One thing that inspired me as a child was life. People. Emotion. Reality. Truth. I would devour every issue of National Geographic I could get my hands on. I studied them…without even knowing I was doing it. I wasn’t enthralled by pretty pictures (although there were plenty), I wasn’t mesmerized by the airbrushed ads. I was captivated by images that told a story; images that gave a glimpse – if only for a mere moment – into the lives of another; images that showed happiness, sadness, joy, and pain; images that were real.

The local librarians used to joke that they knew when I was there, because all the history books were gone from the shelves. And, that was often the case, even from portions of the adult section. I loved history, but I loved the documentation of history even more. I mentally ingested countless images of fighting soldiers, weeping mothers, dead bodies, pain, and suffering. I was fascinated by the visual record of such horrific events as the Holocaust, war, and genocide. The images were REAL! No staging in the world could replicate the stories those images told.

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