Friday, May 31, 2013

Tornado in Moore, OK

I had the opportunity to shoot for Save The Children in Moore, OK.  I got there the day after the tornado came through.  It was like nothing I had ever seen before.  My mind just could not grasp what my eyes were seeing.  It was just too much to take in, too much to process.  So, I did what comes naturally and took images.  It sort of helped me separate from the chaos and helped me focus.  I was very sensitive in what I was shooting and the people in the frame.  For the portraits I did, I would go up and talk with the families for a while and hear their story, which they were glad to tell.  Then I asked permission to take some photos, in which all but 2 people said that they wouldn't mind at all.  I wanted to show the devastation, but also the resilience of the people.  I did hear some sad stories, but I was amazed to hear all of the miraculous stories.  I constantly heard things like, "My family and I were in the hall with a mattress over us and when it was all over the only thing still standing was our hallway."  and "my elderly grandmother just happened to be on the other side of town when the tornado demolished her home."  It was an extremely sad sight to see, but to hear that only 24 people lost their lives in that town, truly is astonishing.  Here is a little of what I saw and the amazing people I met.