Photographer’s comfort, fear, and my Belize adventure


{I wrote this yesterday before Boston’s tragedy – I think the fear part will ring true with MANY of us}

Photography is what brings me comfort.  It’s how I show love to the world – it’s how I make people smile and remember that there IS goodness on the planet.

After Jim died, though,  it was nearly impossible for me to pick up my camera.  A few weeks after he passed away,  I shot a maternity session for a great friend.  On the way home got physically ill on the side of Highway 13 because all I could think about is that I did not want her to ever lose someone like I did.  I became consumed by fear for my friends and family.  All I could think about was that they might have to, at some point feel the gut wrenching, soul sucking, extreme emptiness that I was feeling (and still do occasionally).

Then I went to Belize.  And met an amazing amount of people who are going through the things I am.  My taxi driver, a waitress, other random strangers, my aunt and uncle, their friends.  They are all living life, going on adventures, and loving to the fullest.

We will all experience loss – extreme loss.  If we live in fear, though, fear and loss win.

Fear cannot win.

So I’m off on some further adventures – I hope you do the same :).

A HUGE thanks to my aunt and uncle for taking me on this trip with them.  Please check out Slickrock if you can – and think about taking a trip (seriously).


















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22 Comments on Photographer’s comfort, fear, and my Belize adventure

  1. Kristin
    April 16, 2013 at 10:43 am (9 years ago)

    I’m so very proud of you for taking this step in your grieving process and knowing that you are stronger that fear can ever be! You are an amazingly strong woman and even though I don’t know you personally, but some of my family does and I’ve always loved viewing your pictures when you’ve posted them. Jim would be proud of you for keeping on living this life. He’s smiling down upon you and saying, “Great Job Hannah!”


  2. Jan McGill
    April 16, 2013 at 10:44 am (9 years ago)

    Wonderful. Thank you for this.

  3. Mary Quinlan
    April 16, 2013 at 10:49 am (9 years ago)

    You are truly An Inspiration, Thank you For always picking me up, I lost my Husband 8 years ago, Did go on for the kids . Now two grandchildren later makes me miss him more but I know he’s watching every little thing we do. I was only 50 But we have to put those feet on the ground and keep moving . Thank you again

  4. Jerneja
    April 16, 2013 at 10:52 am (9 years ago)

    Hannah, thank you for sharing this with us. Love your smile!

  5. Lu
    April 16, 2013 at 11:01 am (9 years ago)

    Your words are uplifting…and so you your photos!! Thank YOU!

  6. Stephanie Daigle
    April 16, 2013 at 11:12 am (9 years ago)

    Hanna, thank you for your continuing inspiration. I am so happy to see these most gorgeous photos and read your words. I know how devastating a blow you suffered, and it is wonderful to see you picking up the pieces, and keep on truckin. It is all we can do. Much love, I hope to meet you someday when I visit Bayfield. (I scooter to Bayfield a lot in Summer) You are a true treasure in this world.

  7. Connie Mercado
    April 16, 2013 at 11:22 am (9 years ago)

    We all love your photography and you Hannah. From now onwards, nothing but good in your life! thank you for sharing this treasure experience in such difficult times.

  8. Barbara
    April 16, 2013 at 11:24 am (9 years ago)

    You are an inspiration to so many! Life can throw curveballs and learning how to deal with them will take you far. You are an amazingly strong woman!

  9. Ana Cecilia
    April 16, 2013 at 11:35 am (9 years ago)

    I dont have the pleasure to know you personally, I met you through your Schoep and John picture which made my cry (I am a animal lover and you really capture love in that picture). I am glad to see you are doing ok but most of all I admire you for your strength. Hope some day you could come to my beautiful country Guatemala City (Belize used to be Guatemala´s territory). I am attaching a picture from Antigua Guatemala to inspire you to come. May God always bless you and your amazing photos. Sincerely, Ana Cecilia

  10. Dianne Ksiazek
    April 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing! May God give you the courage and strength to continue taking you’re wonderful pictures. Although I’m not a professional photographer, I find comfort and enjoyment taking the photos I do manage to capture of birds and pets!

  11. Andrea Winokur Kotula
    April 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm (9 years ago)

    The photos are exquisite, but not as exquisite as the words you used to describe your journey, including the trip to Belize. We all deal with loss. It takes courage to get past the fear. Congratulations!

  12. Eve Komosa
    April 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm (9 years ago)

    You rock, my friend! OX

  13. Christine M. Brady
    April 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm (9 years ago)

    You are amazing! Thank you for your kind words of advice. <3!!

  14. bonnie
    April 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm (9 years ago)


    you bring to me, joy, happiness and a realness thru your photography.

    Your courage and sharing of your tragedy of losing the love of your life, Jim, brings tears and fear. I have always put things into perspective after an argument or spat with my husband of over 30 years by thinking “what if I lost him in an hour from now”.
    By your sharing your personal story you have brought to our relationship a much deeper awareness for each day we have together…
    thank you…
    blessings for your long road to healing from you loss of Jim.

  15. Miriam
    April 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm (9 years ago)

    Go Hannah! Glad you got your groove back 🙂 Keep going, it does get easier.

  16. Paula
    April 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm (9 years ago)

    Hannah ~
    Your words and your photos are amazing, Jim would be so proud!

  17. Kim Matteen Orlowski
    April 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm (9 years ago)

    Thank you, Hannah! You’re wise beyond your years.

  18. Cheryl
    April 17, 2013 at 11:56 am (9 years ago)

    You are truly Amazing, Hannah! Love the photos and the world is Blessed by seeing the world from your perspective. My prayers are still with you. 😉

  19. Karen Armstrong
    April 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm (9 years ago)

    Am so glad you zip-lined. That is on my bucket list. You took some grand photos, as you always do. I have & will continue to learn more about photography from you. You are blessing Hannah. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Janice Price
    April 19, 2013 at 1:08 am (9 years ago)

    Thank you for such Wonderful Photos , first one I saw was John with Schupe, and I fell, in love with your work! I lost my Wonderful Mum, to years ago, not easy to cope, but it does get better, I really believe, she is always with me looking down! You are in my prayers, you have such a wonderful gift! Always love all photos. Best wishes Janice ….. Durban South Africa

  21. janice lee hendry
    July 19, 2013 at 11:36 pm (9 years ago)


    you are an inspiration to others

    so sorry scheop has passed away

    janice lee hendry

    united kingdom

  22. cathy
    July 20, 2013 at 4:52 am (9 years ago)

    thank you very much for sharing your life and wisdom and love xoxoxoo