My Why

When the day faded, my grandfather’s old slide projector would come out of the attic and light up the big white-walled dining room. This visual portal to the past was where fascinating stories were recounted and experiences unfolded anew to those absent. One of my favorite slideshows of his and the one I credit as my introduction to the power of using images to document stories was his trip to the Amazon Jungle (before it became touristy). He described being able to pique the aboriginal’s interest by bringing along western trinkets like lipstick and dollar store toys.

Having so many passionate photographers in my family has been an incredible gift. One thing they all had in common was their ability to capture real moments as they unfolded. The photos that mean the most to me aren’t the selfies, they aren’t the posed half-smiling shots in front of tourist hotspots but instead, the fleeting decisive moments captured in split-seconds that tell stories and transport to another time and place – one I may no longer remember or have even been around for. Photos like the one of my grandparents laughing in the grass when they would have only recently met. Photos like my mother at 4-year-olds trying to see fish in an aquarium her parents recently bought. Or even simple photos like the one of my younger brother and me with our dad walking on the street looking back in laughter at our aunt taking a photo.