A piece written to my photography students at the end of a fine semester at New Mexico State University. Forgive the “first person.” Originally posted on their class website at www.nmsu.documentaryshooters.com:
Brucini w/New Blanket from a Good Friend, El Paso –Dec. 9, 2009
So it comes to this, the semester ends, we go our own way, we know more for having known each other.
We have had our ambitions and we have had our disappointments but, what we mostly have had, I think, is a journey of discovery.
At least, it’s has been that way for me.
I was given something wonderful today: a very warm blanket from a very good and thoughtful friend (she had heard that my Loft is frigid in the winters, a concrete old factory building of a palace, not designed to be lived in).
I stopped on the way home for some Christmas lights. First time in my life I have bought any. How can one not succumb to this Season when such kind gestures are extended? I strung them on my only window, the window that looks south. That’s Juarez you see in the background, a place of little light, right now, a place that I wish I could make warm, a place I wish I could breath some life back into, but, which, I am afraid, has some more dark and cold days ahead.
But, I digress.
I strung the lights up with photographer’s gaffer’s tape (isn’t that how you do it?) and then I wrapped this new life-sustaining blanket around myself and—what else!- got my camera and started goofing.…my favorite thing to do.
It crosses my mind, students, that whether we put the camera on ourselves (which I hope, in each of your cases, that is aiming at someone you like very much) or we aim it out at the world, we are, if we use it correctly, aiming at our very soul, at the essentials of ourselves.
It has been a fine three month trip with all of you, Journalism 320 class. I hope your photography grows and gives to you and that you use it well and give something good back to the world. You don’t have to master it, just make it your friend. It can be a very good friend.
As acute “see-ers of the world (funny how close that comes to the word “seer”) your “voice“is important. Keep looking hard, keep seeing and please keep showing what you see.
I have really appreciated our work together.
Best of every season to you all.