Sorrowful Times

Consider me among the wordless in this country who can’t make any sense of what’s happened in the last couple weeks. It’s hard to disassociate what we do here with photography and pictures of families, especially children, and not be moved to our core. We started out as How to Photograph Your Baby and as the babies grew up we became How to Photograph Your Life. We’re thankful for what we can do that’s useful while we have the chance.

Teddy and Alexander playing their ukuleles

Teddy and Alexander with the ukuleles they got for Christmas.

Our school system has had regular and often practice drills in the event the unthinkable happens. Alexander is 17 now and almost as tall as me. He and his high school friends have decided they will swarm an attacker Flight 93 style given the chance; seems reasonable to me considering the circumstances. They have pretty much rejected the suggestion from one of the safety officers that they throw books and pencils at the attacker but they’re going to do it. Create confusion and then biiting, they have decided, would be the primary offensive weapon. This approach is fraught with problems but what approach isn’t?

I didn’t know what to tell his younger eighth grade brother, Teddy. Do your best to hide, I said. Do your best to help others hide. Try to keep everyone calm and quiet. Do what the teacher says. Swarm if you have to.

On this sad day I have very little to offer you but this: Turn off those crazy computers, people, and go love your families. Maybe take a few photographs while you’re doing it. (Get close, in beautiful light.)



  1. Linda Lawrence

    Wonderful thoughts. We live in a broken, crazy world. Love your families.

    • Nick Kelsh

      Linda, thank you for taking the time to write. It means so much. If I ever doubted that what we do is important I can put that to rest now. I’ve received so many personal emails and text messages about this piece. Love to your family. Nick

  2. Jananne baker

    Feeling sadness beyond description but also so much anger…..keep up your good work in the gentle world of photography because we need it so much

    • Nick Kelsh

      Jananne, I really appreciate your use of the word gentle. I love to think that we do some thing here that makes the world a more gentle place. Thank you for the support. This story is just going to get worse and worse, too. We need each other more than ever.

  3. Deb

    Thank you for speaking out

    • Nick Kelsh

      Deb, I appreciate your support so much. Not just as a photographer and a website person but as a parent and active school community member. It’s just a nightmare.


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