Yesterday, I was assigned to photograph a llamas visit at a senior citizens home. I had pretty high expectations for myself, to produce a decent photograph. Yet, I ended up feeling disappointed in my take from this assignment. When I walked into the room, the first thing I saw was twenty or so seniors in wheel chairs or beds watching two llamas. I had a hard time moving in the room because of the positions of the wheel chairs and beds and I did want to block the view of the llamas from any of the seniors.
As my old photojournalism teacher John H. White would say, I made a blunt; a photograph that was just good enough to prove that I made it to my assignment. Often times, I have to remind myself when I out on community assignments why shooting features on kids, animals, or seniors is important.
As photojournalist in communities were most of us don't know our neighbors names we are the glue that helps keep the community together. We serve to help keep people connected to each other. I guess that why I'm so hard on myself. Every picture that I make, I want people to be able to relate to the my subjects on a very personal level.
I hope that an image can stop someone for just an instant, to imagine what the life of another person in their community is like. For me, the ability of the photograph to evoke understanding is one of the most beautiful things bout this craft.