THE Raymond Thompson, as he is affectionately known, graced the floor of my apartment this past week while he worked on a story in San Antonio about a little boy and his family. Daniel Garcia traveled from Culpeper, Va. down to Texas to undergo a special surgery to implant a titanium ribcage into his 8 year-old chest. Raymond's been following the Garcia family for well over a year and half and his efforts at telling their story to the community through the Culpeper Times newspaper has yielding amazing results both in community awareness and support for the Garcia's as well as needed monetary donations (to the tune of more than $39,000 - who says community journalism can't have an effect!?).
Raymond is truly one of my favorite photographers, not simply because of the amazing images he always brings home from assignments, but because of the heart he possesses that drives him to never settle for the easy way out. Raymond really cares about documentary photojournalism in a way I sometimes find lacking in other shooters (often including myself). That's why it was so amazingly refreshing to have him here this week. His visit has gotten me geared up to finish out the semester strong and really go make things happen through photography.
Please check out these links to his blog and the stories on Daniel available online. I'll let y'all know when he's ready with (what I imagine will be) some amazing multimedia from this trip down to Texas with Daniel. Oh, and Daniel came through his surgery last Wednesday extremely well and was even off the ventilator days sooner than expected. Have the Garcia family in your thoughts if you can.