A tragic loss

Days ago, Stanislass Augustin lost her mother, Gertha Augustin, in a terrible car accident. Initial reports said the accident was caused by a local high school basketball superstar. The following day when the accident was reported in the news, only the name of the basketball superstar was mentioned. Augustin, understandably upset her mother's name wasn't mentioned in any news reports, called local media outlets to ask why. The reason is the family needs to give permission to release the name. That being said, it's a tragedy anytime a person, in this case a grandmother and a nurse, dies because of another person's irresponsibility. Gertha Augustin was a generous woman, originally from Haiti, who worked at M. D. Anderson.

Myself and Shaminder Dulai, a reporter at the Houston Chronicle, were called out to photograph and interview her daughter. Situations like these can sometimes be uncomfortable. I've been on more than one of these assignments where the surviving family didn't know we were coming. However, this was not the case this time. Augustin's daughter, Stanislass, was very open and inviting. While she chatted with Shaminder, I made a picture I thought was story-telling and documentary in style. I also always make a safety picture in assignments like these. Of course, the safe photo is the one they ran with.

______________________________________________________________________________________Stanislass Augustin, 32, pictured with her son Elijah, 18 months, talks about her mother Gertha Augustin, who was killed in a car accident with Belliare star basketball player Tobi Oyedeji May 17, 2010 in Richmond, TX.


The "safety" shot.