This talk was setup in the Boston commons, around 10pm after a street photography session with Mike. Random Questions, single strobe, my Canon 5D classic and a bench. Another spontaneous talk session.
OVP: Why do you love photography? MT: ummm I think the reason I love photography is just like knowing everyday you can capture moments that you can keep for the rest of your life. OVP: How do you feel when you capture those moments? MT: It makes me think about the moment and realize the importance of that moment. I started to understand that just recently, when my mom was in the hospital. OVP: Why was your mom in the hospital? MT:She needed surgery done.
OVP: What is the hardest thing you have gone through recently? MT: Losing my good friend who died on the basketball court while we were playing basketball. OVP: You witnessed his death? MT: Yeah, It was our first summer league game........ it was like the end of the first half and umm he um ..... collapsed and I still don't know why he passed away, It was crazy. OVP: How did you feel when it happened? MT: I was scared, confused and still to this day don't know what happened and can't understand it. It's just crazy.
OVP: How did you cope with it? MT: I talked, it was tough because one of my coping mechanisms is basketball. I didn't want to play it because of my loss, so I talked, I talked a lot and took pictures. I started to value my photography more and I started to realize how precious every moment is. I have a lot of pictures with him and that's all I have of him, those pictures, those memories. After people pass away you are not going to have that physical being, so you have to have another way to remember how they look. I started looking at the pictures we had together and that made me realize why I really like photography. Now I understand why parents take so many pictures of their children, once they grow up you will never be able to capture those childhood moments again.
MT: That's how I coped with it. Even though it was a tough experience, it was a great learning process. OVP: Was that your first time experiencing death? MT: Actually it's funny that you asked that. My grandfather died my junior year of high school and that was extremely tough for me. Even though I wasn't really close to him we were getting close and hanging out a lot. After he passed away my mother told me how similar we were, I started sharing interest in things that he really liked. He was big into photography, was in a printing business for most of his life printing pictures, taking pictures, it's crazy that even though I didn't know him that well, we were so similar in so many ways. That part of loosing him and not really knowing him and later finding out we were so similar is tough. It sucks because I can't do anything about it, I'm never going to see him again, it's just crazy to think about.
OVP: How do you feel about living your own life? What are your thoughts about when you go? What would you want to leave behind? MT: I thought about this a lot after Joey died. I don't want to be famous, I want to touch peoples lives. I want to start telling stories with my photography.
OVP: What are the three most important things you have learned in your life? MT: Umm one, cherish every moment you have. Two, make sure you let the people you love know that you love them. After losing Joey, I think I didn't express how much I cared about him and how much he was a good friend to me and now I can never tell him.OVP: How does that make you feel? MT: It sucks, because of that experience I tell people at least once a day, how much I care about them. MY third one is be happy, just make sure you are happy everyday and be around people that make you happy.
OVP: What does that tattoo mean to you? MT:This one is one of my first tattoos I got. It says family first, inside of the word family has the names of my family members. If you look at it closely you wouldn't see my fathers name because he hasn't really been in my life.
OVP: How is your relationship with your father MT: It is what it is. I lived with him when I was under 10 years old. Honestly I don't hate the guy he wasn't around for my life, he chose a path that didn't involve me. My sister tells me to reach out to him but it's not worth my time, he lives all the way in Florida. OVP: How do you feel not having a father in your life? MT: When I was younger um it was really was tough for me I was always asking where was my dad, then after a while I started finding other father figures. Good friends fathers became father figures to me. I started hanging out with older guys who taught me things I wouldn't have learned from my peers. I wouldn't know how living with a father would be, because I never had one. Not having a father doesn't bother me, my mother took over the role and to this day is there for me.
OVP: What advice would you give to those who are having a hard time dealing with the loss of a love one? MT: Don't bottle it up, the more you talk about it the easier it will get to accept it.
categories: talk project