Who I’m Admiring: Margaret Bourke-White

“The camera is a remarkable instrument. Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand.”

Margaret Bourke White peck dam

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White is a woman of firsts. She was the first photographer hired by Fortune magazine, the first to have a photo on the cover of Life magazine, the first American photojournalist granted entry to Russia, and the first to document concentration camps at the end of WWII. She is an amazing woman. She often worked under difficult circumstances and is known for her courage and willingness to do anything to get the shot. During her first assignment for Fortune magazine she photographed Swift & Co., a hog processing plant. The conditions were bad due to the stench and blood and her co-worker could not continue. She finished the story {having created the fist photo essay} and left her camera equipment to be burned. She went on to be the first foreign correspondent to cover the start of WWII. She went to India and Pakistan and photographed Gandhi before his assassination. She covered Korea and apartheid in South Africa. She had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Like Ansel Adams, Margaret Bourke-White is a giant in the world of photography. She was a pioneer of photojournalism, a humanitarian and one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century. Two recent films covering Bourke-White are Double Exposure: The Story of Margaret Bourke-White and the film Gandhi.

“I have always thought that if I could turn back the pages of history and photograph one man, my choice would be Moses.”

– Margaret Bourke-White, Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White

Gratitude

I am so happy to be free. Free to express myself, free to speak my mind, free to get an education. To vote. To love who I want to love. Freedom to own property and have my own business. Freedom to choose who I marry. I’m focusing on freedom here because freedom isn’t free. It costs. And I’m incredibly thankful that I live in this country among wonderful people. I read today that there are more than 25 million living veterans. That’s a lot of people serving and who once served. That person may have served three years or thirty. May have served in war-time or peacetime. The outcome is the same: we are free. I know how difficult the job can be because I served too. So did my sister and brother and our grandfather {a World War II veteran}.

The thing is because military members work so hard and sacrifice so much they often suffer as a result. Families struggle when a mother or father {or both} deploy. Sometimes, because a military member is overseas and cannot take care of their obligations at home {especially if they are single and don’t have a spouse to oversee their estate} they return to a foreclosed home or other financial hardship. There are some who return who suffer from medical issues {physical and psychological} and are unable to get or keep a job. They sleep in their car or are homeless. This just shouldn’t be. I believe that gratitude can be expressed in many ways. Words are good but sometimes we can go beyond words to truly express that we care. You can show that you care and support our troops and veterans by giving {of your time/money/other resources} to any of the organizations below. Reaching out to others in a practical way really shows you care.

 

 

United States Veteran’s Initiative – http://www.usvetsinc.org/

VFW National Home for Children – http://www.vfwnationalhome.org/

Homeless Resource Center for Women Veterans

Crisis Center for Military Women
Operation Gratitude

Change is Good

I used to be into words, analysis, and science. But I’ve changed. Reading something more than 500 words makes me fidgety. I don’t even want to think about the scientific unless I’m photographing it. I’m completely different today compared to 10 years ago. I think I’m better, well rounded and definitely happier. I enjoy creating, exploring, playing.

When I left the corporate world I vowed to find out what my God-given purpose is. What makes me happy? What would I do if money were no object? I discovered that I still like to dance. Design is interesting, but photography is what drives me. For me good photographs drive the design process and I want to be making those photos. I bought a camera and lenses and have not put them down.

I say the ‘corporate world’ but in actuality I was in the military…I think they are similar environments in many ways.  After leaving the military I knew I had to do something different…part of the searching process involved volunteer work. I think volunteering is great…it seems giving is actually beneficial to the giver. I felt as if I got more out of it than those I was serving. I learned a lot and met a lot of great people. And I’ve since made giving /serving others a regular part of my life.

When I started exploring photography I had the benefit of meeting some great photographers. One pro graciously invited me to several photo shoots where I was able to get experience with studio lighting using a variety of cameras from a Cannon to a Hasselblad. I started out shooting lots of events.

Now, I’m at another stage of the journey. Studying photography as a full-time student {thanks to the GI Bill} and loving every minute!