Creating portraits is such a wonderful way to make a living. After fulfilling my client’s needs and desires to look great, turning strangers into friends is the best part of my job.
I just had a “Crazy Cool” experience doing just that.
David called. He needed new headshots and asked the regular questions; price, time, what do I get? I answered then asked my regular questions… pretty straight forward. He booked his session.
During that conversation, I learned that he was retired Army. Served our country in Iraq. Got shot. Came home in pieces. Rebuilt. It was really moving. I couldn’t wait to meet this guy.
Before we hung up the phone, though, he casually asked if he could bring a few accommodations, medals, awards and such. Maybe we could use them in the photos. “Sure, why not? It might be fun”.
The session started out fairly normal. He was very easy to work with and completely laid back. It was fun. Then… Then I asked about the awards. He says ‘yeah, I almost forgot’. He reaches into his backpack and pulls out his Purple Heart! He held it in his hand. Just looking at me.
I kind of looked at it, then up at him, then back down at the ‘award’, then back at him. “Is that what I think it is?” He says “Yeah, I don’t really take it out much, but thought it might be good to bring”.
I’d only seen one of these before in my life,… in a museum. And here I am looking at one in the hand of the guy who… ‘earned’ it?… ‘won’ it?… went through the God-awful hell for the right to wear it!
Everything changed. I almost started bawling. Very strange emotions coming out of who knows where, but I held it together. “Dude! Are you kidding me?! This is Cracy Cool! That’s no ‘award’. That’s… that’s … I don’t even know what to say, but DAMN!”
He let me hold it and it was an incredibly humbling, powerful moment.
I changed to my favorite background. We created a bunch more images. I didn’t cry,… just sayin’.
This man is on a mission to help soldiers get over, through, past their demons. Survive. He’s doing amazing selfless work. Check out his story here. And he’s a really (crazy) cool guy. And (now), he’s my friend. I love my job.