I'm taking a break from a long hiatus to speak out on a thought I've had.
As a longtime photographer, there has been an article going around criticizing a journalist who was on the scene at the Brussels bombing and saying the now-famous photo she took of one of her fellow victims was "indecent" because you can see the woman's bra. Seriously?
If all you can think about when you see a photo of someone in distress is their level of dress, you have an extreme lack of compassion and clarity. And if you think that any person who has spent their life so far devoted to trying to share with others through journalism should shove the instinct to record and only ever "help" others in their situation, you probably just have the helping gift and haven't yet realized that everyone else has unique gifts. Some are helpers, some are recorders, some work with laws and some with memorials.
It's always easy, weeks after an event, to have a well thought out version of how you think another person could have ideally acted. In the moment, we all become who we are, and the shooter of this image is a journalist.
This upsets me in particular because to me, the woman on the left is what struck me about this photograph. She looks almost exactly like a close girlfriend of mine, who was one of the bridesmaids at my wedding. The thought of my dear friend being involved humanized the whole tragedy, helped me remember that life is short.
In addition, for the family of the woman on the right, seeing this photo was their assurance that this precious life had been spared. They looked at this photo and saw humanity at its best and worst, not a woman whose bra and fat flab was showing.