Category Archives: Photojournalism

Pound for Pounds

01/26/2014 -- BOSTON, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, works through a clean and jerk during his workout at InnerCity Weightlifting as his trainer Joe Sierra observes on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — BOSTON, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, works through a clean and jerk during his workout at InnerCity Weightlifting as his trainer Joe Sierra observes on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

The Area Four restaurant has a special place in my heart.

Not only do they make what I think is the best pizza in town, but it also happens to be the spot where my girlfriend, Samantha, and I were first introduced to each other. You can imagine how excited I was when I got the call from the Wall Street Journal back in January to photograph another “What’s Your Workout” piece on the chef and owner Michael Leviton.

My assignment was to photograph the chef at InnerCity Weightlifting, where he works out on weekends with his trainer Joe. InnerCity is an organization that gets urban youth off the streets and into the gym, and Mike has been involved with the team there since hearing founder Jon Feinman speak at a forum in 2012. They’ve got a great story themselves, as well.

01/26/2014 -- BOSTON, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, does a weighted pull up during his workout at InnerCity Weightlifting on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor his current trainer Joe Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 -- BOSTON, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, works out at InnerCity Weightlifting with his trainer Joe Sierra on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity.  (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — BOSTON, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, works out at InnerCity Weightlifting with his trainer Joe Sierra on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

After Mike’s CrossFit-style circuit, we moved on to my favorite part of any workout — the post-lift meal at Area Four in Cambridge. The pizza here is easily my favorite in the area, so spending some time with the chef and his team in the kitchen and getting to know him, his wife, Karyn, and their kids was a treat. They loved the story about me and Sam, too!

01/26/2014 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton prepares a pizza with his children Sam Leviton, 4, and Isadora Goldman-Leviton, 11, at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton prepares a pizza with his children Sam Leviton, 4, and Isadora Goldman-Leviton, 11, at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton prepares a pizza at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck.  (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton prepares a pizza at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Isadora Goldman-Leviton, 11, serves herself a slice of the pizza she prepared with her father, Chef Michael Leviton at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Isadora Goldman-Leviton, 11, serves herself a slice of the pizza she prepared with her father, Chef Michael Leviton at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton poses for a portrait at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton poses for a portrait at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

Be sure to check out the article while it’s still in front of the paywall.

Many thanks to my assigning editor Kate Lord, who has since jumped into the freelance ranks. Look her up!

One Year Later

4/15/13 ? BOSTON ? First responders rush to the scene where two bombs exploded along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street on April 15, 2013. (Kelvin Ma)

It’s April 15.

It’s pouring rain outside, but still warm — spring is definitely here. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’ve thought about what today would be like every day for the past year.

I’ve written about my experience from the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings already, so I’ll try to keep this post brief. My thoughts have been a bit of a jumble for the past few weeks as the 1-year anniversary has approached, so forgive this stream-of-consciousness approach, if you can.

As much as I’ve tried to move on, the crush of media coverage has been overwhelming, unavoidable and unbearable at times. It’s a strange feeling, being a member of the news media and all. I’ve received a bunch of interview requests from other outlets regarding my coverage from the Marathon, but I’ve found myself ignoring them and wishing that they’d just give me an assignment instead. I think it’s part of trying to move forward. Let me continue telling the story instead of dwelling on the past. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

Just this past Sunday, I walked to the completed finish line for the first time since last year to shoot a video piece on the One Run for Boston as it turned on to Boylston Street. I had to take pause walking toward that bridge, remembering what it was like the year before, and me running into the smoke and up those stairs. Carlos Arredondo, the man in the cowboy hat, was on the other side, waiting with some of the survivors. I took the opportunity to reintroduce myself, tell him I shot the other photo of him saving Jeff Bauman’s life that day. I got teary eyed when I told him what it meant to me that he saved Jeff’s life. He gave me a hug, and I went back to work.

The next day, I read a piece by Jeff about the photo my friend and colleague Charlie Krupa took of him from the lower angle.

A few weeks ago, I met the photographer, Charlie Krupa, for the first time. He works for the Associated Press, and he came to my house to photograph my fiancée and I for an article.

The first thing he said to me was, “I’m sorry.”

 

That surprised me. I didn’t think he’d feel any guilt or regret, because he hadn’t done anything wrong.

 

I told Charlie not to worry. He was doing his job that day, and he was doing it well. People still write me to say how much the photo meant to them. I told Charlie that I understand now, like I didn’t then, that he was helping us that day, in the best way he knew how. He was documenting what happened. He was showing the world the truth – that bombs tear flesh and smash bones – and making the tragedy real.

 

via the Guardian

Though he wasn’t referring to my photograph specifically, I appreciated what he wrote. It’s a conclusion I had to come to in order to cope with that guilt that I felt — and believe me there have been some rough patches — but it meant so much more coming from him. So, in the slim chance that Jeff Bauman is reading this, I just want to thank you for your understanding and forgiveness.

It’s been a process, for sure, and the best I can do is just continue looking forward. Thankfully, in the past year, I’ve had a supportive group of friends and family every step of the way. I’ve discovered a wonderful community of awesome athletes who have taught me that anything is possible in the November Project.

Like we say at NP, I’m going to go ahead and drop a #verbal for the 2015 Boston Marathon and borrow some words from my friend and Herald colleague Tom Layman, who was a welcome face to see on Boston Common the day of the bombing as the National Guard rolled in:

… Here we are are, one year since that day. WE are bigger, WE are better and WE are stronger than ever before.

 

Can’t wait to get in the field for the 2015 race.

My First Final Four

03/21/2014- Stevens Point, Wisc. -  Emma Roberson, A16, and the rest of the Tufts women's basketball game walk through the curtain into the Quandt Fieldhouse to face FDU-Florham in their NCAA Division III Women's Final Four game on Mar. 21, 2014. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

I spent quite a bit of time on the road in Wisconsin last week, thanks to a historic run to the NCAA Division III Final Four by the Tufts women’s basketball team. Having covered this team for the past few years, and seeing them knocking on the door for quite some time now, it was an honor to get the chance to tag along with them as they made it further in the tournament than any other team in school history.

03/19/2014- Stevens Point, Wisc. - The women's basketball team crams in to a photo booth during the team social event for the NCAA Division III Women's Final Four on Mar. 19, 2014. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

03/19/2014- Stevens Point, Wisc. – The women's basketball team crams in to a photo booth during the team social event for the NCAA Division III Women's Final Four on Mar. 19, 2014. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

I approached the coverage like a road diary for the team, chronicling everything that they did behind the scenes in addition to the game action. Unfortunately, the team’s first ever trip to the Final Four didn’t go their way as they lost to eventual-national champions FDU-Florham in the first game, but it clearly didn’t seem to phase these remarkable women as the seniors ended their careers by having a blast in the consolation game.

03/22/2014- Stevens Point, Wisc. - Tufts guard Liz Moynihan, A14, jokes around with teammates with the NCAA fourth-place trophy after their 72-54 loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater in the NCAA Division III Women's Final Four consolation game at Quandt Fieldhouse on Mar. 22, 2014. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

03/22/2014- Stevens Point, Wisc. – Tufts guard Liz Moynihan, A14, jokes around with teammates with the NCAA fourth-place trophy after their 72-54 loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater in the NCAA Division III Women's Final Four consolation game at Quandt Fieldhouse on Mar. 22, 2014. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

It was an exhausting trip, with 5-straight 16 or longer-hour days, but hopefully I’ll be able to get enough rest to do it again next season!

To get a complete chronicle of everything that went down in Stevens Point, check out the Tufts women’s basketball page over at Tufts Athletics, or take a look at a slightly condensed gallery of my time in Wisconsin below.


2014 Tufts Women’s Basketball Final Four – Images by Kelvin Ma

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