We live in a country built by heroes. We wouldn't have our freedom without the sacrifices made by our veterans. My first shoot for ImagesAZ Magazine was of Colonel Jim Morris. It would also end up being my first magazine cover.
If you were to come across Jim Morris in a Starbucks, you might think he's just your average elderly citizen. He'd most likely be sipping on his favorite coffee drink, the cappuccino, and be in the company of his lovely wife. Little would you know, he's an extremely wise, extremely decorated veteran of the US military. Jim joined the military at the age of "17" (really 16), and spent his entire career with the army. He moved through the ranks, and when he got out he was a Colonel. Not only was he a Colonel, but he was a member of the Army special forces, also known as the Green Berets. During his illustrious career he was awarded the Silver Star Medal for his service in the Korean War. He has done so much in his career as a serviceman that he has an entire room filled with his medals and diplomas.
For this assignment, I wanted to show Jim as the wise, distinguished man he is. We didn't speak much about the fine details of his career, because as you can imagine, there were some pretty traumatic events. But, what I was able to learn from him, is how much effort and sacrifice it takes to become a Colonel. The walls of his room are plastered with diplomas. Each one is a stepping stone; another requirement to progress in the military as he did. He told me he's been to 100+ countries around the world, and how he and his wife have been married for over 50 years.
I was happy to learn that my image of Colonel Morris was given the cover for the Anthem issue of the magazine for November.
Here are the remaining tear sheets from the shoot.
As I'm posting this on Veterans day, I just want to say I am truly honored to have met and photographed Colonel Jim Morris. He is a true American Hero.