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Column Archives > Behind the lens, the pen, wanting to make a difference

14 Aug 2023

By Louise R. Shaw


Even though you can't see me, you'll know that I'm there.

I'm the one behind the camera. 

Somebody's got to do it and it might as well be me because I love doing it.

I love finding beauty in grand scenes and small ones, with flowers and sunsets and rainbows and children and door knobs and branches and raindrops and people who are racing or playing or smiling or acting or speaking or hugging or hiking or laughing or doing some little thing that they hope will make the world a better place.

Breathe here.

I love capturing a moment to keep forever and sharing it with anyone who will take the time to look.

The pictures I had hanging at the art festival in the park drew comments from most everyone who wandered in to our booth.

Where did I take them, they wanted to know. And I told them because maybe they'll want to go to that spot too and take their own picture and frame it and not only enjoy it at the time but remember it later.

It's rewarding to know that a photo that means something to me will remind people of a favorite place they have already been to, or inspire them to visit a place they may have missed.

So I'm OK being behind the camera as a photographer.

And I'm OK being behind the scenes as a reporter too.

Even though you can't see those of us working as journalists when you read the paper, you'll know that we're there.

We're the ones sitting with a pen and notebook and frantically trying to write every last word that we might need to refer to later.

And then sitting at a computer trying to find the words that will bring the event into the homes and minds of those who read our stories.

We do it because we think it's important.

We think people need to know what is being discussed at school board workshops and city council meetings, fundraising promotions and candidate forums.

We want people to know what is happening in their neighborhoods that might affect them, who is living next door that might have an interesting story, who is creating, who is challenging, who is being honored.

And then we hope that sometime here or there, more often than not, someone will see something that interests them.

We hope you'll find a fundraiser worth contributing to or a city council issue worth addressing. We hope you'll want to support a school project, apply for a scholarship, augment your emergnency preparations.

That you'll learn a tip to improve your health or your safety, that you'll decide to join a protest or to cast a vote.

Or that you'll want to meet your interesting neighbor or share your interesting story.

Or that you'll just learn something new. Or even think about something differently.

You won't see me in the stories I write any more than the photos I take, but you'll know that I'm there.

Behind behind the camera or the pen is most rewarding when it helps someone see something they might otherwise have missed.


Updated from first publication on Oct. 2, 2014 in the Davis Clipper.

Louise R. Shaw