THE DEATH OF ROBIN WILLIAMS.doc
I met Robin last January. He was incredibly gracious, kind, and surprisingly soft spoken. He was shorter than I had imagined him as a child and yet had a command of the room without a word. He was a rare talent born in the golden aged of comedy where crafted storytelling reigned. A genius that may never be rivaled.
He passed away earlier this month at the age of 63.
As a photographer there was never a strategic endgame in mind. I never laid away at night searching for the deep philosophical meaning behind the work. I'm self-aware enough to know that it has always been as simple as loving what I do and sharing that with people. I love creating and until now it was as simple as that. Yet when I heard of his passing I came to realize something I hadn't previously considered.
I've heard it said that you die twice in this life. Once when the last breath leaves your body and once when somebody says your name for the last time. If that's true, as a photographer, I have the opportunity to give people an sort of immortality. To let not only their names but their image live on after all of us are long dead and gone. That's true for anyone who picks up a camera.
It's a little surreal to consider that the man so largely responsible for capturing my imagination as a child was, only a year ago, taking my direction on set. That he looked me in the eyes as he shook my hand and said, "Thank you for taking the time.". That as soon as I started shooting he took out his phone and began photographing me as if to even the playing field. Now here I am a year later and he's no longer with us. As I revisit the images from our time together I realize they will carry a small part of his legacy into the future. I consider that the greatest of honors.
The point I'm chasing is this; if you're a photographer, never treats your work as disposable and never take for granted what it is you get to do with your life. In one way or another Robin influenced each and every one of us through his work. It is now our responsibility as artists to craft the narrative, capture the moments, and share the lessons learned in hopes that we can impact the coming generation with as much intensity and imagination as Robin did with ours.