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Seeing Red

What ended up being an epic weekend of work started with the Massachusetts GOP Convention Saturday at the DCU Center in Worcester. Politics, behind sports, is one of my favorite subjects to cover as a photojournalist. Sure, most of the access is mainly for canned press events and planned photo ops, but every now and then, you can sneak a candid, honest look at the people behind the race.

This particular event was a bit lighter in the second department — it was a convention after all — but it was a lot of fun, if not demanding work-wise, nonetheless.

The big story at this event was the race for the governor’s race nomination between Charlie Baker and underdog Christy Mihos. Here’s some images from the event:

4.17.2010 — WORCESTER, Mass. — GOP gubernataorial candidate Charlie Baker laughs at a joke he told during his address to the Mass. GOP convention on April 17, 2010.

4.17.2010 — WORCESTER, Mass. — Mass. GOP gubernatorial hopeful Christy Mihos turns to look over his shoulder at his rival, Charlie Baker, during an interview at the Mass. GOP Convention at the DCU Center on April 17, 2010.

4.17.2010 — WORCESTER, Mass. — GOP gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos addresses the audience at the Mass. GOP convention on April 17, 2010.

4.17.2010 — WORCESTER, Mass. — Supporters of GOP gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos and campaign volunteers Yvonne and Clifford Blake, of Clinton, show their support for their candidate at the Mass. GOP convention at the DCU Center on April 17, 2010.

4.17.2010 — WORCESTER, Mass. — Independent gubernatorial candidate and state treasurer Tim Cahill makes an appearance outside the DCU Center, hoping to appeal to disaffected Republican voters, at the Mass. GOP Convention on April 17, 2010.

4.17.2010 — WORCESTER, Mass. — Jack de Jong, 12, of Weston, shows his support for GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker at the Mass. GOP convention on April 17, 2010.

4.17.2010 — WORCESTER, Mass. — GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker celebrates his win for the nomination from the Mass. GOP convention on April 17, 2010.

4.17.2010 — WORCESTER, Mass. — GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker celebrates his win for the nomination from the Mass. GOP convention on April 17, 2010.

The Freedom Trail

So here’s the complete take on what I submitted for the 2009 AAJA Convention Dith Pran Photo Shootout, which featured the theme “The Freedom Trail.” Growing up in Boston, I never experienced the Freedom Trail from the point of view as a tourist. I always just saw it as something that tourists would flock to in the summer, and so that’s kind of the approach I took in shooting it for the contest — to shoot it from the outside in, looking at the marginal people around the Trail.

So here we go:

8/13/2009 — BOSTON — Timmy Gammon, 20, left, Gabby, 20, and Steve, 20, play music in Boston Common along the Freedom Trail for money on Aug. 13, 2009.

8/13/2009 — BOSTON — Timmy Gammon, 20, left, Gabby, 20, and Steve, 20, play music in Boston Common along the Freedom Trail for money on Aug. 13, 2009.

8/13/2009 — BOSTON — Steve Chaplisk, who is homeless, feeds dozens of birds outside the State House at the head of the Freedom Trail while commuters head home from their jobs on Aug. 13, 2009.

8/13/2009 — BOSTON — Steve Chaplisk, who is homeless, feeds dozens of birds outside the State House at the head of the Freedom Trail while commuters head home from their jobs on Aug. 13, 2009.

8/13/2009 — BOSTON — Street vendor, Juan, gets some reading time next to his stand along the Freedom Trail on Washington Street on Aug. 13, 2009. With cloudy skies, business was slow, he said.

8/13/2009 — BOSTON — Street vendor, Juan, gets some reading time next to his stand along the Freedom Trail on Washington Street on Aug. 13, 2009. With cloudy skies, business was slow, he said.

8/13/2009 — BOSTON — A homeless woman watches tourists pass by along the Freedom Trail on Congress Street near Faneuil Hall on Aug. 13, 2009.

8/13/2009 — BOSTON — A homeless woman watches tourists pass by along the Freedom Trail on Congress Street near Faneuil Hall on Aug. 13, 2009.

And of course, the award winner:

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.

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.

Pick-Me-Up

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.

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!

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