Photography is seeing. The art of photography is to see with a little more elegance, depth, and clarity than the average person. And as a photojournalist, it is my job to communicate what I see truthfully.
At its most basic level, photojournalism tells a story. The photographs make readers stop, take notice and, if they are intrigued by what they see, actually read the text. From there, the best way to transcend to a higher level is to connect emotionally. I try to show more than what something looks like. I try to show what it feels like to be there, to know that person and to experience what they are experiencing. And because today's readers are more sophisticated I try to surprise them with a view they haven't seen or expected.
I have spent all of my life using my eyes—thirty-five years with a camera pressed up to them, and the last twenty-seven of those as a photojournalist. Hopefully, I've spent that time with my brain engaged as well because that's where the art comes from. It doesn't come from the latest technological advances in photographic equipment. It comes from our thought processes.
The evolution of my thought processes came by way of growing up in an East Coast family with three other professional photographers, a college degree in anthropology and art, and working for a series of four different newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky. I have recently made the switch from full-time staffer to freelancer in New Mexico.
I also taught photojournalism at the University of Kentucky and have been a mentor for the National Press Photographers Association for several years. It is my hope that some of what I have learned and experienced can be shared here in this blog. But I am not so arrogant as to assume that I have nothing left to learn. I welcome comments and suggestions from others.