20 January, 2009

something to believe in

I watched the inauguration with 1st and 2nd graders at the Sunnyside Environmental School here in Portland with my son's class.  As a journalist, I so wanted to be in the middle of the mall, on the steps of the capitol, where the story was.  But, today, I did have a strong feeling that I was in the middle of the story.  In a darkened, public school auditorium, 6 and 7 year olds watched the speech by the president who would shape their vision of all presidents.  They will, most likely, always believe that anyone of any color can be our president.  Nice place to watch the inauguration.

16 January, 2009

ask questions later

While working on a personal project on a neighborhood farm, this girl and some friends showed up from down the street.  I loved her band-aid.   I knew there was a story behind the band-aid.  Funny.  I just starting shooting photos of her without introducing myself or telling her what I was doing.  Sometimes the moment is lost if you get to know someone first.  I guess it might seem rude, but somehow I am able to disarm...practice I guess.

She was so open and so raw...I wanted to capture just that. 

 Oh yeah, the story of the band-aid.   Well, apparently she had gotten in a fight with a boy at school...he sliced her face and then she sat on him.   He ended up crying.  End of story.  She was a tough girl... at a Waldorf school.  Funny.  Great meeting...camera in hand.

06 January, 2009

DO 1 Thing!

Homeless youth...you see them around, often they look pretty rough...you don't approach them...they live in their own world and you, yours.    Do1Thing invited me to approach those kids and help tell their stories for a wonderful collaborative project.   DO1Thing is a nationwide effort between photographers and journalists that raises awareness of homeless teenagers and encourages individuals to do one thing to assist them on Valentine's Day 2009.    To see more of my work on this project go HERE .

03 January, 2009

Martin's hands, Mexico.

I made this image of the hard-working hands of a tile maker in a small, isolated building in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Martin was making all of these beautiful tiles to be shipped to high end stores in the US.  He had very little English and I very little Spanish...but Martin had a great smile and welcomed me in to take photos and learn his process.  Martin represented, to me, the story I tell my son about Santa.
The story of Christmas at our house is, of course, about the magic of Santa but also about  how we celebrate Santa and the Elves as representatives of all of the workers of the world who make the things we use everyday...how they/we are all special and an important part of the cycle .   

It will be the Elves I will celebrate this year.

The number of magazines published and websites dedicated to the dramas of the famous (or what Obama had for breakfast) is growing...and we keep buying and watching.    Meanwhile stories told by photojournalists on sites such as Kobreguide and MediaStorm  don't get nearly the attention they deserve.  The "little people" are struggling and I want to tell their story. 

In a recent NY Times Magazine article about George Carlin...I found some words to my thoughts.  
"I am tired of being told who to admire in this country," he said... "Aren't you sick of being told who your heroes oughta be?   Bein' told who you oughta be lookin' up to ?  I'll choose my own heroes, thank you very much."

Martin, alone, in a small tile factory in Mexico, my first hero of 2009.

01 January, 2009

2009 (or was that 2008?)

life.   vacation.   knocked down.   get back up.   school.   the state of affairs.   10 bucks to see a bad movie.                  in country.   out of country.    hatred.    religion.    smart.   silly.    what matters.   monkeys in cages on street corners.   oh man, now there is a lion too!   old friends.  ok friends.    recycle?   greedy.   change.   mind your own business.  caring hearing.   finger tips.  pettiness.   self-involved.    you are not that special.   oh my god, you are so special!  rain.  savory.   i am going to squeeze the juice out of you.   mortgage.   peso.   magic light.  evil technology.
look up dammit!    bling.   back pain.   UNO attack.   la familia.   snotty kids.  self-promotion.   he's ONLY six!
dust.  undercover(s).   idolize.   they don't care about u.   politics.  choice.   smoking while pregnant.   C.    lost.  tiny.  lucky.   when is it going to get better?   ego.   ego.  ego.