Saturday, June 16, 2007

Early Mourning Assignment

The reaction I've come to expect when I tell people I'm a newspaper photographer is a mix of interest and envy, "that must be a fun job, taking pictures all day." But many don't realize that along with all the exciting sports moments and wacky feature portraits there are morose events that require documentation as well; a murder trial or in this case a funeral.

On assignment to cover the funeral of Essex Junction Marine Christopher DeGiovine (story) I've never felt so uncomfortable with a camera in my hands, a tool that I consider an extension of my body. But my personal feelings take a backseat when I'm shooting, I tried my best to remain respectful at the ceremony by keeping my distance and limiting my picture-taking to avoid the supersonic clicking of my shutter.

I had the benefit of the the DeGiovine's permission to take photos throughout the day, but was denied access by St. Michael's College to enter their chapel prior to the funeral. This issue of access opens up an entire can of worms related to journalistic ethics. The DeGiovine funeral fits the bill for a media event, Vermonters have the right know the sacrifices made to maintain the war in Iraq and a Marine's death can impact an entire town.

How do you feel about how media covers the death of American soldiers? What types of photographs should represent the war?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back to my Roots

A good image can always draw a photographer back to the surroundings and circumstances under which the picture was taken. While photography is a strong visula medium, playing off of the other four senses can be a fun challenge.

For this shot of The Roots MC Tariq Trotter I found myself squirming between stage barricades and members of St. Michael's hockey team, hand-picked to work security at the college's spring concert in 2005. Being inches from the stage made for some unobstructed views and the high-powered hip-hop fed into the energy of the show, a feast for the eyes and ears.

I opted to go flashless for the majority of the show and use the stage lighting to help set the mood. The bright beams of white and pink are loud and have a strong presence when contrasted with the black ceiling.

The alternate shot was a mellower moment with more subtle highlights. Trotter was wearing the first of three coats which he would disrobe as the show went on. Perhaps a roadie had given him the proper scouting report on Vermont weather in February.