Once upon a time, I was a photojournalism major. I even bought my digital camera (which I use to this day!) from David McLain, an amazing photographer who has shot for National Geographic among many others.
After a few years taking classes and covering boring meetings for the Daily Tar Heel (or Hell, whichever), shooting became a chore that I seldom enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, through the classes I met inspiring people, learned about sacrifice and hardship, and just as important, I realized that being a photojournalist is tougher than I had ever imagined. Not because I covered any wars or violence, but because I found it hard to detach from the people who had welcomed me into their lives. Who, even after my projects were done, would still invite me to family gatherings and considered me a friend.
It was hard because I felt like I was deceiving them into opening this door, to let me see their vulnerability, to tell me their darkest secrets, to expose those secrets. I was profiting from them (not monetarily perse) yet I couldn’t even find the time to return calls. Going to school and working three jobs just seemed like pitiful excuses.
That was just a long way of me saying that, while I never did go down the road of capturing stories for a living, I’m still inspired by those who do.
If you’ve ever enjoyed my meager attempts, my rather superficial take on photography, then much of it I owe to the practice and advice I received during my time in Pat Davison’s class. I’m pretty sure I was never one of his favorites, and to be honest, I was particularly intimidated by him, so I probably didn’t take advantage of developing a better relationship.
He’s trying to fulfill his “dream assignment”:
“Divine love drives ordinary people to extraordinary service. The Face of God will document 10 stories of world-changing people whose weapons are love and faith.”
He needs to be in the Top 20 to be considered by a panel of judges, and if accepted, he’ll received the means to go about developing the project. I’d be very much obliged if y’all would go read about it, and vote for him. Trust me, I wouldn’t be asking if I thought they idea was not conducive to a brilliant project, but I really do think it’s great. It only takes a very quick registration (just your name and email). Voting ends this Friday.
Here’s the link again: