Although I didn’t shoot many portraits last year, here are a handful that I like.
My favorite portraits are the ones that don’t look like portraits…more reportage when possible. In the case of Air Force Technical Sergeant Jennifer Smith, who filed an internal complaint against the Air Force alleging that the service turned a blind eye to sexual attacks and harassment, she wanted to look straight into the camera. ”I don’t want to be viewed as a victim,” she said. Photographed for the New York Times. ↓
In the South, death is still segregated in many places. Charles Menendez, who embalmed his first body when he was a junior in high school, works as a freelance embalmer for black-owned funeral homes. Photographed for the New York Times. ↓
I had a great time photographing Beth Haile, a devout Catholic and a professor of moral theology at Carroll College, a private diocesan Catholic college in Helena, MT., with her daughter, Teresa (named after Mother Teresa). Photographed for the New York Times as part of their voter profiles for the 2012 Presidential Election. ↓
In December, the days are short and the nights are long in Montana, which can screw up your sleeping patterns, but the upside is that your world often meets the nocturnal world. Apparently, moose are not truly nocturnal, just early risers. For about a week in the pre-dawn, two bull moose were drawn to the shrubs that surrounded our Montana digs. Moose are huge animals with big appetites, doing their very best to destroy most of the plant life just outside our windows. It was fun to wake up every morning, and go from window to window looking for our ugly, hungry friends. At times, we got within a few feet, separated by a frosty window. The picture above was shot from our porch, as this big guy got first tracks, illuminated by our porch light. Enjoy.
I have always preferred the album. Great albums are like great picture essays, great novels, great movies… Here are my favs of 2012.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse. “Psychedelic Pill” If you like the sound Neil Young makes with his guitar, you’ll love this album. Maybe the poet isn’t quite what he used to be, but at age 65, he’s still got it when “Old Black” is in his hands. The guy is an American treasure, even if he was born in Canada. My favorite song is the 27-minute “Driftin’ Back”.
I’d never heard of the word “agritainment” until the New York Times asked me to do a video to accompany a story (by reporter Kim Severson) about a farmer who operates, along with his two sons, a corn maze in Milton, TN. Come to find out, agritainment is the fastest growing area within agriculture, and has helped many farmers make a living, and keep their farms.
Worth noting is that I avoided using music for this video, and instead took advantage of ambient sounds, including the cutest voice you’ll ever hear (in the first 30 seconds). (Corn maze aerial courtesy of Shelby Hunton.)
It was an evening of history.
In the first-ever Major League Baseball wildcard one-game playoff, the Braves lost to the St. Louis Cardinals and Chipper Jones (who played 19 years and wore the uniform of only one team) tipped his helmet to the home crowd one last time. On assignment for MLB Photos, and with a nod to the history of the evening, toned nostalgically.