A (Short) Tale of Two Photos

Since 1972 when I first picked up, with intention, a camera, I’ve made tens of thousands of images and many hundreds of hours of video footage — much of it I would call documentary. This is a short tale of two of those images — one made in high school in 1975 for the yearbook and one made as part of filming a humanitarian crisis in Mexico near the U.S. border as part of documentary film project.

State Champs Small

This image of celebration in sports is one that I still think of often. It remains in my news/sports portfolio to this day. This moment was the first time as a photographer when I knew I had the “story” the very moment I tripped the shutter. I was paying for my film from various odd jobs (e.g. cutting grass), so I was frugal. I took only six photos of this game.

Img 20200118 155816

This image is the prequel to a catastrophe for this family. They are migrants in the camp in Matamoros, Mexico. The mother has just written names and phone numbers of the arm of her oldest son — maybe seven years old. She’s about to send both of them over the bridge to the U.S. where she hopes they will find a better life. She may never see them again. I was capturing digital images while my crew filmed. I hit the shutter button on my phone like a motor drive. I’ve felt the I-have-it rush many times. But sometimes it’s not so much a rush as it is a knife in the heart.

I’m working on an idea. This post is the first tiny step on a journey. I’m thinking I need to deal with more than 50 years of work. Maybe try to make it make some sense. More soon…

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