I recognize I’m fortunate to do what I do. On a 4-hour drive down to Harlingen I spent some time thinking about how I’ve never been hired to interview a jerk. When a client exhibited poor behavior a few years back I fired them. While I’m not independently wealthy from StoryKeeping I am certainly enriched in many ways. One of the best ways I’m enriched is by the bonds I form with those I interview and their families.
A couple years ago I was at an Association of Personal Historians conference. I was one of a handful of men in a room full of mostly white women, and it struck me how few minorities there were in the room. Was the business of capturing legacies for white people only?
We have to make peace with the fact that in the case of natural disasters unpredictable things are going to happen. Safety measures will be tested and broken. Containers will cease to contain. Bags will be punctured. Water will rise higher than we imagined. Looters will take what isn’t theirs to take. Where does this leave us?
Our world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Families are scattered across the country and even the globe. People have connectivity overload yet lack connection. The work of personal historians is more important than ever, and I’m excited to be right in the middle of it all.
If you approach people with sincere love and understanding they will start to trust you. This results in a film that delivers the real person.
From the earliest days of StoryKeeping, we’ve helped the cameras fade away in order to capture the most sincere, powerful storytelling possible. The first StoryKeeping session inspired the full range of emotion, and every production since has delivered the same.
StoryKeeping has taken some leaps and bounds in 2016, and just took another big one.
I first noticed Fred while filming his grandson’s wedding earlier this year. You couldn’t miss him because he stood up during the ceremony to recite a poem he’d written for the couple. The poem was witty, wise, and sincere.
It’s funny to think something as common as photography could be limited to a select few. Someday people will look back at society and wonder why only the rich and powerful had biographies about their lives. Perhaps the turning point is now.
I consider this little snippet a victory for all those who’ve ever been bullied.