Last year was unbelievable. It was my fourth year as a full-time independent photographer, and definitely my most exciting and rewarding. I worked for clients that I used to dream of shooting for, and I got to cover some of the biggest stories of the year and meet some incredible people along the way. I am forever grateful to the folks who hire and trust me to tell stories with my camera, whether it be The New York Times covering the Charleston shootings or the Atlanta Falcons to show a behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a professional football player. I also got featured (twice!) by Instagram and blogged by them, helping me gain over 90k followers! It has been a great year for sure, but I definitely have a long way to go.
I couldn’t believe it. Not again. Not another rampage shooting where more innocent people lost their lives. The weight of it was slowly starting to sink in as I was making the drive a couple hours north to Chattanooga to cover this terrible story for The New York Times. The nation was still grieving those lost 28 days earlier, in another senseless killing, at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. But this was the reality — a 24-year-old Chattanooga man drove to two different military facilities on July 16, killing four Marines and a Sailor. The suspect, Mohammod Abdulazeez, was killed by police in the gun battle. It still doesn’t make sense — it never will.