Saturday, August 21, 2010

365 Challenge, Day 35: Endangered Species

To your right, you might see a modest collection of FSO's, friends, and family gathered together for a relaxing weekend BBQ at Oakwood Apartments in Falls Church, VA.

What I see is an Endangered Species. A photographic representation of missed opportunities.

TJ's training class consisted of approximately 95 individuals from around the country. They all have varying levels of education and work history. Unique life experiences. Different motives for being here.

They are coworkers. They are friends. They are family.

Some already lived in DC. Most moved here for the job. All started this adventure together.

And they are becoming an endangered species. One by one, they are being dispatched across the world to serve our country.

Something I have noticed at gatherings such as this is that nobody really takes pictures. Sure, the occasional photo will pop up on Facebook, but for the most part these adventures go unchronicled. I know that this was my first time to take photos at such a gathering...and that I was the only one to take photos.

Why is that, I wonder?

For me, personally, I know that I have typically been afraid to take such photos. What is and is not appropriate when surrounded by your partner's coworkers? Are people as insecure about having their picture taken as I am? Are people annoyed by the "picture taker" in the group?

I'm trying not to be bothered by that stuff any more. You really can't be when your mission is to take a picture every single day for an entire year.

I wish I had started this project sooner. So many of my favorite people have already been sent to their overseas assignment. Some, I have pictures of. Others, I don't.

I can only hope that our paths cross again.

I also hope that, if such a BBQ happens again, I can man up and start snapping shots before half the group goes home.


  1. My first thought ws "hey, it's the green man!", but that's probably due to the three hours of "always sunny in Philadelphia" I watched last night.

  2. No one hates the picture taker! The only reason we aren't in the habit of taking pictures is that in A-100 they went on and on about how we should never tag coworkers in photos or put pictures of them on Facebook at all. Obviously we stopped caring after a while, unfortunately too late to immortalize some great moments. Like Green Man with the beer mouth stain. And the epic shininess of my forehead.