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For as long as I can remember I’ve loved taking pictures. I remember sitting around with my friends wondering if I would forget that very moment if I didn’t take a picture of it. Would I remember the fun we had? The prank calls to cute boys? Smoking in barn full of dry hay? My bike wreck? Someday I knew I’d be old, but back then I thought 35 was old! I wanted to remember all the little moments that make up my life. I still do.

Sometimes I take pictures of dishes and laundry. I don’t think that’s ever anything I’ll forget, but it is certainly a HUGE part of my life. I like taking picture of my kids and friends doing the ordinary things like reading a book or playing in the field out back. When we get together to laugh or pray or worship–I want to remember that, too. I don’t want to just remember it for me. I want my kids to remember, too. Oh, and their kids..and their kids…and so on. There are a great abundance of stories to be told, but they often get buried in the daily chores of dishes and laundry.

I want to tell your story. That’s why I take your picture. When you see me at the coffee shop listening to friends make music and watching them make each other laugh or cry, I am always thinking of the story behind the picture I just took. How souls are connected in that moment and how that moment isn’t just about that one little moment in time. There is a bigger picture here. It’s the story of Us. All of Us. You, me, the man who sits in front of the local Figaro’s Pizza. It’s about the hairdressers, cashiers, baristas, moms, dads, kids, musicians, artists, all of Us. We are part of the Story.

I am moved by my deep love for those around me. I am beginning to love the town I live in and to cherish the one I grew up in. The ordinary things have become like gems in a big treasure box. Not all the gems are perfect, but they are beautiful.

This morning I am full of mixed feelings about the tragedy in Haiti. The pictures move me. The story moves me. And I am, once again, reminded how the photos and stories are so important.

Read part of the Haiti story by Corrigan Claywho lives there with his family. Also check out Big Picture’s photos of Haiti on day 1 , 48 hours later,  6 days later, and the Faces of Haiti.