I spent most of the morning working on all the compliance stuff that the students need to complete to go to the hospital rotation. We used to have a bit of a grace period for it, but this year there is another group that really blew it, and now it has to be complete before we can set foot the hospital. This other group also put one of my rotations at risk, and I was kind of pissed as I drove home.
I was still kind of pissed when the phone rang. It was someone from my care provider's office wanting to talk with me about my blood pressure. I guess they could sense it was boiling. It was a pharmacist/case manager who noted that I had a couple of high readings the last time I was there, and wanted to offer some suggestions. I told him I was a nurse, and we talked for a while anyway. It was actually calming.
Malida had her first photography class today. I looked at her syllabus, and remembered when I took the same class back in 2005 or so. I remembered many of the pictures I shot for my portfolio, and went digging in my archives. I couldn't find most of them, but did find one that was kind of a defining moment for me.
It was at an immigration rally on May 1, 2005. My professor had suggested it might be a good place to get some pictures, so I went. There were a lot of people there--maybe more than 10,000. At first I just kind of stood way back. Eventually I saw someone who looked like a professional photographer and started watching what she did, and followed her. She was constantly moving around, looking for shots. Turns out she was a professional photographer--Renee Byer, who later won a Pulitzer prize.
Eventually I followed her to the front of the rally, just below where the speakers were on the steps of the state capitol. I took some pictures of the speakers, then turned toward the crowd, scanning through my viewfinder. At some point I stopped thinking about specific pictures, and just started photographing.
It was this image that marked my transition from being someone who took pictures to a being a photographer. I think it also kind of marks the beginning of my movement towards documentary photography as opposed to fine art photography. Capturing a moment rather than creating one.
I love how this woman's face looks directly at me from among a sea of faces. I had a print of it up on my wall for a long time. I think I took it down when I painted and have no idea where it is now. I should dig it out and re-hang it.
The thing I love about photography is being in the moment. When I am photographing an event or a story, I am in a place where I am not really thinking about it--I'm just doing it. I would always be nervous before I started photographing, but once I started I was on another level. I've noticed that feeling again as I have been out with my new camera and taking a lot more pictures. Not sure I am really able to adequately describe it.
I googled that rally to see what it was about. It was to protest a bill in Congress called the "Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005". The bill proposed (among other things) to build a border fence along the US-Mexico border, eliminate the green card lottery, and deny federal grants for sanctuary cities. It passed in the House, but not in the Senate.
Sounds kind of familiar.