Using Photography To Find Purpose and Say “Thank You”

A group of Jackson firefighters after our first firehouse studio session

We all have something we can give to others in life. It’s easy to feel like what you have to give may not be as special or important as what others do. Maybe that feeling might keep us from giving sometimes. Isn’t that too bad?

It’s taken a while for me to find my niche in life. I’ve had so much rich life experience but it’s taken a lot of trials to find where I really belong. On the flip side of exploration and diverse experience has been a feeling of searching for that one right purpose that could give me a sense of meaning in what I do.

My dad, Captain Franck Tremaine, at mom’s house.

My dad was a firefighter for 40 years and was admired by many for his courage, candor, and commitment. With a role model who had made such a massive impact on life in my community, I put a heavy expectation on myself to do the same. I could enjoy my work or studies, but the question always remained, was I making a difference?

This week, I’m creating art to glorify, celebrate, and THANK the incredible men and women of the Jackson Fire Department. Their job is unbelievably taxing, and alienating in ways that most of us are fortunate not to understand. My hope is that I can use my particular set of abilities to give them something that will fill them with pride and confidence.

After a lot of searching and a lot of growing, I’ve come to realize that there are so many different facets to our lives, and they’re all important. The people on the front lines of life can’t do what they do without a really great support system behind them.

So here I am, finally accepting that I have the soul of an artist and the mind of an engineer, and not at all the body of a firefighter! And that’s ok. It’s better than ok. I can use what I can do to lift up other people who have different things to give than I do. We all do this for each other and it’s what makes life amazing.

If you’ve struggled with feeling like you don’t have much of value to give, take a second look at where your strengths lie. You have something in there that someone else really needs.


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