Being one of the the portrait photographers for the Veterans Portrait Project, awarded me a number of lessons but none greater than the following lesson. A lesson that allowed me to be accepted by all Veterans photographed throughout the project.
You see Veterans dating back to WWII all the way to our current engagement – Afghanistan, were willing to risk their lives & die as long as we ( civilians ), understood one thing.
At the end of the last session, while drinking beer I was debating like a civilian with an opposing point of view to the four Veterans sitting across. I was welcome to argue my controversial views because I understood the one thing, the only common view for all Veteran’s photographed. The one thing that made me be welcome in the corridors, in the minds and experiences of our finest Veterans.
During the three years of the Veteran portrait project we have had two photographers involved. Shaun participated and was the founder of Veteran’s Portrait project, I was the photographer for Westminster and shared the photography for Seaforth. Shaun a Veteran and a great soldier, a dynamic human being and multifaceted talent ( Photography being one of the many ). Was accepted in the armory by all the officers and soldiers because we sub-consciously understood an unwritten rule.
Hopefully by now you the reader is wondering about this unwritten rule? What the common lesson I learned about soldiers that risked or lost their life for Canada? Why was I able to disagree and still welcome by all the people I photographed soldiers from late teens all the way to almost 100 yrs old. A soldier will risk everything – providing we appreciate them.