One of my main photographic specialities is photojournalism and documentary photography. I love to explore a social issue and tell that story through my images (and get paid to do so)! It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, a maxim that I believe in, wholeheartedly!
It is hard to describe to another the adrenaline rush one feels when you are "in the moment" and you are trying to capture the essence of a person's emotion or the struggle between two factions of opposing viewpoints.
I have been working on a long-term project for a few years that covers The First Amendment and its particular aspects of the right of assembly and the ability to petition one's Government for a redress of grievances...a.k.a. a good old fashion protest march!
The main problem of working on a project, as such, is the travel and time required to properly cover the issue. For example, on July 5th 2016, Baton Rouge police shot Alton Sterling in the wee hours of July 5th, 2016 in a convenience store parking lot. I traveled to Baton Rouge on the 5th and covered the street protest as it was winding down that night, as well as the vigil/media circus at the Triple S Food Mart (scene of the shooting) that next day. Due to the fact I had other commitments and could only afford to stay a couple of days, I left the morning of July 7th. Just over 24 hours later, a violent protest erupted as demonstrators clashed with police and I was no longer there to cover it!
Also, being a full time teacher, it is hard to get the time off necessary to cover these type of breaking news events. The likelihood of me being in the right place at the right time to capture a Pulitzer Prize winning photo or photo essay is probably pretty remote.
Recently, I answered a call for submissions from the internationally famous Magnum Photos agency to review my documentary portfolio for membership consideration. I know that the chance of being contacted by Magnum is highly unlikely following their annual meeting this June. However, every once and awhile you have to put yourself out there and swing for the fences! The images in this post is the portfolio I submitted to them.
One day I will find that combination of entrepreneurial effort that will enable me to leave teaching and pursue my photographic passion full time and still keep the bills paid and keep saving for retirement.
Oh yes, I will!