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Those Unexpected Moments

Yesterday, March 11, marked the two year anniversary of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear crisis, causing a wide spread of panic and uncertainty for Japan. Hard to believe two years have past even though it seemed just like yesterday as not much progress has been made up until today.

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Life is full of interesting surprises. We have all the things we want at one point but then it can all be taken away from you the next day.

Looking through my Facebook news feed, I saw lots of people commenting about the whole "remembering March 11" type of thing. I chose keep quiet and not post anything because I needed a break. A break from the cameras and all that good stuff I love to do out of respect because we all know what happened. No need to keep promoting it.

Coming from a photographer's stand point on the March 11 tragedy where I saw Japan in a state of panic, people fleeing the country and trying to get back to their loved ones, all I did was click, click, click the shutter on my camera making images that will become an important part of history. Up in the affected areas I remember seeing one man collecting photographs buried in the rumble. He saw me from a distance with my camera, smiled, and continued his search. Having to document such kind of disaster out in the field and to cover stories related to March 11 until today, has changed my point of view on life compared to as if you were just watching it on TV at the comfort at your own home. Reminds me how important photographs are even when you loose everything else. You can't bring those moments back but you can photograph them, look back at it some years later and remember what that feeling was like at the time.

I guess going in the opposite direction where most don't usually want to go, whether a disaster or a conflict zone, changed me in a good way on dealing with those close ones who have passed. And to have those pictures is worth every time spent making a photograph or two up until this day even if they are intended or unexpected.