Friday, February 29, 2008

It is a beautiful thing.

Yesterday, I saw first-hand evidence of why we, photojournalists, do what we do. It was a beautiful and moving moment that echoed a beautiful and moving moment.

I want to share it here, even though it isn't really my moment to share.

My good friend and colleague, Greg Kahn, handed me his iPhone while we were sitting in the office. He received a message from a woman whose son was killed in action during the war. On January 28th, he posted a photo from the funeral to his blog and the soldier's mother found it and commented on the photo. Today, he received another message, from the soldier's wife.

Please go read them here:

I'm writing this, and pointing you in this direction, because it touched my heart, and it touched his.

Funerals are so hard to photograph, as I know it was for Greg. I think they are difficult for most journalists. We worry that the people we are photographing will feel like we are just there to take... to show their pain to the world, rather than share in it. Even though, every funeral I've ever covered, I have shared the pain. I have cried, either during or after.

I told Greg, I live to work for days like he had yesterday. He was given a gift from the soldier's mother and wife. One that said they understand and appreciate that he handled their most horrible day with respect, giving them the space they needed to grieve with dignity, yet still capturing a moment that makes them want to remember.

Good job, Greg. Keep up the great work.

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