While Desmond Tutu delivered a lecture at Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University, I was in a small room in the basement setting up lights and a backdrop for the few moments I would spend with him after his talk.

He greeted me warmly and sat down while he waited for me to take his photograph. He used the opportunity to collect his thoughts and I used that moment to click the shutter.

There is an aura that surrounds some people, a simple feeling that comes from a place of complete focus and peace. I have felt it a few times with people I have photographed and the experience lasts a lifetime.

There isn’t anything I can add to the rich legacy of Desmond Tutu that hasn’t been said better, but for me, that moment years ago was transformative and in a small way, this photograph is my tribute to a career that changed the world.

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Billy Howard

Billy Howard

Billy Howard is a commercial and documentary photographer with an emphasis on education and global health.