Boston, by Colton.

| June 5, 2013

After the Boston marathon bombings, we had a note in from one of our Facebook friends, Colton. He and his family were standing at the finish line, pretty much right in the middle of where the first device exploded. We’ve thought long and hard about sharing Colton’s experience that he sent through to us, I hope enough time has passed, for some no amount of time will help. There are a lot of photo journalists among you guys, there are a lot of you that are not, and have not experienced this kind of thing (including me) and I want to just let you know that the links through to a couple of the images may be quite distressing to some of you.

You can see Colton in this image, camera in hand in the middle. [graphic]

I have included the images that Colton emailed through – they’re below, they do include blood (on his clothes and gear, not on a person) so please, again, if you’re not interested in seeing what Colton experienced, please don’t scroll right down.

This is Colton’s story.

First of all, thank you to everyone for your kind words of support on the initial post that went out on ThinkTankPhoto’s Facebook page.  Just to know that there are so many people out there in this community of Photographers and Videographers who care for someone they have never met is pretty overwhelming.

My wife and I were in the first bomb at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, along with several of our family members.  Five members of our group were hospitalized with severe injuries, mostly to their legs, that required extensive (and in some cases, still ongoing) surgeries.  Miraculously three of us, including my wife and I, were relatively unharmed even though we were right there.  We did suffer perforated eardrums and abrasions on legs and a few very minor burns but now almost two weeks later they are mostly healed up.  We may not know why we are ok and others were not, but we do know that God had his hand on us and protected us for a reason, even if we do not know what that reason is.

After the bomb went off and as the fog in my brain (and the smoke everywhere) cleared and I began to realize what had happened, I sat up and flipped my camera (Canon 7D for those of you who care) onto video and just had it rolling the whole time I made sure my wife was OK and as we started tending to our family who were injured all around us.  I don’t know how my camera survived – maybe because it was in my hands when the bomb went off – but I am sad to report that my 50mm 1.8 (for those of you who participated in the In A Bag Giveaway a while back, you might know it as Nifty Nate) did not survive.  I have not, and probably will not, release my video, especially to the press because of how personal, up close, and graphic it is.  I think that someday I would like to make a video/documentary of my story and include the footage, but that of course would be on my terms.  If that happens I will be sure to share it with all of you.  But all in good time, as we have lots to process emotionally over the coming weeks and months.  My wife has started a blog ( where she has begun to share her story, and at some point I may add my own words to it, for those of you who would like to follow our progress more in depth.

The last two weeks have been a blur and it feels like months or years since the day of the marathon.  My wife and I finally got home two days ago and we’ve been trying to catch up on rest before we begin the return to “normal.” It will take a long time.  It feels like returning from a very long trip from across the world.  I will update you all as I can.  Thank you for being ears to hear my story; it means the world to me.  Thank you for your prayers and love and support.  I believe that God is good, that He hears those prayers, and that He can take the darkest times in life and later use them for more good than we could ever have imagined.  In the middle of the absolute worst moments of my life that have been these last two weeks, I have clung to that truth.  You may not believe the same things I do and that’s OK, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening.


For those of you that are willing and able, you may support Colton’s family directly here.

Visting the bomb site 6 days later




My Jeans after the fact

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Category: Think Tank Photo

About the Author ()

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Simon manages social media for You can find out more about Simon here -
  • This is one of the hardest stories I have read through for a while. My thoughts are with Colton & his family, and all those affected by the event. Thank you for sharing Colton and TTP, and giving Colton the respect it deserves.