New Jersey 2007


    When you have a job like the one I have, that is, one where people's memories are captured, there are clear divisions between everyone who crosses my lens here at Campus Kids.  There are some people who will have nothing of me, and shrink away from the path of my camera as if its shutter click is the sound of a soul being taken.  There are those who are indifferent: they don't mind the attention, but aren't quick to turn a candid shot into a posed picture with a downward facing peace sign (my personal favorite kind of model).  But there are people who actively seek my camera's gaze.  For a long time, this website would post galleries of pictures with words reserved for our weekly newsletter, which, until given a job where writing about camp was my duty and not my hobby, but with the addition of a "Web Photo Journalist" (a title from which I receive blank stares from non-camp people for holding at a summer camp) stories and happenings of camp get chronicled.  If the last group of campers I discussed were not satiated by tens of photos of themselves amidst the thousands, then seeing their name in blue comic sans size twelve font would do the trick.  And it is made obvious: on a daily basis I hear "You should write a story about me!"  When I ask why, because like blogs, a story about a single person will be read only by the person and their mother, they reply, almost every time, "Because I'm awesome."

    I've prepared a rebuttal: "That'd be a pretty short story," I say in a joking manner, and explain what I explained above.  At first, I took notice, then it became a gut reaction, and today, a staff member (who's name I won't reveal, but I will tell you it rhymes with 'Candy') asked me.  "That'd be a pretty short story," I replied, almost second nature at this point.  I told him that I get it a lot, and that he was in good company.

    But I began reflecting on all the people who had put forth the same request.  I wish I could write about everyone, because the collection of people, staff and camper, from around the world and the US, respectively, is, on a basic level, 'Awesome'.  So in that spirit, I dedicate this journal (a rare non-photo journal) to everyone at camp, whether you asked me to write a story about you or not.  You are all awesome.

~Matt Lurrie

"Web Photo Journalist"