There is no painless way to share this with you. No neat and tidy way to package this up to send with a big ole sticker reading fragile across the top. The minute it’s brought up, everything changes.
I am a survivor of a school shooting. I was 17 at the time, a Junior at Chardon High School. And since, I’ve experienced a couple ptsd episodes from it. I could go on more with my experience of that day and the aftermath, but instead here’s a fairly recent article that I think really embodies what happened and where we are now, as a community and as survivors.
I’m sharing this with you simply because it’s something that I think has shaped me -for better or worse. And also to tell you that whatever you are going through, you are not alone. Sometimes, things happen that are out of your control. And it’s those things, tragic and unforgiving as they are, that build you into who you are now.
Not a lot of people want to share the bad. I’m definitely guilty of this. I generally want to give out the projection that things have always been easy breezy and good for me even when it’s not true. But my photography and how I live my life has so much to do with what I’ve trudged through it’s almost a lie to not share that bad stuff too. I've gone through stuff that’s made me feel like I’m not in control. I think a lot of us have. And I think a lot of us try to find an external way to gain back some of that control. For me, it’s been through photography.
Ever since I started taking photos, I’ve been obsessed with the communication aspect of photography. You are entirely in control of what someone sees in your photo; from subject matter to mood, you can create a whole story in just one image.
Photography has given me control in other ways too. Control over my risks. And I take so many risks when I shoot photos (sorry mom). I’ve gone into abandoned buildings, I've climbed on less than sturdy structures, I’ve meet strangers from the internet in unfamiliar places and sometimes traveled across the country with them, I’ve hoisted myself onto the tops of trains and sometimes have had to jump off when they started moving. Basically I’ve put myself in a lot of danger. But it’s because I know that danger lies even in safe situations. In the suburbs. In schools.
So if this is what it takes for me to feel fulfilled in my craft..then why the frick not.