do you know what the Human Rights Campaign is? you should. I didn’t. I do now. when I first heard of it I had some vague notion of an organization having to do with the violation of humane treatment of individuals in other countries…prison conditions, political prisoners, canings. or something. I’d seen the ubiquitous blue square with a yellow equal sign in it, and knew what it represented. I just didn’t know it belonged to the HRC. I don’t necessarily say this proudly, but I live in a media vacuum when it comes to world events. hell, local events. what’s going on at my kids’ schools, even. largely, if not exclusively, by choice. avoidance of reality is a thing with me. probably why I read a lot. not to say I don’t check topline news stories, or try to learn more about issues that are important to me. I guess it’s a selective reality. and I know I’m not the only person guilty of that.
so ANYway, I was assigned to shoot the HRC awards dinner at the atlanta hyatt regency as my first official post-internship/+elaine shoot. and I get that for some of you, HRC might not be your thing. but for me, the evening, the organization, was a revelation. people being themselves freely, in an atmosphere of support and acceptance. people who were involved, emotionally and financially and politically, trying to make the world what I would consider to be a better place. it’s hard to work a camera when you’re busy applauding and laughing and cheering. but I’m a professional and managed it.
did you see my post on facebook that night? I had minions. some of the season 8 interns (andrew, christine, kristi and vee) were mine to do with what I would. this was their first official shoot after their intern introduction night. they were nervous, and I encouraged and instructed and checked back with them when I could, because that was just me a few months ago. but really, I had to trust them to do their jobs, and they just had to get out there and shoot. and they did. and I was one proud mama. but let’s get back to me. I was THE photographer at this incredible event. I got to be that person who firmly but politely gets to shove other shooters and camera-wielders aside so I (or my interns) can get the shots we want. such a night of satisfaction and potential and a sense of so much further to go. for me, for HRC.
from that moment when I first got bitten by the photography bug, and the years since—asking, practicing, helping, assisting, interning–and finally, it was me. mine. power, baby! I promise I will do my best to use it for good.