ABOUT ME I
Getting the call that a baby is ready for their « close-up » is pretty exciting…especially when they’re super new! When I arrived I was graciously greeted by Griffin, a handsome, visitor loving, golden lab through the front door window. While he didn’t let me in I was assured by his mighty tail wagging (okay, his entire body was wagging) that I was a welcomed guest and he would soon receive me with a bit of slobber and a handshake. Needless to say, Griffin was/is pretty proud of his new human sibling. This is Deacan
Each year, for the past 8 years, I’ve been asked back to join the photographers at the Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala. It’s an opportunity to give back and donate my time and talents for a global cause. If you know me, you understand that I do an awful lot of volunteering for many organizations. This one is always fun and I get to see all my Gala colleagues on the red carpet and in the ballroom as well as many celebs! This year, in the ballroom at the St Paul RiverCenter, Jessica Sanchez opened with the National Anthem followed by the flight of our beloved Bald Eagle. Norm Crosby, as always, made us laugh at ourselves, Matt Nathanson gave a perfect acoustic rendition of some favorites like Come On Get Higher but a new favorite of mine (and sure to be yours) is his fundraising efforts for Starkey with Headphones. I’ve been close a few times but standing next to the stage with camera in hand while George W. Bush was named a 2015 honoree (I’m certain my mom was squealing in Heaven!) was quite simply an awe struck moment. Katy Perry closed the night.
These are just a few of my faves. See you next year!
Everyone says: « How do you do it? » Quite honestly, it’s gotta be God. ‘Cuz how else could you agree to volunteer to cover such a grief stricken time in a couple’s life.
I wasn’t on call today but as God would see fit, I was available this morning…to cover a loss. So I texted back: « I can take this one. »
That moment when I know for certain that I am going…I become someone else. My head becomes clear of all the clutter, that is my life and I methodically gather my gear, fill my water bottle and grab some sort of bar, toss it in my camera bag, get the keys and I’m out the door. Nothing on my mind except arriving safely and in a timely manner but often times I pray. I pray for the families that are gathering, I pray for the staff and I pray that I can make the most beautiful images for the parents…for these will be all they have, of their little one, once they walk out the door of the hospital. Then, the moment that the nurse draws back the curtain (or pushes the door open), pokes her head in and says, « …the photographer’s here. » This is where I come in. I set my bag on the floor, slowly make my way to the bed (where often both parents are seated holding their little one or in some cases ‘ones’), introduce myself and extend my sorrow for their untimely loss. Never having had any children all I can do is imagine….imagine what a loss like this would be like to endure. Sometimes I say nothing….all dependent upon how I read the situation. Always tho’, I’m required to get a parent to fill out and sign the form stating that they have requested that we (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) be there to photograph for them…I hate that part… »hey, can you take a moment, dry your eyes so you can see to sign this form? » HATE it…but, it’s a must. Can’t really do anything until it’s signed. In the rush of things, I’m certain that they don’t even remember or realize they did..it just protects me and the foundation. Covering these losses always gets me thinking about stuff…life mostly, and what we do with ours (or the very least, what I do with mine). Seems I always come away from them with a clearer sense of the life I should be living. These sessions are great teachers, if I let them…and I usually do. My mind, body and soul connect and I thank God for giving me the talent and the ability to step into this role…that of someone who can help make healing possible for these parents and families for the days, weeks, months and years to come.
I’ve just learned that this October 2015 (date forthcoming), our very own Minnetonka School District (and surrounding communities)
is participating in a campaign entitled « Kindness In Chalk”. Now, we have no shortage of sidewalks in this lakeside town
so I plan to be out capturing all of the sidewalk-chalk art of our community members and offerings from local businesses!
A favorite poem, a sketch, heck…your favorite emoji! This will definitely be a fun, day brightener!
Businesses are being encouraged to join in, as well, by getting creative with listing offerings/deals on the sidewalks outside of their doors!
I hope to be out shooting, instagramming and hashtagging #KindnessInChalk
What will YOU share…with chalk?