I feel like I’m on the border of OVER SHARING… I’m notoriously private about my personal life and that sometimes bleeds over to my professional side as well. I don’t try to be secretive, I just tend to keep my feelings to myself. I’m trying to open up more because I have had some amazing photo assignments that have hit me pretty hard personally. I should have shared them at the time, but instead, I just completed the assignments and then filed them away. I have to stop doing this because I have the best job anywhere and I want to share it with you.
One shoot in particular hit me extra hard because of the timing. Let me give you a little back story so you understand where I was coming from and why this particular project was a little hard for me. Almost 3 years ago, Mike (my late husband) was in a motorcycle accident. He didn’t make it, but the first responders revived him and transported him to the hospital. He never left the Trauma ICU, but it gave me and my family 10 very long emotional days to adjust to the fact that he wasn’t coming home. Had we lost him right there at the scene of the accident, we would have immediately had to come home alone. I am so grateful to the first responders for giving me and my family that extra time with him.
Whew, okay, so…A couple of years ago I was commissioned to a project for Carrollton Baylor Scott and White Hospital. It was a tribute to all first responders. Specifically, the ones who service their hospital. The project was called Hometown Heros. The plan was to start with the area fire departments and then move on the the police department. Unfortunately the budget got cut before we made it to the Police Department. When Julie, my contact and careflight first responder, first reached out to me, I immediately thought she was an angel coming to give me the opportunity to do something really special to thank the first responders. I accepted the assignment right away. She had no idea that I had just lost my husband.
Julie and I went to several fire stations and photographed the fire fighters and Paramedics. It was really fun because, if you know anyone we refer to as “heros”, they usually are too humble to accept the title. So, we basically had to beg the guys to be photographed. It was really fascinating to get to walk through the fire houses and meet these guys. I could tell right away that they had a special bond. They teased each other as I photographed them. Basically, just the same as you would treat your brothers. It reminded me of how my son is with his army buddies.
Julie and I were at each fire house about an hour. During a couple of the shoots, they got 911 calls. We got to watch them go from laughing and having a good time, to immediately jumping into their fire boots and pants and speeding off. What I took from these shoots, was the fact that these first responders have to drop what they are doing and get to their destination as fast as possible. In addition to that, they witness terrible accidents, and fires and other emergencies. It’s hard to comprehend how someone does that and then goes home to their own families. They must carry some huge weight on their shoulders. Please join me in thanking all of our first responders. They truly are our hometown heros