What a lot of people don't know about me is that when I was younger I worked in a very different field. I was trained as a nurse to work with patients who had physical and mental disabilities. From when I was 18 till the age of 23 I took of people in wheelchairs, people with Down Syndrome, people who hallucinated or had epileptic episodes, big strong guys who had full-blown adult-size tantrums, people with OCD and/or with self-destructive behavior.
It was an interesting time in my life. I learned a lot about the human brain and behavior, how to care for these amazing clients and the joy it gave me and them. The happy and fun times of my patients always outweighed the difficult moments.
Now, working in photography I realize that in my earlier job I was already being trained in watching and observing others. The slight difference in somebody's face and speech could be the beginning of a seizure. The smile on the face of the older man in a wheelchair who was deaf and blind, when he was being put in a sunbeam with a cup of fresh coffee in his hands.
During photo sessions and portrait sessions I enjoy looking at how the light falls on people's faces, how they have a relaxed expression or maybe just the opposite. It's helping me to adjust. Maybe I have to change someone's pose or my own position or adjust the settings on the camera, help somebody relax a bit.
So, maybe it's not that strange I ended up choosing photojournalism when I went back to school. Even though I really enjoyed the radio studio and thought the first two years back in college I would most likely end up writing for a magazine after graduating.
I like to look back and think that everything we do and experience in life, teaches us something and helps us with all the next things that come our way. We just have to 'see' it!