"Home of Washington"
"The Ladies, Ever Vigilant"
"The Tomb of Washington"
There is much more to this story, and to the source photographs that I used to create this set. You can read about in on a special page Mount Vernon has created on their website: www.mountvernon.org/markhersch
JB: You're clearly doing something you love and loving doing it. And your enthusiasm is contagious. Which aspects of your work do you enjoy the most? The sleuthing? The darkroom? Interacting with the public? What would be a perfect mix of your time, if you could pull it off?
MH: It's true. I feel very fortunate to be doing something that allows me to pursue so many of the things that have interested me all my life, and something that seems to resonate with so many others, as well. It's funny, though, when you ask about the various aspects that go into it, they're all so intertwined, one following the other, none possible without the others: the research, the selection of images, planning the travel, laying out the shooting schedule, taking the shots, editing the work, exhibiting at shows, interacting with others who share my same passion for history, etc. But I think the piece that thrills me the most is when, after I've spent so much time studying an old photograph, then going out and finding the exact spot where 100 or more years ago another photographer stood, surveyed the very same (but very different) scene, and clicked his shutter, it just gives me that Eureka moment and I think to myself, "Well look at that, there it is!" I guess it's like panning for gold; and a great image is my reward.
JB: What haven't we talked about yet that you'd like to share before we wrap this up?
MH: The one thing I'd like to leave you with has nothing to do with photography or history or any of that. It has to do with finding your passion. I'm 63 and the embodiment of the saying, "Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." I love what I do. I found my passion later in life. But it's never too late. Find your passion. Follow your dreams. At age 20, 40, 60 or 80. Whatever IT is, you have IT in you. Find it, and you'll never be happier.