I haven't been able to look at the images I shot in Newtown, CT since leaving the place. I had been yanked away from a quiet and contemplative artist residency in upstate New York when the shootings went down. After the week or so of shooting (for Stern and Maclean's) I raced back from Newtown as fast as possible to lick my wounds. A heart-wrenching experience, to say the least. And if it was that hard for me I can't comprehend the pain of the families of the victims and the town as a whole. Lifting the camera became a physically exhausting experience with the emotional weight becoming a very palpable feeling. It took a couple months to be convinced the insane media attention was worthwhile, although at the time seeing all the news crews made me sick. The government seems to have recognized we need gun control as a result, so let's hope some legislation passes and we move toward a more evolved society. (Update: 4-18 - Senate minority has blocked the background check bill. Contact your representative and senator and tell them you won't abide). Hard news photography isn't my passion, but I'm grateful to have contributed to a collective response to this terrible tragedy.
Looking back now at the images, I start feeling like I did in the moment...Utterly depressed about the loss of beautiful innocent children, angry at the shooter and the culture that made him a possibility, spiteful of the TV crews with their bloated budgets and sensationalized storytelling, and intoxicated by the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Yet there were moments of elation and peace in the spaces between noise. These children were miracles, the community's support was a miracle, the country's desire to improve is a miracle, and the fact I was able to witness and possibly help in some small way feels like a miracle.