I learned of Nancy Reagan’s passing yesterday and remembered this photo I took in 2004 at her husband’s funeral.
I went to the funeral with the intention of photographing this news event to take the photos and begin submitting my portfolio to newspapers, magazines, and photo agencies for a job as a photographer. At the time, I was finishing out my last summer life guarding and was told by most adults that I’d need to get a ‘real job’ soon (photography was not, and still is not considered a ‘real job’ by many…. even extended family members think this is my hobby still) but photography was where I wanted to go.
Looking back, 12 years later and my work has been published in nearly every major media outlet and newspaper I can think of in the US and many abroad, I’ve had magazine covers, book covers, and doubletrucks and have been able to do this photography thing full time since then.
Although I never did get a ‘job’ with a newspaper, magazine or photo agency, I got something better…. Freelance work from all of them.
I’m thankful that I went to her husband’s funeral to capture the historical event at the very beginning of my career, and the photos I took there have regularly inspired me to push harder and further in my business.
In this way, Nancy Reagan did so much for me and she never even knew.
Photography can be so powerful.
Rest in peace Nancy Reagan.