January 30, 2016

Yesterday I had a profound experience. I was the lucky one chosen to photograph the ceremony where a new Justice on the Utah Supreme Court was sworn in.

I left the event feeling an overwhelming aura of positivity. My goal now is to build on that feeling and carry it with me.

The speakers at the event were smart, and funny. And even those whose politics are called into question seemed to leave those things at the door. This was a celebration of great accomplishments, sacrifice in search of excellence, work ethic, goodness.

The good words that were being said about the new Justice were the kinds of things you would normally only hear at a funeral.

And it was so uplifting to be in the room.

Of course I kept contrasting to my own field, my own situation, and my own feelings. It’s been over a decade since

I need to find, or build, a space like this uplifting ceremony. Yeah, a space, not a one-time ceremony, where people are respected, their talents acknowledged, and positivity reigns.

And where there is no love given, no love is returned.


It’s easy to start blaming myself for not stepping up to the plate and trying to fix everything. As if it’s not enough to do my job at a high level, that I have to step in and fix every problem that’s brought to my attention.


Was it about five years ago that we took the local SPJ contest digital?

So many things look so different when held up to yesterday’s ceremony. Maybe the ceremony was the exception in human life. Even if so, it should be the model we strive for.

I think back to all the work I did for a local group, and all the knowledge and experience and lessons learned that came from the experience. And the nearly complete silence when it came time for gratitude.

The group is going in a different direction now, and I wish them the best. And yet, there is a lot of sorrow in the complete lack of not only gratitude, but leaving behind the knowledge base that five years of the project built up.

Good luck starting from scratch without a single question asked. It’s a shame that things changed. When I started with the group, their was such a welcoming, loving atmosphere. But the group’s membership changed and the attitudes became different, exemplified by the number of board members who were taking home honorary awards (especially the one given to someone for an accomplishment they had specifically opposed and stonewalled for a full year!).

I tell myself that I write this stuff down so I’ll remember it. Maybe it’s more base and vain than that. Maybe I’m smarting from a lack of attention and gratitude.


I’ve had three co-workers get married without even telling me (sometimes not telling anyone in the department).

Before I would think, that’s strange, why didn’t they tell me?

My thought now that it’s happened again is, I must be doing someting wrong.

From what I understand, they didn’t tell anyone, but still – we make things about ourselves all the time, right?

I think I’ll buy a wedding gift, despite hearing the news third-hand.


When I look back on the last twenty plus years working for the place, there have been clashes. In the competitive nature of the place and the business, we’ve all bumped

Cut to the chase: the photographers I work with are people I respect deeply. Each has talents that I envy, knowledge and understanding that I lack, kindness and empathy I admire.

Do they know that?


It’s not about hate, it’s about love. The articles written and broadcast about yesterday’s ceremony won’t be able to capture the humor, the respect, the legacy of that hour.

I hope to take those things and build something for myself and those I love. Because I can handle the silence from those outside the warmth of the campfire. The problem is, there’s no campfire right now.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.