• Still Running

    February 16, 2021

    I’m happy to share with you a personal project that I am just beginning to work on. I’m photographing (as well as will be photographing) individuals who have faced some kind of personal challenge but, despite their respective situations, chose to persevere through the experience.


    Over the coming weeks, I hope to feature many more of these so if you know someone who would be a wonderful and willing subject, please reach out through my website by clicking here.

    Have you ever taken into account just how much you do not know about a subject? It ever increasingly humbles me to realize there is so much I do not know! The more you delve into a subject, the more questions arise that beg answering. I think it is the same when we read or listen to the news. What is covered is generally only a small scratch on the surface as to the true details of a situation. Take into consideration this article from August, 2019:


    In only a very few short lines, the article ends with only a few hints of detail; a woman was hit by a car and found unresponsive and taken to the hospital. The end. I understand, of course, there weren’t many more details at the time but consider how quick we are to pass over such articles of information. We move on very quickly to the next bit of news and forget about what we have even read.


    The woman mentioned in the article above is actually a past client of mine named Jenny. I have photographed her family and extended family a number of times over the years. Regrettably, it wasn’t until recently that I was made aware of what had happened to her in 2019.

    The small tattoo on Jenny’s ankle helped identify her when she was in the hospital without any of her identification.


    What you do not get to read is how she is an avid runner and was out for a run near the hospital she works at. She had received great news that a cancer she was being treated for was now eradicated from her body and she was now cancer free so the run she was meant to enjoy as a celebratory event was cut short by a distracted driver.  You do not get to read little details such as  the last thing she remembers at the accident being the Selena Gomez song she was listening to while running and then knocked unconscious  while a driver did not notice her in the crosswalk. You won’t read how she had to be flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City for neurological care and how she was essentially comatose for three months. You also won’t read how her pelvis was shattered to the point that she had to learn how to walk again or how her eyesight is now forever lost in her right eye. You definitely won’t read how impacted her family has been during the whole experience.


    I do not wish to point these things out to depress anyone. I simply would like to further push my point that behind every article you read or segment you see on the news, there is so much more information as well as huge clusters of experiences and emotions that will not be conveyed. When you read the article in the link, did you wonder more about such details or did you end your reading with the thought, “Oh good. She is ok. She was taken to the hospital”? It would be easy to think the latter.


    Having photographed Jenny and heard more details about her experiences, I’m thrilled that even though none of this has been easy for her or her family, she has grown in a positive way as opposed to letting these circumstances crush her spirit. Why do some people come out stronger or more positive than others? I won’t answer that for you but below are a few questions Jenny was kind enough to share her answers to that will help us all to learn and benefit from her mindset. I hope you enjoy the wisdom she shared with me.


    What motivated you to push through more difficult times?

    Honestly I think  motivation just runs in my genes, literally! I’ve seen my family go through some struggles, but always maintained a great attitude a never backed down from a challenge! When I woke up and was told what happened, my thoughts were how to get back to where I was; as a mom, wife, daughter, friend and colleague. Setting goals, however small and insignificant they seemed at the time, were instrumental in keeping a positive attitude, graduating all 3 therapies, coming back to work, AND actually cooking a little:) all of the love and support during the 1st few months was nothing short of miraculous! Knowing you are near death and we’re somehow saved (though prayers, love, and medicine) also meant a HUGE perspective change. Knowing I cannot, and am not expected, to be able to do everything, gives me more time to appreciate the simple things (which of course means family 🙂

    Has your experience given you deeper empathy for others? If so, how?

    Oh my yes!! Having patients with brain injury in the past, you learn to recognize certain behaviors they may exhibit; now I can actually relate. It’s often frustrating not being able to form the right words, or sentences, to convey how you feel, and you can often say things you don’t mean! Looking normal on the outside but feeling different on the inside is hard at times. I’m a terrible driver (as I’ve been told by my male counterparts) even harder now with one eye:), and I used to get angry at crazy drivers! Now I still do (a little, and being honest;) but give them more leeway as they may be experiencing something similar. I try to be less judgemental, and try to see others perspective and give them even more of a chance to shine!

    What kinds of words of encouragement can you give others who are experiencing personal difficulties?

    Not sure I have a ton of words of wisdom, but really it’s always nice to put things into perspective! There are so many people out there, even close friends, afflicted with different types of adversity that we need to realize things on a much larger level! Only you can define your own encouragement of motivation! Recently I’ve learned: is everything doable..possibly, can you say no..YES, and 3rd grade homework drives me BONKERS!!!, but as my 6 year old son sums it up best…’if you’re scared, you just do it! That’s brave!’

    During your challenges, how appreciative are you of your true friends and family who were there for you?

    That’s an incredible emotional and difficult question! I woke up in Salt Lake City, and to this day still hear stories and re-read letters and cards that were sent! My friends and family found me, took care of me, prayed and loved me! Cannot ask for a greater collection of people! Truly incredible to love, sacrifice, tolerance, and positivity they showed me! Operating on me, finding the best rehabilitation and neuro center, traveling to visit me in SLC so I would have a familiar face in the hospital, among so many other things to recount means I had the ABSOLUTE best support system ever! When I think of motivations and encouragement, my heart and life belong to these friends and family, and everything I do…I do for them!

    I truly believe that there are people placed in your life for a reason. My husband, closest friends and family, and even friends of friends who had entire congregations praying for me! There is certainly something to the said for that and I cherish them! A motto of being kind to everyone, a small smile, quick hug (before Covid:), or running across town to do a case for a friend; all may seem small but you never know how you may just positively help/affect their day (or that in turn far off down the road that small gratitude or gesture will help someone else, or even yourself:) I ramble here, welcome to early morning thoughts! It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, but maybe take an extra second the breathe that fresh air, watch the sunrise, ride a bike, or drink hot cocoa with your kiddos:)


    I am so impressed with Jenny. Her hope, her will and her determination to keep moving forward are all things we can strive for ourselves. We needn’t wait for a life altering event to arise before putting these lessons into practice. The same mindset can be utilized in our usual routines of life. Jenny is proof that we can all be better and should be better at where we focus our minds.


    I’d like to express gratitude to Jenny and her family for spending time with me and allowing me to create these portraits. It is a pleasure for me to have done so!



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