Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some may never RETURN

For 20 years I worked in another career field while pursuing my photography part time. In 1998, I finally made to jump to being a full time photographer. The one thing I had always wanted to do was shot for a newspaper. I was fortunate that a weekly newspaper had started up just a year earlier. While the paper was doing ok, there was no full time staff photographer. I started out freelancing getting paid by the picture, became their first contract photographer, and, eventually, their first staff photographer.
During the ten-year period, the paper became known for its multi-image spreads for just about any story. The paper won numerous awards over the years for both writing and imagery.
Like all passionate photographers, I have a number of images that stick in my mind when I think back over the years. This image is one of those.
After Hurricane Katrina hit the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coasts, the local firefighters pulled together and sent a team to help out some firefighters in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. I tagged along to document the experience. Over the several days, this image has always stood out in my recollection of the what happened. The woman in the image is Mary Hardy who is the wife of one of the Ocean Springs firefighters.
When I arrived at the Hardy home the last morning, the paper was sitting on the kitchen counter with the headline that read "Some may never RETURN". I took several images with a Nikkor 18-35mm zoom but, when Mary stepped up to get a coffee cup, I took this shot. For me, it told the whole story of the happenings along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

I ended up selecting a series of nine images that ran as a two-page spread in my newspaper. The photo essay won first place in the Florida Press Association category of Photo Series in one issue in 2006.
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

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