As a photographer and story teller, my job is to document what I see and tell a beautiful story. In the political realm things are a bit different. To do a great job you must document completely without bias. So no matter what your political affiliation, you tell the true story of what happens. Such was the case when I went to work for Donald Trump. I went in, not necessarily a fan, but intrigued for sure. Knowing that the job would be interesting and a historical documentation, I gladly accepted. Later, I did go vote for my boss, confident I was making the right choice.
The old saying goes...."When you go through hard times, you find out who your real friends are."
While writing Donna's story I was very thankful for her friendship. With both of us working with the Trump administration, many of my so called friends fell out of touch. Some even sent hate mail. It's one thing to receive hate mail from a stranger, but completely different to get nastiness from someone you thought cared about you. I lost clients too.
The beautiful thing about a forced weeding out of your circle is that people whom you'd never expect, people that you don't even agree with, will come out in full support of your choices. They love you even when you don't agree.
I was working with a very prominent artist at the time it went public that I was working for the Trumps. She called personally to ask for my instagram handle to refer images she was posting back to me. I knew she had hundreds of thousands of followers, a building full of awesome, feminist, female employees, and had build a reputation on being an unapologetic,staunchly loud female supporter. This I love and admire! It's part of why I do this project. I just didn't think it wasn't fair for me to not tell her that she was about to post images of someone who also worked for Donald Trump. Her response shocked me.
She told me that she supported what I was doing. That you don't always have to hold the same opinion as your clients, and while she didn't think he should be POTUS, she'd still gladly work with him herself should he come calling.
At the end of our conversation, she yelled,
"Love you Bitch!!! FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS FOREVER!"and hung up the phone.
THAT is what people are supposed to do. Love you, despite how you believe, or look, or work for....that's what LOVE is. God loved us. We should love others. We never know when that love and support will mean so much more to someone.
Donna could tell similar stories herself. She's been that friend and had others do the same for her.
She's been an example to me of how to navigate through some of it. My favorite part is that she doesn't sugar coat the truth. When you are wrong she tells you, and when you're right she'll stand by you. She and her husband, Dane, are examples of what real love and friendship is.
"They've taught me so much." friend and campaign advisor, Jamie Peavy says," Donna kept me in line! I wouldn't have made it without her and neither would have her husband! She would water my plants when I had to travel and cared enough to NOT post all the horrible photos she took of me sleeping on planes."
Donna, a ordinary women, with an extraordinary life, who will walk into yours and say "I'm here for you." She means it, and she'll prove it. This is what we need more of. Pascagoula, MS is so blessed to have her.