Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Lucky and Thankful Photojournalist

I just stumbled upon an interview In the Photographer’s Studio: Essdras M Suarez, I had three years ago when I was still with the Boston Globe. And it’s lead to do some soul searching of my current situation.

Spoiler alert: The gist of this piece is: I'm a lucky, lucky guy who is very happy and very grateful.

In this interview, I talk about being frustrated about newspapers not covering the big stories anymore. This being the result of a changing industry caught in an economic downward spiral. More newsroom jobs are being eliminated regularly and the leaders in the industry are constantly trying to figure out a way to re-invent the newspaper business. Like the recent memo written by Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory: “It’s time to re-think everything we do.”

I truly hope my former industry finds a way to survive these trying times.

However by reading news like this one, I can’t help but to feel at ease with my decision back in 2014 to take a buy out to leave I job I truly loved as a staff photographer for the Boston Globe. After leaving the Globe I had been in the newspaper business for about two decades. First with the now defunct Rocky Mountain News and then with the Boston Globe.

But I saw the writing on the wall years before, around 2008, and immediately started planning to eventually make a change when the time was right and when all the chips would be in place. I instinctually knew that I needed to adapt if I wanted to survive what was to come. Now I can't help but to be thankful for having taking what seemed back then as the uncertain step of leaving a "sure" thing.

Leaving my job was something I don’t believe I could’ve done if it were not for the support of my wife, Sara Suarez, of 25 years.  She, who is blessedly wise and the possessor of keen foresight. She, who believed in me from my early professional beginnings when I myself didn't know what I had to offer to the world. She, who knew before I did that I could indeed accomplish whatever I’d set out to do, Even before I had an inkling of the depths of my own abilities, she’s always been there believing in me. Love you mi Amor.  

With my Cuba: A Photographic Journey program photo workshops program through Road Scholar, I've already accomplished one of my goals: That of helping other "photojournos" teach photo workshops, thus, helping them share their vast experience and to spread their knowledge as well as offering them a possible new way of making a living. The number of colleagues I'll be able to help keeps growing.  The plans for expanding into other photo-workshops destinations is already well on its way.  

My goal of helping other photographers achieve their full potential, and that of helping new photographic talent be discovered is slowly but surely taking shape through millioneyez, a collaborative platform between bloggers and photographers.

A couple of years back, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the founders of this Israel- based world-changing startup. As their chief photographer, I’m helping them re- shape the format of how photos are being used to tell a story. We are helping create new venues where photographers can showcase their work where the issues are being discussed. We are creating and fostering new publishing outlets where undiscovered photographic talent can be introduced to the world in a way where their rights as visual artists is respected and honored.

Alas, I find myself today in the privileged position to be able to say: If today were my last day on earth I’d be okay with that.

Thanks for all the blessings and may we be granted the wisdom, sense of appreciation and humility to continue to grow and expand as human beings.

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