I decided to make a trip to Democratic Party Headquarters in Inglewood, South Central Los Angeles, a notoriously tough, yet deeply- rooted African American neighborhood, where i knew the Obama fervour would be high on the eve of such a historic day; the possible election of the first black US President. What a day it promised to be.
At the barbershop across the street, a popular local hangout, while still open for business everyone kept one eye on the TV with the other on the buzzcut, until the word finally came and the drinks began to flow.
But when the official results came through, and it finally seemed safe to allow oneself to truly believe what you’d previously dared not to, the emotions back at Democratic HQ were truly palpable. It was indeed a day in history. I’d like to thank everyone at Inglewood Democratic Party HQ for letting me witness it with them.
Sobering. That’s the first word that comes to mind, having just watched the documentary that takes you behind The New York Times. Maybe its because i love newspapers, always have. I love the pace, i love the passion, but most of all i love the topicality of it all. Whatever your working on, its the very thing people are talking about….. and i was there, to capture the very essence of it all. I’ve been working in newspapers and magazines for over twenty years now, and i look back to the frantic days at The Independent on Sunday and The Guardian with great pride. So i relate very strongly with the story of Page One, and if you love newspapers, you will too. Having said that, the argument of where things go from here, is a truly fascinating debate. To roughly quote one scene “its not whether newspapers should exist, its can they.” Truly a changing time. But i tell you, there’s no better way to for an ambitious twenty year old to start a career than racing across London, picture editor screaming in your ear, while you describe what you think is ‘the picture’ (remember this is well before digital and auto focus), editing barely dry negatives, and slapping five or six still wet 11×14 exhibition quality black and white prints onto the newsroom wall, while the picture editor, sports editor and editor in chief discuss which image not just tells the story, but does so with a visual poetry. Then seeing all that work come together on page one next day! More about Page One here, or watch it on netflix instantly.
Showjumping World Championships, photographed for The Independent on Sunday, 1991.
here’s a fun, honest post on how to make it, from over on Chase jarvis’ blog:
“1. Declare yourself a photographer. That’s what you ARE in life. You’re not a student, not a finance-guy-slash-part-time-photographer, not a part time anything. You’re a photographer.
2. Be in business. Make it real. Get a business bank account. Otherwise it’s just a hobby.
3. Read every book you can find at the library or online about the business of photography. Understand the rules. Because if you fail at the business part, if you can’t SUSTAIN this business, you’re not a pro. You’re unemployed, or back to part-time this or that. Action is the only thing that matters.
4. Take photographs everyday and share them, pimp them, promote them like mad. Find YOUR voice through shooting. Aim to be different, not better than everybody else. Be brutal in your edit. Put forward only your best work around the the things you actually want to get paid to shoot. Action wins.
via Chase Jarvis blog
…. and it’s probably not done like this!
“It takes time to find your voice as a photographer so persevere to find what it is that drives you to do this work. Never force the work, but strive to be your best self and the beauty that is within you will be revealed.”