You’ve seen photographer Dawn Kish’s work in our magazine. She’s a fantastically talented photographer, always willing (and ready) to do what it takes to get the shot. In this case, she may have gone a little too far. Find out what happened to her below:
Wow, those are some shiners! What happened?
I smashed my face with my camera in a big ol’ Grand Canyon rapid. I just got a new underwater housing for my camera and was so excited to shoot in the rapids. I was too busy trying to get the shot and didn’t hold on tight. We hit a big hole, and wham. I hit the cooler with my camera in front of my face. Ouch!
Have you ever been injured on the job before?
Not like this. I have never had a head injury before, either — I looked like an eggplant. I have dropped my camera on rocks, but it was just fine. I do know other photographers who have broken limbs to get the shot. I guess after 25 years of taking photos, I finally got hurt.
What would you do differently next time?
After I posted my battle wounds on Facebook, I didn’t realize that others had done the same thing. One photographer told me that it happened to him, and that when you have a waterproof housing around the camera, you must hold it away from your face when you’re shooting in rough water. I was too busy looking through the viewfinder and didn’t see the big hole in the rapids coming up. All of this trauma for the love of making photos. Next time, hold on and keep the camera away from the face. I got it!
So, what’s the reaction like around town?
Holy guacamole! I wish I had a video of the reactions. Some were worried, some were shocked, some thought I was tough and some thought I was dumb. It was funny, though; most people thought I still looked good. My boyfriend, John “Verm” Sherman, took a bunch of zombie photos of me. Those are fun shots. Everyone kept asking me whether it hurts. I tell them, “Not as much as my ego.”
What camera did you use to sustain your vertical face-plant?
I was shooting with a Nikon D7000 and a 12 mm to 24 mm lens. It still works great. Go Nikon!
You can see Dawn’s work in the August issue of Arizona Highways.