Thursday, June 20, 2013

"We are all Trayvon Martin": Scenes from Sanford, Fla. during George Zimmerman's jury selection | Florida Photojournalist

Last week the New York Times sent me to Sanford to make a couple of portraits to accompany an article about their new police chief, Cecil Smith: Police Chief in Florida Tries to Ease Old Tensions. I hadn't been down there since last Spring, when there were huge protests calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman. 

Back then, I saw a lot of t-shirts and signs that said, "We are all Trayvon". For people in Sanford, that's not just a slogan. His story struck a cord with a lot of people on a very personal level. The woman in the second picture told me her teenage son stays with his dad sometimes, who lives in the same condo complex where Trayvon Martin was killed. She said it could have just as easily been her son walking home from the gas station. The man wearing the red shirt told me he has a 16-year-old nephew named Trayvon. When he first heard the story on the news, he thought it was his nephew who had been killed.

These pictures (except for the 2nd- and 3rd-to-last) were taken in Goldsboro, a historic black neighborhood in Sanford. I tried to capture the mood of the place, where I didn't pass a single television set tuned to anything other than jury selection for Zimmerman's trial. Sanford is a weird little town. The closest words I can think of to describe the mood are hot, impatient, and cautiously optimistic. Hopefully I do a better job with pictures: 


Monday, June 17, 2013

Making Progress: 48-Hour Film Project | Jacksonville, Florida

Last weekend, the 48-Hour Film Project came to Jacksonville. I collaborated with Not Not The One on a dark comedy called Progress. They let me get as creative as I wanted, and I even used my new 8mm fisheye lens a couple of times. It was such a pleasure to film for fun and leave the writing, editing, rendering and agony to someone else.

Anyway, I snagged this production still of my buddy Brad, who wrote much of the script and played the main character. It's shot through a fan, the prop we were required to use. I've only seen about 30 seconds of the final edit, and I can't wait to see the whole thing at our screening on Thursday night at the Florida Theatre. You should come, too!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Taksim Square bubble cannon (2010)

In a weird way, the images of water cannons dispersing crowds in Taksim Square yesterday reminded me of these pictures that didn't make the cut for my Tales of Tourism piece at Foundry. An enterprising gentleman was trying to sell bubble guns to passersby on Istiklal Caddesi, a main shopping street that ends in Taksim Square.

Seeing all of the powerful images come out of Istanbul's Taksim Square brought back memories of the summer I spent in Istanbul 3 years ago. I lived there for a month and I still couldn't quite wrap my head around it. It's such a complicated city in such a complicated country. There's so much beauty and life in that confusion, though.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Disabilities and Education in Cayo District, Belize

I stole a couple hours away from work one day to make these images to include with a grant application I wrote requesting two new wheelchairs from a hospital in the US. Meet Jaelen and Jaren, 15-year-old twins who go to St. Ignatius High School, in the Cayo District of Belize, where I worked for a few weeks earlier this month. Their mother, Guadalupe, spends her days in school with her sons, taking notes for Jaren, whose lack of motor control in his hands makes it impossible to write. She's a single mother, and her time in the school makes it impossible for her to work. The boys are sharp, ambitious students, who earned strong marks on their report cards first semester. Jaelen hopes to pursue a career in PC repair; Jaren aspires to run his own business. Cayo District is far from disability-accessible and local resources are few and far-between, but the boys are working hard to make a future for themselves. Their current wheelchairs are broken and insufficient, and the family cannot afford new ones. Tell every millionaire you know.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Finding Home and Learning to Speak in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala

At the end of last year, I spent five weeks learning Spanish in a university town in Guatemala. It was full of beautiful people, colors and textures. My brain was full of vocabulary words and verb conjugations.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Goofballs on Halloween

I fear this blog has suffered in recent months from a lack of silly pictures of my beautiful friends. Here to remedy that are Noah and JaMario goofing off in their Halloween costumes. Happy Autumn!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Election Season in Florida: Portrait of a Proud Poll Worker

I can't wait to meet more poll workers next month. Until then, enjoy this NYTimes slideshow I shot in Tallahassee during an August primary election: In Florida, a Look at the Challenges of Mailed Ballots. Over the course of a day, Ion Sancho demonstrated a passion for elections and a love of the franchise that I never knew was possible. Every voter in Leon County should be proud to know how much he cares about their vote. And everyone should vote in November, no matter who your supervisor of elections is!