When I first met David Valdez last year at the Georgetown Texas Field Honor, I was immediately struck by how incredible his story was.
After entering military service, he was assigned to be a photographer and I loved his response, "I literally turned to the guy next to me and said, 'What is that?'"
If you know David's incredible skill with a camera, then you know just how funny that initial response is. His career has included many historic and non-historic photos alike as he's worked as a photographer for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Vice President and then President George H.W. Bush, Walt Disney and many, many others.
Today, David Valdez is leaving a legacy through his camera in Georgetown, Texas and even helped found the Georgetown Texas Photography Festival which brings photographers from across the state to the "Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas," to learn from skilled photographers and take their own memorable snapshots of Georgetown.
He didn't ask me to include this, but I just had to - if you want to view some of David's work, check out his portfolio at his website below:
Additionally, you can watch this week's episode of The Root Story below:
This week's tip to help you preserve your legacy is about the value of photos.
Now, I LOVE PHOTOS. I love taking photos, I love exploring what other photographers are doing, I love looking through historical photos - I just love photos!
One of the reasons I love photos so much is because each photo represents a larger story.
Take for example, this picture:
When I took this picture, I was working as a radio journalist in Southeast Idaho during the Great American Eclipse. As it so happens, the place I was working had been deemed one of the best places to view the total eclipse.
The projected number of tourists and spectators coming to east Idaho alarmed locals who were not used to traffic jams or mass crowds and long story short - many residents panicked and bought all the bread, milk, bananas - why bananas I don’t know - and just stripped the shelves bare in some areas.
This one picture allows me to tell that story with more impact - sure, I could just say everyone bought all the bread, milk and bananas, but when you see bare shelves - you see just how true that statement is.
Now, your pictures don’t have to be perfect and they don't have to be "newsy," like the one I showed above - and I want to emphasize that in our era where we have photo sessions for everything and filters on every phone camera. Are those things bad? No. But, don’t shy away from the imperfect, spur of the moment photo.
That being said, try to make sure the picture is in focus, and you can see everyone you intended to get in the photo - but, don’t be afraid of those pictures that aren’t perfectly posed, perfectly lit - just start capturing life as it happens.
There will come a day when you will look back on those photos and smile, you’ll be grateful for those snapshots that tell larger stories.
In a future episode, I’ll talk about how to store and organize your photos - so stay tuned for that information in a future episode.
Special thanks to David Valdez for agreeing to an interview and sending along some of his incredible work. Also special thanks to the Hipp Radio Network for providing a platform for The Root Story to live on each week and special thanks to YOU, the listeners and viewers - for supporting this show and tuning in each week.