Do you have any idea how challenging it is to photograph your subject while simultaneously playing offense? The only way to make this guy stand (somewhat) still was to shoot goals while shooting pictures. Happy World Cup everyone!
Category Archives: portrait
The first time I heard the word “divestment” was April 1985. I was inching towards the close of my freshman year at Rutgers University while simultaneously stepping towards my first political protest and rally. I had read snippets in the Daily Targum, the university’s newspaper, about students camping outside the student center and going on hunger strikes, but I really had no idea why. I was young, naive and unworldly, having nary a clue about apartheid and states of emergency in a land so far away. But there I was, camera in hand observing and documenting at the edge of the crowd, determined to stretch my nascent journalist eye and bring back something for my college’s newspaper.
Nearly a year ago, I published several of these photos in a blog post called Musings on divestment, past, present, and future. An editorial researcher from New Jersey Public Television found the post and the images and phoned me the morning after news of Nelson Mandela’s passing. They wanted permission to use them in a piece they were producing to air on the evening news program. Mandela’s Life, Legacy Recalled features four images which appear beginning at 00:50.
What an honor have my work included in a piece with two icons of our lifetime: Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama. Rest in peace, Madiba.
A Halloween tip: When out on the street at night, it’s always good to look up from time to time. You never know if an adorable ghoul is looking at you from above. Happy trick-or-treat day!
Sometimes you sit and watch a moment unfold before you. Sometimes you think you’re documenting an aspect of that moment and find that you’ve captured something altogether unexpected. So it was while sitting on a friend’s back patio this fall, separating grapes from raisins, feeding grapes to chickens, and chatting the afternoon way.
Her daughter, my pal and a favorite photo muse, was doing the “toss the grapes into the air and catch ’em in her mouth game,” when one of the chickens leapt from the ground and into the frame. I think she wanted to be the center of attention.
Etta was the first of three women (me being the third) on my father’s side of the family to move from the east coast to San Francisco Bay Area on her own. She was, technically speaking, my first roommate in San Francisco, as I lived in her guest room for several weeks until I found roommates closer to my age. The last six years of her life, I literally lived two miles up the road.
It drove Etta crazy when I would opt to sit or recline on her living room floor instead of a chair or the sofa during my periodic visits. At some point though, she came to accept that I enjoyed the perspective and comfort the floor offered. I never said it aloud, but this was the only angle from which I could actually look up at her. She was a diminutive woman, just a wee bit shorter than 4’10”.
Each of our visits included a ritual pot of perfectly brewed black tea with milk accompanied by a plain biscuit or simple cookie. Her English roots were strong despite the fact that she arrive in the U.S. around the age of three. This week will find me raising a cuppa in her honor as the twelfth anniversary of her passing passes by.