As many of you know, I am a news photographer for the Salem News. I've been working as a news photographer for over four years now and I have covered all sorts of assignments. Football games, dress rehearsals, fires, car crashes, festivals, fairs, weather, you name it, I've covered it. Some days the assignments are happy, fun and filled with smiles. Others are sad, dramatic, and heartbreaking Today was one of those assignments.
I was scheduled to cover the deployment of the Massachusetts National Guard 101st Field Artillery Regiment. We've been covering several events leading up to their deployment and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I showed up to where the buses were parked and waited around for a bit. Not much was going on and so I ventured inside. I was immediately overwhelmed with the hugs, tears, and private moments of goodbye.
Sometimes as a photographer you learn to just shoot, to emotionally remove yourself from the situation. I've NEVER been good at that. I try, because it's my job, but I always, even if I don't want to, emotionally connect with the subjects I am shooting. Today was no different.
My heart broke as I watched little kids cry as their dad boarded the bus, waving frantically to them as they sobbed in their mothers arms. Or girlfriends embracing their boyfriends, knowing that they may not be kissing them for a very long time. Others were surrounded by family and friends, fathers consoling sons and mothers running onto the bus to give their child one more hug. I feel tears welling in my eyes as I type.
While these types of assignments are extremely hard emotionally, they are important to cover. People often see the statistics of war and not necessarily the faces and people. I hope that photos like these can help put faces to those stats.
My hope is that I can continue to blog more imagery from work as the year progresses.
**DISCLAIMER PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THESE IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF THE SALEM NEWS. PLEASE DO NOT REPRODUCE THESE IMAGES WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT**
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