So today I go to work at the camera store, like I do 5 days a week, but today was a bit different. First of all, we’re in the middle of our 70th Anniversary Sale right now, so there are vendors in the store, to present their product lines to our customers. (And to train us when the store isn’t packed full of customers.) When I arrived today, I went over to talk to the Leica rep who I already knew, and introduced myself to the Think Tank rep. When I was done talking to the Leica rep the woman from Think Tank (who makes camera bags, designed by photographers) asked if she could go through the Think Tank product line with me. Any time I get a chance for training, I take it, so of course I said yes. Through the conversation, I realize that her photo is the one that’s on every Think Tank bag you purchase, and that she is a co-founder of Think Tank Photo. I finish my training and go back to work. Later I ask her for her business card, which says she’s a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist! What?! I just met a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer?!?!
Her name is Deanne Fitzmaurice, and in 2005, she won the Pulitzer for a photo essay about a 9 year old Iraqi boy who was nearly killed in an explosion, and his battle to survive as doctors in California tried to restore him to health as he got used to life in the United States. (click here to see the photo essay)
Later in the day, when the crowd had thinned a little in the store, I got to go talk to her again, and asked her about photojournalism. Something I’ve been interested in ever since I saw the webpage of a young photojournalist (a customer at the camera store) who does weddings throughout the summer months, to fund her trips to 3rd world countries for her passion, photojournalism. She had some amazing images, the likes of which I had never seen before. Which of course got me interested in that type of photography, but it’s something I still don’t quite understand yet. So to be able to talk to a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist was a treat to say the least.
So tommorrow will hopefully be another enjoyable day at work, as I’m suppose to get to sit in on a class with National Geographic photographer Todd Gustafson, as his assistant. That is if the boss doesn’t renig on the deal. Wish me luck!