Alyse French | Fine Art Portrait Photographer | Houston, TX »

He Changed My Life

He changed my life…

A lot of people ask how I got into this field. Of waiting for moments. Of filling my frame. Of creating things that matter. And the answer has always been Doc. Doc Mason. A professor whose influence has meant more to me than he’ll ever know.

As an incoming freshman once prepared to take the broadcast world by storm, I quickly realized how the fun of having my hair and makeup done each day would pale in light of real life reporting. Global threats and kidnappings. Political scandals and economic crises. Informing the world of just how screwed up it really is on a daily basis? Wasn’t for me. But I didn’t know what was. Fortunately, the Newhouse school requires that an intro-to-communications class be taken your first semester. And as fate God would have it, Doc was my teacher. I could have been placed in another section of the class. One taught by a writer or a graphic designer. Or a person whose lack of passion should’ve landed them far away from any classroom. But I was placed in Doc’s class. And Doc was a photographer.

I’ll remember the day Doc lectured on photography for the rest of my life… We perused well-recognized images and those lesser known, analyzing the stories within them and feeling their impact. This man’s passion was infectious. No, really. And I remember a switch going off. A faint “I think I want to do this. I think I could do this.” So I made my way to the registrar’s office. I took a risk and made it official. And while there’ve been very few wedding photographers amongst the wildly successful photojournalists turned out by Newhouse… I know that Doc Mason gave me my roots.

Two Christmases ago, while visiting family in Syracuse, I was introduced to two of my brother-in-law’s friends one night at Awful Al’s. ‘Hey Alyse… These are Doc Mason’s sons.’

‘Wait, are you serious? Your dad changed my life…’

To which they proudly replied, “Yeah. We get that a lot.’

Go figure.

This is the only picture I have of me and Doc. I wouldn’t call it good, necessarily – it was taken with a dinky little camera hundreds of feet away in the dome. But I love it just the same. :) (Note: This post was originally a guest-post for KLP Photography. You can check out her blog HERE!)

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  • January 17, 2013 - 6:33 PM

    Kristin - One of my favorite guest blogs EVER! Thank you again for doing that – You’re amazing! <3