Some days you just can’t find the right spot to shoot. Like at the Liberty Flames football game today, where everything seemed to be oriented for the fans opposite me (the last shot is of the touchdown that finally put LU ahead in the fourth quarter.) I left with 1:21 remaining in the game and I found out that they went into double-OT and there were three more touchdowns. Bugger.
I don’t like the idea that we are what we own but after living somewhere for a time our personal spaces certainly reflect who we are. And when the time comes to move, and decorations, furniture and art are all being stuffed into boxes, our living spaces revert to banal, drab, lifeless walls and floors. In the past few days I’ve had to help two of my best friends in Lynchburg move away, co-workers Kim Raff and Marissa Hermanson. I took some pictures as they, and their spaces, were in transition.
Steven Nauss was born unable to bend his knees. The condition, called arthogryposis, can severely limit one’s locomotive capabilities. Wheels on the James, a brand new, local nonprofit, set him up with a custom tricycle this summer that he is able to power using special hand pedals. It’s obvious how he feels about his new freedom.
During the two days we had for shooting at the Eddie Adams Workshop last weekend, I was sent to Willie Hughson’s dairy farm. I was supposed to look for a story that fell under the topic of “equality” but I just wasn’t getting that through anything I saw. So I decided to just shoot what was in front of me and let the story come. And, as I discovered just minutes ago, it did. This article from 2007 describes how Mr. Hughson is among the large group of farmers who are facing a delayed or uncertain retirement. I’ll let the photos speak from themselves but I feel like this set is a good start for telling that story.
Some of you may know that last week I made an impromptu journey from Lynchburg, VA, through Brooklyn and ended up in a barn near Jeffersonville, NY. On the surface it sounds like a random road trip. However, at that barn I was among many of the top photojournalists, documentary photographers and photo editors in the world, along with 100 amazing up-and-coming shooters. The annual Eddie Adams Workshop just concluded its 24th session and I feel incredibly honored to have been a part of it. I am still a bit in disbelief, really. The four-day whirlwind will take some time to sink in – probably months – but I already know it has changed my life. The most accurate way I can describe the way it felt is to say I was embraced, physically and emotionally, by a worldwide community of peers. Acknowledged, supported, encouraged and embraced. It was like hanging out with friends I always knew I had, we just hadn’t met yet. The spirit of the group was truly energizing and believe me, I needed it; like many participants, I got about 11 hours of sleep over the three nights. But I swear I never felt it.
Driving home on Tuesday (after a refreshing five hours of sleep) I couldn’t help pulling over and just admiring the beauty of where I was. Upstate New York in the fall is legendary and the weather cooperated perfectly. It’s as if the founder himself winked at us as the sun glinted through the red and orange leaves surrounding his sanctuary.