Photojournalism; the power to tell a story

“Good people are like candles; they burn themselves up to give others light,” — Turkish Proverb

As I briefly mentioned in my first post, I have a minor in Journalism and currently I am the News Editor of the Setonian, our school’s student paper. How did I end up here? I still ask myself that question everyday, but I’ve always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and life has a funny way of working its self out. See I started out my freshman year majoring in biology and I had all of these plans to become a marine biologist or a researcher or a doctor. All pretty awesome fields, but as my freshmen year ended I began to realize that I wasn’t happy with any of these choices. After a lot of self-reflection and contemplation, I decided to change my major, and I mean like complete 180 from biology to communication. How does that even happen? I don’t know, but I what I do know is that I couldn’t have made a better decision. I’ve discovered so much about myself within the last year after changing my major, and a lot of doors have started to open. I’ll never really know why some things happen, but I’ve decided to stop questioning them because I truly believe that’s what was meant to be.

So why this photo? Well I’ll tell you why, and it goes back to how I started this post. This photo captures exactly what I love so much about being a journalist. Journalism has given me so many opportunities to witness and be a part of things I would never have done with out it. I go to these events because they are important, becuase they are newsworthy and they might lead to a great story, but more importantly I go to them because they force me to step outside of my comfort zone. I’ve never been one to enjoy doing this, most people don’t, that’s pretty much why comfort zones exist. However, I’ve proved to myself time and time again that each time I cover something new, I learn or gain something that I probably never would have if I hadn’t forced myself to go. This is what I love about journalism, not only getting to tell incredible stories, but getting to create my own.

So back to the photo. Some one seeing this photo for the first time would just see three candles and vases with flowers. They probably wouldn’t question it too much, maybe just assume it’s a part of the church service. What they don’t know is that this photo has an amazing story behind it. These candles were lit, and these vases were filled with 38 roses by 38 graduate students from the physician assistance program at my school during a “Ceremony of Gratitude” to honor the three cadavers they worked with over the semester. I can’t begin to put into words how incredible it was to witness the honoring of these donor bodies. I can only imagine how special it was for the students to get to thank these donors for getting an amazing opporunity to learn the human anatomy. These candles and these roses represent the three donors, the donors who were once people, people who had families and stories of their own, people who unfortunately died but decided to let the end of their lives be the opportunity for others to start.

So how does a girl studying communication who would probably pass out at the sight of an open cadaver wind up at a ceremony honoring them? Journalism. That’s how.

I don’t know where else I will wind up, the possibilites are endless. Journalsim and photography will give me the opportunity to share these stories and my journey.

I’ve included a link to the article I wrote regarding this photo. Please feel free to read, share or comment.

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