We recently did a long-form story about what it’s like to have a loved one in jail. We focused a lot on visitation, and the rules and regulations of the security there, and what it’s like to only be able to see someone for 15 minutes once a week.Access was pretty good for this story, considering most stories in jails are incredibly hard to photograph. But we did still have restrictions, like not being able to photograph the faces of the inmates, and I didn’t want to intrude too much on people’s visits since they see them so infrequently.
Sometimes I tell people I grew up on a farm. This is partly true.My uncle, a cattle farmer in Kansas, had a few extra head of cattle on his farm. My family had just moved to southeastern Missouri and was living on quite a bit of acreage — something new for us. My father is from Boston — he’s a big guy, played college football, still maintains a thick Boston accent and, of course, an affinity for clam chowder. As you can imagine, he’s not much of a farmer. But for some reason, my uncle thought it would be a good idea if we raised some of his British White beef cattle. It was quite the experiment. We lived on that property for about four years on 27 acres. Of course, living in a rural area, my younger sister and I were both involved in 4H. She was an excellent sport — raised a steer every year, usually with a Disney-themed name, and showed him at the Cedar County fair. But, despite being on a farm, my direction with the cattle was a little different — I liked to photograph them. I guess you can see where this is going now. Read the rest of this entry »
So, you’re a new photojournalism graduate in the real world of unemployment you’ve heard so much about. Welcome to the party — it’s a packed house. This party isn’t super fun, and you might be here longer than you had hoped, but live it up while you’re here.While you were schlepping your way through internships and driving back and forth across the country for opportunity after opportunity, maybe you thought to yourself, “Hey, settling down would be nice.” Or, “I’d really like to get my dad off my back.” Or, “I’d just like to adopt a cat and decorate a low-rent apartment and stay in one place for awhile. Maybe paint a wall.”
If you’ve thought any of these things, well, you might be me. I thought all of these things. Also, do we have the same dad? But thinking about getting a job and bridging the gap to actually making it happen, to actually going to a place where you’re happy is an enigmatic puzzle filled with mystery and compromise and a lot of “I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m going to go for it.”Read the rest of this entry »