I spent a good portion of my afternoon yesterday complaining about shooting a bar crawl in Wrigleyville for a friend’s event company, half-jokingly calling it “my personal Hell.” I wasn’t complaining about having the work — I’m extraordinarily lucky and grateful to be able to make pictures for a living — but taking pictures in a crowded bar having my lights nearly knocked over multiple times while watching drunks fall flat on their faces in the middle of the afternoon isn’t my cup of tea.
Fast forward four hours and one of my editors calls and I found myself standing along the edge of an icy retention pond next to the highway as divers searched for the body of a young woman after the car she was riding in crashed and ended up in the water. One family’s actual personal Hell.
Covering death is not something any photojournalist enjoys doing, but if a photograph can make one person stop for just a moment to remember to not complain about the little things and appreciate all that you have, it’s worth it.
Sometimes that person is the one behind the camera.