Attorney John P. Galligan will represent Major Nidal Malik Hasan for his murderous rampage that left 13 dead and injured 30 at Fort Hood in November:
A few weeks ago the Dallas Morning News called about photographing Colonel Galligan, the attorney famous for representing soldiers on trial. After a few attempts to schedule a day and time we met at his office in Belton on a dreary Tuesday afternoon. He was very friendly, welcoming and accomodating as I explained what I was trying to accomplish in photographing him. He kept repeating himself saying with his native Texan accent something along the lines of “wow, what is all this stuff? I thought you were just gonna walk in here and snap, snap and be on your way… You’re a real professional, I can tell, not like those other photographers.”
It was a compliment I genuinely appreciated as I worked very hard to set up multiple sets and positions to give my editors options. Going into the assignment I knew I wanted try and shoot him on seamless to make a well lit, tight clean headshot. I set up the paper renegade style, measure the light and went to work with Galligan. It was a lot of fun working in this way and caused for a positive interaction between he and I as we warmed up the shoot. I set up another lighting set up near a waterway and walking path to do some full length portraits. I wanted to show him for who he is, just being himself. But also given the context of the story I wanted to highlight his own characteristics; adjusting the tie, diverse facial expressions, optimistic personality.
In the end the story ran on Sunday’s A1 and jumped to the top diptych on A20. I was impressed that it ran as I envisioned. Read the story here.
Austin runner Jeff Lahr’s wife, Erin, died last year during the Whiterock Marathon in Dallas as she collapsed at mile 23:
A few days later, I had the privilege to meet Jeff Lahr and photograph him for the Dallas Morning News. He was an incredibly accomodating person as I photographed him Thursday evening after he got off work and before he went back to work for an emergency. He gave me time and patience to do multiple lighting and location set ups throughout his condo. We talked a lot about his wife’s unexpected death and I was impressed at his ability to be strong through such a tragedy. Photos of Erin hang throughout the condo and Jeff ran the race this past Saturday in a relay format with 20 plus friends and supporters. Its always impressive for a group of people, many strangers in this case, rally behind some one going through something challenging. The top photo ran as the lead on Saturday’s A1 cover. Read the story here.
Disabled rowers training for the 2012 Paralympics:
Back a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet a diverse group of disabled people, learning to row and trying out for the 2012 paralympic rowing team. It was impressive to say the least. I was again working with Austin American Statesman writer Pam LeBlanc for her column and looking forward to making some powerful photos. It took 2 days to cover this story because the first day it was 50 degrees and pouring rain.
We went out on a boat with one of the staff at the Austin Rowing Center and I would make a few pictures of the group on the water then quickly hide my camera in my gortex jacket to keep it from getting soaked. It was challenging and wish I had brought my camera’s raincover. As the athletes came in from morning practice I was able to interact and make some photos of them bringing in the boat or reattaching their prosthetics.
The second day I came back because I thought these people impressed me with their ability to overcome life changing experiences and channel their energy to a sport. I set up my lights on the row center’s dock and made portraits before they started practice. My goal was to show each person and their injury or disability. They were all great sports about participating in the photo project and I was excited to have the opportunity like this.
A friend described the way I photograph as “taking genuine interest people that I photograph, committing myself to them with undivided attention and an almost (childlike) wonderment.”
I found his analysis interesting and complimentary to me, my outlook on life and approach to photography. Similar to the commitment of the disabled athletes overcoming their own personal obstacles to pursue rowing. They a 2 page color spread on the cover of Monday’s Life/Arts section, but you can still see some of the photos and read Pam’s story here.