It’s a tough time to be a photojournalist, for sure. Business is down for most of us, layoffs across the board, difficulty fishing for clients — it’s hard to make a living doing this.
But every time I get frustrated or a little down, I think of this outtake from a recent assignment. This kid here, Angel Maldonado, age 2, found me along the parade route of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Roxbury:
7.26.2009 — BOSTON — Angel Maldonado, 2, expresses his curiosity about what a newspaper photographer is doing at the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Roxbury on July 26, 2009.
At most parades, you’d expect lots of noise and screaming kids. Not so at this one. It was so hot humid that most of the kids just seemed miserable… that is, until I walked by. Angel here found me and started asking me what I was doing, wanted to play around with my camera, looked through my viewfinder — should have seen his face when he did that! He was genuinely more interested in what I was doing than the parade.
And that is how cool this job is!
So the AAJA Convention is in Boston this weekend. Part of the festivities included the 10th Annual Dith Pran Photo Shootout, hosted by AAJA Photo.
Here was one of my five entries, based on the theme “Freedom Trail.”
8.13.2009 — BOSTON — College student Sam Hines, 21, gives out 'Free Hugs' at the corner outside the Park Street T station for the simple reason that, 'It makes people happy!' on Aug. 13, 2009. It was Hines' first day at the spot at the head of the Freedom Trail this summer, though she said she spent a number of days out there last summer.
My idea was to photograph the marginal people along the Trail, basically all the people who ask for your money. As a local, I’ve always just known the Freedom Trail as one big money grab for tourists. I still haven’t ever walked the whole thing in its entirety.
Anyway, believe it or not, I actually won the shootout with this photo — the one photo that didn’t have a person asking for money! Thanks, Sam.
Good karma all the way around.