– Thomas S. Monson
As I go back through the images I’ve captured in 2012, I reflect on the positives and negatives of the year, as well as ways I can improve on things to come. I contemplate with appreciation what I have gained whether personally, professionally, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
Recently, as I was shooting the Veterans Christmas Wreath Ceremony, I was approached by Rosa Martinez, an older resident of Decatur who has the most heartwarming smile and a great outlook on life. I remember seeing her several times at various ceremonies over the years, as she is married to a local veteran. Mrs. Martinez complimented me several times on my work in Wise County and thanked me for what I do here.
As I thought about her words, I was reminded of the things I hold most sacred – the things that make a difference in my life as well as the lives of others. Those things are the relationships and the connections that I have formed with so many of my story subjects.
The great shots come and go, awards come and go, but I’ve come to realize that the relationships I’ve formed are here forever. I believe that the most cherished parts of what I do at the Wise County Messenger are forming new relationships and continuing to nurture the old ones.
My goal for the upcoming year is to re-establish some of those relationships created from past stories that I have been a part of.
I’ve been very fortunate to be in a community that surrounds me like a warm blanket on a cool night. I have been taken into the hearts and lives of so many as they have shared their stories and experiences with me and allowed me to share them with our readers.
I thank you, Wise County!
Joe Duty is the Messenger’s photographer.