Joplin :: 1 month later

    If you follow this blog, you’ll notice I haven’t posted anything for a month. Most of you know why. After an EF5 tore 1/3 of my town apart on May 22, I’ve been re-constructing life for my family. A close up on what was our living room:

And then, from a little further back… (shot by my sister Veronica from her blog)

    That sounds (and looks) pretty dramatic. Ok, it IS pretty dramatic. But when it comes down to it…. we’re ok. My wife, our 2 children, every family member and friend I know personally, is ok- and everything else is just stuff.

    Some of you also know the story of my camera being lost…. it was in that living room- turns out (as we realized later) that a semi went through that living room. So while stuff IS still just stuff, with no home, no camera, no STUFF at all… how do you move on from that? The answer for me is God. I am a Christian and there is no doubt that we have been taken care of by a God with a plan in the midst of what sometimes only looks like chaos. But specifically, God has sent us people to take care of us.

Family, friends, and total strangers from near and far have written us checks, given us their furniture, brought groceries, bought diapers, moved us into a new home, lent their cameras & equipment for my wedding commitments (forever thanks to Will Vastine, Artistic Expressions, and Glenn Landberg) and helped us go through the rubble. A good friend said a little something about me on, and through that blog, enough money was raised to RE-BUY my camera & lenses. Thanks more than I can express to the folks at the gig.

      So it’s a month later. Now what? We are re-settled. New home, new furniture, new camera, new clothes, new appliances, and more toothbrushes than we’ll use in a life time. We’re still a little exhausted from all the moving, sorting, paperwork, etc, but it’s finally starting to die down. That being said, it’s finally time to get back to work… so you’ll be seeing a more steady stream of posts again in coming days as I ease back into the ol’ workflow.

      Some of that work for me is a mammoth personal project to document, in many different ways, the effect that a tornado has left on Joplin. I wasn’t sure how to do that at first, but for sure, every day that makes itself a little more clear. It’s not all going to be devastation pictures, and it won’t all be pictures of flags hanging from rubble… it will be the unexpected, the ironic, the humorous, the beautiful, the terrible, and most of all the people side of things as this city recovers.

   There will be different chapters to this documentary project: they’ll be mixed into the normal kids/wedding/commercial posts, so it might feel a little abrupt sometimes… but really, that’s how life is here in Joplin. Returning to normal life, with lots of strange little reminders of the crazy thing that happened here and the amazing ways people are being given their lives back. 

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