I taught professional photography at Dawson College for 10 years. As the teacher, you are suppose to be a better photographer than your students, right?

So what do you do when a student shows you a photo series she’s working on (galloping horses), and the photo are so good, you think “Man, this chick is a better photographer than I am!”

Instead, I said “Great photos, Jane!” with a whole lot of fake enthusiasm.

Jane Heller died unexpectedly a few years later. She was a remarkable photographer, as well as being ambitious, hard-working, and industrious. Had she lived, I’m sure she be famous today.

I learned two things from Jane Heller. First, that simple, clean compositions are beautiful.

And second, while there was only one Jane, there is also only one Monique. And all I can do is photograph with clear eyes and an open heart.

Because heart, in the end, is what makes an image sing.