It has been a long time since I could muster the energy to update Tanager Photography, but now the dust of my life has settled a bit, and I’m ready to return.
So much was stolen from me in November 2015 — but now, I feel like I’ve got it all back in spades. Allow me to explain.
Before sunrise on November 22, in a house between Manuel Antonio National Park and Quepos, I awoke to the sound of a barking dog. I had been asleep with my wife in our bedroom, on the lower level of the house — our 2-year-old daughter was asleep in her crib next to us, and our 5-year-old was across the hall in her own room.
My mother heard the dog barking, too. As well as footsteps upstairs. By the time we got out of bed to investigate, the thief was gone and so was our vacation. An incredible amount of photography gear, a laptop, iPhones, binoculars, wallets, passports … Even two bottles of cheap wine. All of them, gone. Most of the stolen gear was my mother’s — like a slob, I’d left my camera bag open and strewn about in that room, and the thief must have decided it wasn’t worth the time to put it all back together in the bag.
Regardless, our personal safety and well being in Costa Rica never felt the same. We were plagued by what ifs, especially, what if one of us walked in on the thief?
Manuel Antonio National Park proved to be the biggest overrated attraction anyway. An overcrowded, horribly mismanaged, tropical shit show. I would strongly discourage anyone from visiting the area.
Shortly after the trip, our life descended further into chaos as one of our daughters was diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately, it was treatable (but it wasn’t easy) and she was declared cancer-free in May, thanks to these incredible folks.
So making the above video — my first attempt at film production — has been a deeply personal and highly redemptive project. It’s far from perfect, and I still consider myself much more inclined toward still photography. But being able to spin a story together of the few good moments in Costa Rica was personally powerful.
I hope you enjoy it.