Friday, March 31, 2006

Thoughts on photo stories

So I'm nearing the end of Advanced Photojournalism 2 right now with Prof. Kaplan here at UF and realizing that I REALLY enjoy doing photo stories. I was pretty scared of them before this semester, but now working on my second one I realize how much I have the possibilty to enter a person's life and document their experiences and it just means so much more to me than to snap one shoot of a person on a daily assignment for the paper. I now understand why I've heard that professional photographers live to work on their personal photo stories and work to even be allowed to proposal a story.
I've also realized access is key to making the best out of a photo story. I was fortunate with my first story to almost have it handed to me, but with my second it has been a struggle to get where I am right now. And where am I? Well literally I am in room 215 of Gator Lodge right off of University Avenue, pretty much living with a homeless family until they get kicked out of the hotel tomorrow at 11 a.m. They don't have any shelter lined up right now but are full of "well maybe..."s. As the mother explained to me, poor people, even when they have money, don't save their money. It gets spent right away, it's just the way it is. The father worked on Wednesday doing manual labor for a friend and earned $70, but later that night they spent $40 of it. And that's all the money they have. They want to send the mother and child on a bus up to Cincinatti, Ohio on Wednesday, but they don't have money for a bus ticket. They actually only need half the money and a local charity will give them the rest but they don't have half yet, although they did on Wednesday before spending that $40. So how do I sit there and just watch all this happen? Well first off they don't want pity and the father refuses to ever panhandle, but I think time will tell on that one. I befriended the mother on the first day I spent with her as we gossiped and shared life stories about high school and growing up while her son was napping and there were certainly no more photos to be taken. She's only 5 years older than me and she says I remind her of her little sister. I guess that's one reason she openned up to me. When I say openned up I mean it. I heard everything. She also said it was nice talking to someone close to her own age because most of the homeless people they hang around with are older.
In summary, because I have to leave soon to go meet up with them again, I really enjoy doing this type of work. I am not that social of a person but this somehow makes me overcome that as I try to get them to open up and share everything about their life and their struggles.

Back from Break!

Back and ready to roll...
I actually had more work than appears here because most assignments were being held for the weekily papers that come out on Thursday.
The Party Shop - I shot this before brake but it was finally published while I was gone. I thought another portrait I had from the store was better, but oh well. It was published in a small magazine called B2B, Business to Business, that circulates in Ocala and Gainesville.

Day 2 of the Pine Oaks Invitational Golf Tournament was the big event for Sunday. I feel I did better shooting golf, but then they go and print the easiest shots to get that I turned in. The other highlight of the day was learning to drive a golf cart for the first time. Okay I know it's not that hard but I was by myself with my two cameras bouncing all over on the course.

State Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman - Once again they didn't publish my favorite photo, grr..., in either publishing of this article! The article ran twice, once in the next day paper of the Star-Banner and again in the weekly edition of The Villages paper.

Another photo that didn't make it to the "reprint" page but did appear in the online version of the article was a portrait of Maria Rea. Here's that article:

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A little behind...

I know I'm a little behind but here are some of my most recent photos from last weekend:

This week I'll be in Montreal and Quebec for Spring Break, look for pics when I get back.