One of my first writing jobs out of college was a human-interest piece about a couple in my small town who had recently opened a welding business. When I went to meet with the business owners and began asking them questions for the article, I was struck by their passion for what they did. It wasn’t about creating iron handrails. It was about art for them. The business was owned by a young, married couple. And they were passionate about what they did. And they were passionate about each other. It was clear when you watched them watching each other.
My second assignment was to meet with a gentleman who created wood duck decoys on Tilghman Island, MD. He worked out of a small shed in his backyard. Calling it a shed is a bit of a misnomer. It had a screen door and cute little windows dressed with curtains. But once inside the space in which this man created his world-renowned decoys, one was struck by the number of wood duck heads on the windowsill … there were thousands. “I call that my graveyard,” I remember him saying to me. “All the heads that aren’t good enough go there.”
I spent the afternoon with the wood duck carver and learned about his passion for his craft and I realized that writing for the local newspaper was precisely how I didn’t want to spend the rest of my days. Writing was something I enjoyed doing, but in no way could I capture in words the passion these people had for what they did. No matter how passionate I was about my craft, I couldn’t capture their passion – not with any kind of words, anyway.
I’m sure my editor sent me to cover these stories thinking she was going to get information about welding iron handrails for one day’s paper or carving wood duck decoys for the insert before the Waterfowl Festival on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. But that’s not what I gained from these meetings. And that’s not what I could write about. What I gained was passion. And I could have captured that passion much better with a camera than with any words I could write (that my editor would have wanted to change anyway).
So now that I have the camera, it’s the passion I want to capture when I meet people or when I’m driving down the road. Whenever I have the chance I take a picture, whether it’s with my Nikon or with my phone. If I can remember just how beautiful something is – or even how bad something is – I want to remember it. And that’s what a photograph does. It lets us remember those times.
And that’s why I started 1,000 Words Photography. I want to capture people at their most beautiful. I want to capture people when they’re doing something they’re passionate about – whether it’s spending time with their children or other loved ones, or if it’s playing a sport or riding a horse. What makes you happy and what brings about your passion can easily be captured by a camera. And remembered for a lifetime.
And that’s what I plan on doing for you and your family and friends. Capturing the passion in life. Every day.