Karen’s Blog

Thoughts on a changing profession and life

Archive for March 2009

My inaugural post

with 3 comments

Kobe after his comments

Kobe after his comments

I was trying to figure out how to start my inaugural blog.  I always thought I would have so much to say, but when it came to writing anything on paper, my mind did a flat liner.  So my dog gave me the material, literally.  He pooped on the tax returns my husband had spread out on the basement floor.  Kobe normally doesn’t leave little treats for his human keepers to pick up, but it seemed such an appropriate tribute to the last 12 months of both my life and the beloved industry in which I exist and work—photojournalism.  My immediate response was not to get mad but pat him on the head—“you go, Kobe!!”

I wish I could put those little brown treats on top of the heads of those clueless individuals who are giving themselves and their fellow incompetents bonuses with my hard earned tax dollars.  Just before I discovered what Kobe had left us, I was reading in the Washington Post about those amazing folks at AIG who think its OK to use tax dollars to give bonuses to the same individuals whose incompetent actions led to the collapse of their company in the first place.  Oh that wonderful excuse that should be embossed across their chests like scarlet letters.  Do they really believe it themselves when they say, “bonuses are needed to keep talent”? Why does that sound like someone backpedaling?  If these folks are so talented then why are we in this mess?

What has been troubling me even more than the corporate robber barons is the slow demise of newspapers in this country.  Why are long established newspapers dropping like victims of an avian influenza epidemic?  This is the most frightening trend that I have seen in a long while. It’s ironic that all this is happening during a very critical time.  The economy is collapsing and companies like AIG are found dancing and drinking up a storm while the ship sinks slowly below the waves.

Journalists, the free press, those watch dogs of society, are the ones who brought this story forward. Should trained journalists disappear or turn into PR (now referred to as Communications) people, who will keep the political and corporate types honest?  Without a free press, there cannot be a free society.  It’s interesting that as journalists are becoming an endangered species, public relations or “communications” jobs are sprouting up like spring flowers.  Everyone wants to put a spin on his or her agenda. Will “news” be nothing but one spin after another; let me one up your spin with my spin?

About now, you may be asking, “is this is a photographers’ blog?”  What does AIG have to do with photography?

Well, photography, at least my kind of photography, is more than techniques and equipment.  There are many wonderful and useful technical blogs out there that I look at regularly.

But I went into photography because I am passionate about my world and want to share it.  This blog is a place where I’ll offer my observations.

What happens around me greatly affects who I am and how I see the world.  Being a woman, a wife, a mother, a school or church volunteer; witnessing the living and dying of those I love dearly, struggling to make a living, all of these affect how I see the world through my camera.

I remember one famous female photographer expressing her frustration at being called a woman photographer.  Is there a difference she protested, “I’m a photographer, not a woman photographer.”

I have to say yes, there is a difference.  Everything we experience, our joys, our sorrows, all the stuff that makes up the baggage we carry through life affects how we view the world.  I think of another famous photographer—this one male—who managed to have a slaughterhouse or bar in most of his coverages.  Makes me wonder what his life baggage was.

So is there baggage in this blog?  Sure.  It’s about living and dealing with what life brings.  Not just my life, but the lives and stories of the people I’ve been privileged to witness and share.

Written by kasmauski

March 25, 2009 at 11:55 pm