture the mood of the service he snapped a picture of an older couple with their heads bowed in prayer. The man, hand extended to his face, gently held his fingers to his forehead. The woman, head bowed, held a hand to her chin clutching a handkerchief. The witness of their compassion captured forever in a picture appeared in a local paper the next week. The couple was my parents.
The photographer may have set out to memorialize a single tragedy, but in so doing, he unknowingly provided me a visible reminder of the highest qualities of the man and woman who gave me life and love.
As a photographer, what am I about? My goal is to capture the meaning as well as the image. A waterfall that represents the closeness of a friend; a flower that was passed from generation to generation; the excitement of life in a five year olds T-Ball picture. Hopefully, one day I will be able to in a small way give to someone else what the photographer who captured my parents image gave to me.