I decided to make a trip to Democratic Party Headquarters in Inglewood, South Central Los Angeles, a notoriously tough, yet deeply- rooted African American neighborhood, where i knew the Obama fervour would be high on the eve of such a historic day; the possible election of the first black US President. What a day it promised to be.
At the barbershop across the street, a popular local hangout, while still open for business everyone kept one eye on the TV with the other on the buzzcut, until the word finally came and the drinks began to flow.
But when the official results came through, and it finally seemed safe to allow oneself to truly believe what you’d previously dared not to, the emotions back at Democratic HQ were truly palpable. It was indeed a day in history. I’d like to thank everyone at Inglewood Democratic Party HQ for letting me witness it with them.
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If you’re a lucky photo editor or art buyer, coming soon to a desk near you…. our latest promo-zine ‘Fighters’. We hope you enjoy.
Not much of a gun- afficianado as such, but it is a fun and unusual thing to do when the parents are in town from UK. So off we went to shoot some Guns Yee-ha! Those things are surprisingly accurate…. or i’m extraordinarily good at it ( i think it’s the former). We shot a Beretta 9mm, and an AM-15, which is basically an M-16. It’s makes you think, you don’t have to be an amazing talent to hit the target with these machines in your hands. Scary thought really.
Yeah, not exactly something you see everyday, but that’s why we carry a camera with us everywhere we go, right? and i don’t mean an iPhone. I think we can do better than that. The Fuji x100 is the way to go. small, discreet, amazing quality, and pretty darn nicely designed too. But three muslim women wearing burqa’s going surfing! Come on, are you serious? How can you not shoot it, even if your not that welcome to. Some things just have to be done!
This is a story i shot a while ago, but always wanted to make a directors cut, if you will. For me, the fun part about shooting a story, is maintaining a sense of narrative throughout, so it feels like your going on a journey. To me that is the most powerful piece of story- telling, and reportage work is nothing if not that. There has to be a sense of experience, just like any good documentary film. And Ultimate Fighting is a great subject for that, whether your a fan or not, you have fighters on the fringe of making a name, and wearing their life and scars literally on their sleeves, for everyone to see. As a photographer, you cannot wish for any more than that.
Here’s a really nice shoot we did, in this weeks People magazine. A four page story about a family of race- horse trainers, who’s father was nearly killed by falling hay bails, and the family business had to taken over by his teenage son. The son went on to win his first race ever as a trainer, and is now a rising star in the horse racing business. On a personal note, i have to say the family were the nicest, most down to earth people you could find, and were very accommodating for our two day shoot, with a shooting schedule of early mornings and dusk. But the good news is…. i did learn how to rope a cow, cowboy style! Ok, so my cow was a wooden one, but still, it’s a start.
After watching the Saints miraculously win the Super Bowl this past weekend, I began to think about my first trip down to New Orleans, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I was initially covering evacuees in Houston for People magazine, but once that assignment was over, myself and staff writer Ken Lee decided to make the dicey drive through Louisiana (mainly because ken needed his car back, after it had been stranded at New Orleans airport for the best part of a week). So we stocked the car with four or five cans of gasoline, food and a couple of empty bottles as an emergency bathroom ( you can’t stop once your crossing the swamp). I was fortunate to hook up with a unit of the 82nd Airborne as they patrolled the city, including the Superdome. It was a remarkable sight. There were signs posted outside noting that ecoli was present, which made the experts at the time certain that the building would have to be demolished! I’m happy to say that prophecy did not come true. But the experience of walking this desolate empty space, with just the sound of dripping water, was eerily reminiscant of a scene from a Ridley Scott movie. I just stood there, thinking that this was the sight of so many past great Super Bowls, and every Saints home game, and just a few days ago, the scariest place on Earth. What a remarkable recovery for a team that a short time ago was homeless, just like it’s residents.