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NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

"In the summer of 2016, I did the sensible thing..."

 

“In the summer of 2016, I did the sensible thing...

 
 

I quit my cushy job at a hedge fund to write a play about my family's murder…”

 

Holy shit, what???

That literally was my first thought as I was lining up a shot of Sarah Montana from the back of the house as she delivered this first sentence of her talk.

You see, I had never met Sarah prior to her talk. I did photograph her at the TEDx mixer the night before the show, and she was engaged, bubbly and all smiles throughout.

Even the morning of her talk - nothing but positivity and smiles.

And then, the moment she opens her mouth on stage, BOOM - she’s talking about the murder of her family members.

Wow.

Usually, I don’t listen very intently when I’m photographing speakers because it takes a lot of focus, timing and patience to capture flattering, candid photos of people speaking, but, I couldn’t help but listen to her share her story.

There were moments where her voice was cracking, and honestly, I almost cried myself. I couldn’t even remotely imagine the thoughts in her mind.

But fortunately, she shared those thoughts on stage.

Here’s a bit more about Sarah’s talk, per TEDx:

Forgiveness is tricky. Everyone says you should forgive, but no one will tell you how, exactly, to do it. And is it always possible—even for something as traumatic as gun violence? In this vulnerable and heartfelt talk, writer Sarah Montana takes us through her journey of forgiving her family’s killer. She offers an inside look at what we risk when we choose to forgive, and a hopeful glimpse of the freedom that lies on the other side of grief.

I was floored by her vulnerability and authenticity as she described the most traumatic incident in her life. Although the details were heart-breaking and unimaginable, her ability to share these feelings on a stage, with lights and cameras pointed directly at her, was inspiring.

Takes a lot of stones to do something like that, and, people such as Sarah makes me proud to serve this community, :)

 

PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you, because I care, :)