November 8, 2013

Angelo Merendino

If you have never looked at the collection My Wife's Fight With Breast Cancer I would highly recommend it. Here is a link to his website. Go check it out! This past Friday and Tuesday I had the privilege to listen to the photographer Angelo Merendino. He spoke about his work and how it has helped him cope with the tragic death of his wife, Jennifer. What a strong man! He relives his pain on a regular basis to help lift those around him. He speaks about her often because of the popularity of his collection of photographs documenting her fight against cancer. I can't imagine the heartache that must accompany that. Something that has surprised me is his willingness and joy to have such an opportunity. He views it as a great way for him to come to terms with her passing, as well as an aide for others who have or are currently battling breast cancer. Angelo was a huge example to me, as I am just starting out my photography career. He was able to bring life and meaning to his work by sharing something that was a part of his life. What's more than that, it was something that was tearing at him emotionally. Photographers are artists. Honesty, in the arts, is what allows us to empathize with the work and the emotions it is expressing. Without honesty in your work intentional meaning is diluted or lost. Reflecting on my life, I find this very evident in the people I choose to associate with. No one enjoys to be around others who are "fake." This is also true with art. We want something that is unedited, real expression. We can make a large difference when we put ourselves out there and are honest. I believe we get caught up in this stigma of making everything in our lives seem perfect. We all aspire to perfection. What if instead we embrace our imperfections? Love yourself the way you are and don't be afraid to let others see the true you. Vulnerability makes you strong. You are able to impact so many more people when you are honest and true to yourself. This is not only true in the arts, but in our commonplace, social interactions. I know that I'm guilty of insisting that I'm fine even when I'm on the verge of tears. How sad is it that our world has evolved to a place where we are afraid to share the most basic emotions like sadness, frustration, and grief? No wonder we have so many problems. We have a deteriorated communication in our society. Striving for happiness is very important, but in order to achieve that we need the help of others. We need those words of encouragement and the comforting hug as much, if not more, than the congratulations for success. We are social creatures. We need each other. Others need us. If you see someone struggling, help them; even if they don't ask for it. When Angelo told the story of his wife's cancer returning he said that he felt like their support group was dwindling. They felt alone and helpless. That only added to the burden of the hardship they were already facing. Please, just go and make someone's burden a little lighter today. I believe that we were all put on this earth to help each other so let's do it. post signature


  1. Your blog is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing the link. I can't wait to read your next post.

  2. Janika, you are wise beyond your years. Many of these realizations you are having took me years to achieve. You must have awesome parents! hehe


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