Tag Archives: Jodi Champagne Photography

veterans… Veterans… VETERANS!!!

Like most people, as I had grown I was trying to find my own way in life. I had gotten wrapped up in a family, career and the hustle and bustle of every day living. Then my father became ill and most of us know what happened with the Arizona V.A. I believe at that point I started opening my eyes more to the veterans…

I remember growing up knowing my father was in the US Navy. But being a girl (that’s not an excuse) never really thought to question him about it. Even if I did he wouldn’t talk about it… All I remember was him showing me a picture of his unit and being told only a couple survived. He was a landing craft driver.. The boats that drove up to the beaches in Normandy with the men (LCI).

As I’ve mentioned I’m sure many times that my project Diminishing Generations (DG) had become more than a professional project to me but a personal journey. Nothing can replace learning history first hand…. By the voices of the ones who’ve lived it…

It’s coming up on a year that I released these books on the USS Iowa… Since then I never stopped learning… As I move forward to gather more stories for Volume 2 of Diminishing Generations (DG) I had begun a new project. These new books will tie in with the WWII section of DG called Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten.

This new project had taken me to places I’ve never been before, such as Belgium, France, Netherlands and Germany. Talking about going full circle with history I felt I had accomplished that just by going to these countries our men fought and died not only in WWII but also in WWI. I was in aww when I had seen the original fox holes the veterans talked about in the DG-WWII book. Such an eerie feeling being there, standing in those dug out holes they call “Fox holes” and seeing the field the enemy was approaching on… Being where the Battle of the Bulge was fought… But the hardest time for me was standing on each of the beaches our men fought and died on in Normandy… Seeing the battle damage still there from bomb craters to blown up pill boxes… Nothing has been moved… The emotional feeling just being there and specially hearing the stories of what actually happened.. Americans are told over time how difficult it was for our men to fight on those beaches… You just don’t understand the magnitude of difficulty it REALLY was…. Seeing is much more heart wrenching than hearing about the obstacles our men faced that day in history.

Allegiance: Our heroes Not Forgotten will be about our veterans of WWII as well as WWI. They had fought and died and still remain in either Belgium or the Netherlands. Again, with WWI you will still see areas of war. The villagers still find the bodies of our soldiers as well as ammunition along with other war items.. Most Americans had forgotten about these soldiers that were not brought back home. But the people of Belgium and Netherlands have not forgotten. The people have adopted at least one soldier but most have more. They appreciate to this day the sacrifice our men had made for their country. So no one there will forget them…

This book is about our soldiers, the battles they fought, the adopters, and the families of the soldiers that were found, and much more… My goal is to have the WWI book completed by 2018 as it will be the 100 year anniversary of the war… But my ultimate goal is to have them both done… I’m on track for that now…

I will be heading back to Belgium in May of 2017 seeing my friends and meeting more… Most of all I will be seeing and learning even more of our history…

Veterans Day is coming soon…. Please take the time to thank a veteran for their service and sacrifices. BUT still thank a veteran even if it’s not a holiday…

** Enjoy the video as Patrick is an adopter of 2 soldiers in Belgium **

Thanks for following… 🙂

Jodi

 

 

 

 

 

New Site, New Project and Good News

I am very excited after several years I finally been able to get my new site up and running. I’m very proud to be able to show my work the way it’s supposed to be… Check out one of my favorites (Although, they are all my favorite) “Waiting on a Friend” a typology project.

I am proud to say I had received amazing news this week. My project/Books Diminishing Generations have been accepted as a permanent collection into The Library of Congress. So these veterans stories will now be available for all future generations to learn what war was really like. So happy I was able to do this for the veterans… I am continuing this mission…

For those who have read my books or know me personally understand I am an emotional person. I am not an author in a sense I don’t write novels (But who knows)… I actually call myself or shall I say my books “Hybrids”… They are much more than a photographic book but yet not a novel. You will always get a story told in a way as if you were with me on that journey. Because the stories I tell are real… I don’t elaborate I just tell it as I see, feel it or what I’m told. Which brings more of a humanistic approach to what I do. The projects I do are on everyday individuals that have done or gone through some amazing things. I am not politically correct as I am not a perfect writer but you certainly will feel what I have to say…

My new project “Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten” is completely different from all of my other work. This project is about WWI and WWII soldiers that were killed in the line of duty that has not been returned home. I started this journey not really understanding what I was going to learn, but I actually felt like I have been going through a time machine. I had learned first hand what our soldiers had done to save their country through the semblance of the landscape while in Belgium. I’ve seen what was left of cannons, shells from ammo, containers of the chemical bombs, and the damage that was done and still shows. I’ve stood on the grounds where some of the major battles took place in both WWI & WWII. Absolutely amazing and humbling… some areas a little eerie…

So each week I will talk about my first trip to Belgium, Holland and France while documenting for this project. I will share with you some amazing things I have learned or seen. But… also sharing with you information on the Volume 2 of the Diminishing Generations project.

So excited about these amazing stories that will be told…

Until next time…

Jodi

 

Finally Done!!

It’s finally done… I really don’t know how to feel. It’s like having a child the grows up and leaves home… What they call the empty nest syndrome. That’s how I feel… This has been my baby for almost a couple of years and now you will finally see it…

I’ve been going about 150 mph the last several months… From sun up until I would dropped asleep on the computer… (Thank heavens no pictures were taken of me doing that lol) Almost every waking moment not only writing and editing the books but also editing the videos.

Along the way I’ve shared with you all the trials and tribulations that I’ve gone through or felt. The excitement, the emotions and frustrations. The loss of our veterans I’ve interviewed, while some others I was scheduled to interview but unfortunately they had passed before I had the chance.  That’s why I decided to call it Diminishing Generations, because we are losing these veterans more and more every day and we lose their stories alone with them.

These books are the first of its kind. Using Augmented Reality to bring these images and stories to reality right from the books. As Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design explains, “The Diminishing Generations project is utilizing Augmented Reality technology, which place is digital content between the user and the physical world. In this case, the AR-enabled apps allow the user to “scan” the images of the veterans in the books and provide a direct link to additional content such as videos and photo galleries, sharing more of each veterans story”.

It’s always hard to explain how these books work in just typing about it, because most individuals are not familiar with this technology. And for that matter who could imagine, videos coming right off the pages of a book. But that’s how these books are. You will have the ability to hear and see the veterans tell their personal stories of war directly from the veterans themselves.

So November 14, 2015 the book launch will be held free on the USS Iowa from 10a.m. to 4p.m. From 12-2 will be the meet and great of the veterans in the book. So come and meet the veterans and have them sign their part of the book. Learn some real history from the ones who’ve lived it.

Keep a watch out as there are more exciting things coming your way.

I hope to see you on the USS Iowa on the 14th and if not you can still order the books at http://www.jodichampagne.com under “Books”. Shortly thereafter they will be available elsewhere.

Thanks Jodi

 

 

 

 

Take a deep breath…

Let me take a quick deep breath…

Life still goes on no matter what you do or what you are in the middle of doing… While documenting this project “Diminishing Generations” I’ve had to deal with my own personal emergencies… Not counting I do have a family… Being a person that doesn’t know the meaning of 100% only 250% that can be devastating… So I’m going to take a deep breath….

While I’m wrapping up the last bit of interviews of some WWII veterans I’ve begun editing the ones I have. It’s fascinating even though I was present at the interview it’s like I learn and hear more… While I’m editing I research things they tell me… the what, where and when… For example Eugene, a Navy man, was on the USS Helena when it got torpedoed… So I research the location of where it happened, the survivors ect… So not only am I editing I’m also learning more in-depth American history. And of course one thing leads to another…

Time is coming close to the release of the book… November 14, 2015. Although to the average person it’s actually far away… But for me lol it’s to close… So I’m not only working on editing, writing, interviewing… I’ve also been working on designing the book covers and preparing for the release…

I want to really thank a few special people who have helped me so much along the way… That is Bob Alvis, Linda Willis and Dayle DeBry… When I need something they are there for me.. Johnny on the spot… Sometimes it’s a short notice but they always come through… I can’t thank them enough!!!

Take a deep breath… Now for some amazing news… Not only is the release scheduled for November 14, 2015.. The release will be held actually on the USS Iowa. You will be able to meet some of the amazing veterans that are in the books… So stay tuned for details coming in the near future…

Thank you for letting me breathe….

Jodi