When A Random Photo Delivered Unexpected Happiness

Today I have the honor and pleasure to share a touching and incredible thing that happened recently.

Just before a recent photowalk in New York City, I was hanging out with some of my Arcanum apprentices in Battery Park.  We were relaxing on some benches next to the memorial in the park.

I happened to be sitting within arms reach from this section of the memorial, where I noticed a name that was standing out. The name was Regis B Funk.  I love the word funk and had never seen it used in a name. So I decided to pull out my phone and make a quick Instagram photo of it.

Here is that photo:


A photo posted by Scott Kivowitz (@scottwyden) on

Now it’s more than a month after the photowalk and I receive the following email.

Hi Scott.

I was doing some family research online and I found your photo. I don’t know what led you to focus specifically on that name, but Regis Funk was my great-uncle, my grandmother’s brother, whose plane was lost at sea in 1943. We live in Pittsburgh, PA and we didn’t even know about that particular memorial. It’s a beautiful picture and such a gift to be able to see it.

Thank you so much!

This is the beauty of photography.

A random combination of being tired from many miles of walking, being in sun and seeing a name that I thought was fun led to a person related to the name I’m talking about finding the photo and finding happiness from it.

I hope you found this little story inspirational just as I did.

So next time you think “is this photo worth making”, it likely is.

Thanks for reading.

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