David | Home of the Brave


If you were asked to describe a courageous person what would you say? Many of us would start with our heroes and heroines from movies, TV shows, graphic novels and sporting events.

But what does someone with courage look like in the real world? Without a cape (or a sword) they can be hard to identify. Especially when they are a student sitting quietly in the front row of your Media Software for Journalists class.

Last month David attended an on-campus seminar with the rest of our journalism students. The topic was the ethical reporting of mental illness in the news. David’s participation in this event was unique because he was also a guest speaker who took the podium in front of his classmates and told them his story.

When I met David for our portrait session it was several weeks after the seminar. On that particular Friday afternoon I was fighting a massive headache. Searching my pockets for a Tylenol I asked how he liked speaking in public and if he had felt nervous.

“It was a challenge,” he said. “Speaking directly to my classmates was the hardest public speaking engagement I’ve done so far.”

“So far?” I asked, not hiding my surprise. “You mean that wasn’t your first time speaking in public?”

David looked at me for a second and smiled.

“No it wasn’t. I do this all the time. But speaking to my classmates was a challenge. You just don’t know how they are going to react.”

David continued. “I just want to help people out. I don’t want them to experience what I went through. If I can help just one person then it’s worth it for me.”

Feeling deeply inspired can do any number of wonderful things to a person. I never imagined that an instant remedy for a splitting headache would be one of them.

Silver gelatin print
Hasselblad 500c
Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 lens
Ilford HP5, ISO 400


This entry was posted in Home of the Brave.


  1. dmiller509 April 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

    Thank you Lorene. I really appreciate your support for this project. There is a really powerful momentum starting to build for this project – thanks to yourself, Lyndon, Heather, David (and Lauren). You guys are the inspiration. I am just here to witness and share all of these wonderful stories that deserve to be celebrated.

  2. dmiller509 April 29, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

    Thank you Roger. David’s story is such an inspiration.

  3. Roger Sanson April 29, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    Seldom has a piece (and photo) taken so long to leave my thoughts. Keep it up Danny.

  4. Lorene Holizki April 29, 2016 at 1:22 am #

    What I love the most about Danny’s work in this project is how each and every image is presented in such a way, we the viewers, instinctively tell our own story about the person and their special moment in time. In David’s photograph, I feel like this fine young man has just thought of something amazing and is about to turn towards me to share something very special. Thanks Danny…only you could capture that kind of dynamic and powerful imagery:)

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