Friday, November 9, 2012

Upstate NY photographer: Downstate after Sandy

The one amazing thing about this job is that you NEVER know what is going to come up next.  The scariest about this job is that you never know what is going to come up next.
You never know if/when you will book a wedding or a shoot, you also just never know when a phone call from Virginia will come through asking you to tag along with their company to photograph relief efforts after Sandy.

Professionally: This was something I knew how to do. 10 years of photojournalism and a lot of habits kick back into gear. There was a lot to take in and see! Wednesday night we shot in a near blizzard conditions near Fort Dix NJ. I drove south and hit the first storm of the year. Go figure. It was freezing and I was literally shooting out from underneath an umbrella and towels to try and keep stuff dry.  It was nothing compared to the people providing the relief efforts that had been outside for approximately 10 hours.  The next day we shot in bright sun and the pitch darkness in northern New Jersey. So, if ever there were three extremes in two day, we found them.
Thanks Shelly Wood for the photo!

Personally: Irene, Sandy, Katrina..are all infamous names now.  It's heartbreaking to walk through wreckage, to lose loved ones, to lose  a sense of safety. I get it. Irene was my home town's devastation. There is an underlying resentment of who didn't help who during which storm. I get it.  In a way, many cities and states didn't get what was going on here after Irene. However, now that Sandy did her damage, it's almost as if some people are resentful of the help they need.  I didn't lose my home or any family, but I walked through the mud, cleaned out homes, cried with my friends and spent days of exhausting efforts trying to find our town I feel I have a little justification in this.   If/when tragedy strikes, you have choices.  You can choose to ignore it, you can choose to be resentful or you can be the one who "gets it" and come along side the next victims and help.
I don't say this lightly (and forgive the long winded answer) After my brother's traumatic brain injury - there were many people who didn't "get it". Many people did. Some people chose to not really get involved, some people did.  I could choose to resent all those who didn't let it affect them and refuse to help those in future need..or come along side the next family suffering the event of a brain injury. Why? Because I know the hurt, I know the sad, I know the anger and fear. I can empathize.  I chose the latter. I love the people I have come to know because of such a tragedy. The same thing happens in a situation such as this. Resent the help we maybe didn't receive  when we wanted it or offer it with open arms now because...we get it.
bringing fuel to hospital personnel.

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