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asking why // travel photography

Two very important men in my life–Michael Abegg & Jonathan Canlas–both like to ask the question “why.” Michael, as I’ve told you before, constantly asks why. Why why why… I get so annoyed with him, and every once in awhile he says to me so fervently, “How are you supposed to learn anything if you never ask WHY?!!!”

Indeed. How are you supposed to learn anything if you never ask why.

And Jon, in his infinite wisdom… likes to ask, “WHY are you doing what you are doing? You need to find your “why.”

At this last week’s workshop in Vancouver, there was a very fascinating character by the name of Carsten Fischer, of Germany. At the end of our time together, Jon asked him what he got out of the entire workshop… and his answer, as clear as day, was, “I’m going home and I’m going to spend more time with my spouse & with my father.” As clear as day. It took him another country, a workshop, a room full of people and something completely unrelated to his family life to make him realize that his family is where he needed to apply his passion.  His declaration–so unexpected, so simple yet so profound–moved me beyond words.   His declaration, for lack of a better description… totally kicked me in the ass.

Today might not be my day, but I’m hoping it’s your day. I hope that on this sunny Friday, you can take a step back, and look at your family & take stock of what you are & who you are, and can honestly ask yourself Why.

[photo taken at sunrise over Lake Michigan in Chicago]

isabel - damn Catherine! getting all deep! sigh. i need to do the same.

Cham Bunphoath - I love this. I stumbled upon your site, perhaps through links from other fellow photographers’ sites, but that’s irrelevant. Growing up I realized that I was that kid who always asked, why? And that asking questions was the best way to learn. So this hit home. Family and the people around you – they teach and inspire, equally important to the reasons you ask why. Good post. Good story. Thanks.

Janessa - i love this, and that photo is serene.

Elaine - Oh, Catherine. Talk about something reaching you at the right moment. What you wrote about here, and what Carsten spoke about is exactly what I’ve been dealing with today. I posted about it in the FINDers page and am just as floored as you. What good is anything without sharing it with those we love?

Valerie - Thank you. So hard to juggle the two…and that question need to be answered once and for all. Thank you.

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