I was reading Thomas Hawk’s blog today, which is part of my daily RSS feed reading, and read his post about the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. After viewing the link to the photo feature, I felt compelled to share it as well. I dont’ know if I can say it better than Mr. Hawk did:
It’s a troubling, moving and emotional series of photographs that show in the most poignent way how powerful photography can be.
I don’t know if I was especially moved because I have a disabled son that is at times in a wheelchair, or perhaps because my father died in a similar fashion; but, for whatever reason this really struck me emotionally. It brought me to tears.
I have at times been asked why I take photos at times when many others may consider it rude or not fitting to the situation. This is a perfect example of why I do this. Recording historic, emotional, or otherwise memorable events in photography is one of the greatest forms of artistic expression I know.
If you do nothing else today worthwhile on the ‘net, take a moment to view this series of photos, and then share it with a friend. Whether it is because of your appreciation for the art or your desire to help others realize the fragility or sacredness of life, it is worth sharing.
You may notice the little girl in this photo; she is the same that I have featured in the header graphic of this site. This is one of my little princesses. I am a big believer in always having a camera at the ready. In today’s world of digital photography, you have no reason not too. When you are always at the ready, you are more likely to capture the wonderful moments in your life.
This is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken, bar none. The expression on both little “animals” feature here are priceless. Both are completely enjoying themselves as my little girl is dressing up the dog, Max, with a blanket and Max is getting the attention he loves.
Max was a “free spirit” as we like to say. We obtained him from someone that rescued him from a pound. He was in the pound because he had been found wandering and in need of food. We had him for a couple of years, but when we moved to our new home he kept wandering away to inspect his new surroundings. Eventually he didn’t come back. We did the signs and called the pound for months. Because he was never reported hit by a car or turned up at the pound, we like to believe someone else loved him so much they adopted him. We enjoyed his free spirit for a time, and then he moved on.
Our kids still talk about Max and miss him. My daughter asks me to pull up this photo sometimes to remember him, and she loves to look at it perhaps almost as much as I do. I am so glad I was ready and captured this moment to cherish.
My son had his first sleepover this weekend. It had to happen someday, there was no way I could put it off forever. Our agreement with him was that he could have a friend over once he turned 8, which happened last month so we had to live up to our end of the bargain. He was very excited, and this weekend it finally happened.
I remember having friends stay over, for no particular reason other than to have fun and do a bunch of crazy kid things. Usually it involves a movie to get us tired which of course really never works. We stay up laughing, talking, playing games, etc. So why was I surprised when my son did the same thing on his first friend overnight event?
We call it a sleepover for a reason, but that reason was obviously lost on my son. We watched a movie with the necessary popcorn and such, and everyone had a great time. We sent them all to bed and headed that way ourselves. About an hour later and a few trips down the hall to shush the festivities, we didn’t hear anything so we assumed they finally succumbed to the need for sleep. Oh were we so wrong.
4:45 am rolls around and I wake up to a loud thump. As I slowly regain consciousness I listen for any more sounds. I hear more thumps and some distant chatter, so I know something is up. I make my way to the end of the hall and see that the light shining through under the door. Yep, the boys are up. I swing open the door to see toys strewn from wall to wall and two boys playing Monopoly on the top bunk, jumping off between turns. They fess up excitedly, and somewhat proudly, to the fact that they have been up all night!
I couldn’t help but laugh a little before getting them to put away the game and finally hit the sack. Come morning they stumbled into the family room only to sack out again on the couch (pictured above). I should have seen it coming, but then that is what makes live interesting, right? They were pretty grouchy most of the day due to lack of sleep, but they had a great time and I am sure will remember this for a long time to come.
Fun memories are what makes life fun. Next time your kid does something so obviously wrong yet really not all that bad, give them a little slack and let them learn the consequences along the way. They will learn more than you warning and making sure they can’t suffer a little. It may lead to a day of bad attitude, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Edit: I forgot to explain my title for this post “Screech with the eagles.” My dad used to always torment me with his favorite saying every time I would stay out late on a Friday night. “If you’re going to hoot with the owls, you have to be ready to screech with the eagles.” It must have been something from his generation, because I have never heard it anywhere else. It’s those kind of things I remember fondly now, even though it was always a thorn in my side as he would drag me out of bed for Saturday chores after a late night out with friends.