It's easy to use a camera to create distance between yourself and what's going around you. Often, raising the viewfinder to my own eye can serve as a wall, and sometimes that's exactly how I like it.
But my camera can also bring me closer to that which is going on around me. I can linger on a person's face, get nearer to a bird flying overhead, or gain access to situations that might otherwise be off limits.
Over the years I've been asked to document lots of important occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, and graduations. Though often stressful, they provide me with a lot of joy, and I love being able to record such happy days for my clients.
But the most profound and unforgettable events I've been honored to document are birth and death.
It's hard not to notice that time slows down and eventually stands very still. The only thing you can hear is your breathing. The only thing you can feel is your heartbeat. The only thing you can say is nothing. As it starts to approach something close to a religious awakening, you have to steady your hands to keep them from shaking.
And you have to make sure you can still see in spite of your watery eyes.