I am so honored to have a photograph (above) in the gallery, “YEAR ONE: A Visual Reflection of the First Year of the Trump Presidency,” which opened on Jan. 31 and runs through Feb. 9. It is a collaboration between Redux Pictures and SVA BFA Photography, and features the work of Redux Pictures, VII, Noor and The New York Times photographers. You can check it out at SVA’s 2nd Floor Gallery at 214 East 21st Street.
Today, on the eve of celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I worked as part of a team of New York Times journalists covering services at African-American churches around the country. We talked to churchgoers and pastors, and photographed services to get a sense of how the black community is reacting to President Trump’s recent comments about Haiti, El Salvador, and certain African nations.
This year, my sixth as a full-time independent photographer, was another full one. I am so eternally grateful the work that comes my way … the things I am privileged to witness, the people who allow me into their lives and trust me to tell their stories. In 2017, that work included photographing a former U.S. President, the last Falcons game at the Georgia Dome, lots and lots of politics, telling the stories of residents on Atlanta’s historic Westside, a wedding that ended with a Waffle House kiss, running around in the woods with a militia, and an amazing Iron Bowl. These are my favorite images from the past year. Thank you for taking the time to look, and here’s to a stellar 2018!
The city of Glencoe, Ala., has been in a struggle — a spiritual one — many of its residents believe. The constant decline of Christianity from public life, they say, has been deteriorating this country’s morals and values. The latest example of this, according to Glencoe residents, is the fact that the city was all but forced to take down the Christian flag that had been flying at City Hal since the 1990s. The mayor, Charlie Gilchrist (above), reluctantly agreed to do so after receiving a complaint from a Wisconsin-based non-profit, Freedom From Religion Foundation. “It is unconstitutional for a government entity to fly a flag with a patently religious symbol and meaning on its grounds . . .” the complaint letter stated.
Though many people are familiar with Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the National Anthem, many may not know about Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a rising star in the NBA who did the same thing 20 years earlier. Abdul-Rauf (whose name was Chris Jackson before converting to Islam), missed his prime playing years in the NBA (after being drafted third pick in the 1990 draft). After refusing to stand, citing the flag as a symbol of oppression and racism, he was suspended by the NBA. A compromise was reached, but he quickly faded into the stats book after his playing time dropped and he was let go after one more season. He was 29, and his professional career moved overseas.
On Tuesday, I covered the special election to fill Georgia’s 6th congressional district for The New York Times. It was the most expensive House race in history, with political newcomer Jon Ossoff (who raised more than $21 million) challenging veteran Republican candidate Karen Handel. It was an extremely tight race, with Handel coming out on top in the end. Anyways, here are few of my favorite frames from all the excitement. Above, Will McCall, an Ossoff supporter, reacts as results from the race come in during a watch party.
A couple of weeks ago, I covered the semifinals and championship of ELeague Season One, held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, for ESPN. It was the culmination of a 10-week competition that started with 24 teams, all playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. These are all professional teams, complete with sponsorships, coaches, etc. It’s serious business with lots of money on the line. The winners, Virtus.Pro, took home $400k after defeating FNATIC. Above, Robin Ronnquist (flusha), who plays for FNATIC, warms up for the semifinal round against NA’VI.
My first assignment for the lovely Atlanta Magazine was for their photo column, “One Square Mile,” which publishes on the last page of every issue. I headed to the Georgia/Alabama state line with freelance writer Josh Green to the renowned Robinson & Sons convenience store in Tallapoosa, Ga. Well, it’s renowned if you live in Alabama and like to play the lotto. You see, lotto is not available in Alabama, and Robinson & Sons is on the first exit after crossing into the Peach State.
It sounded like something from the 1960: About 180 minorities were purged from the voter rolls just before a major election where a white candidate won by a narrow margin (African-Americans make up about 85% of the population). But it wasn’t, it’s a situation that many in Sparta, Ga., have dealt with recently. The Times sent me there to take portraits of some of the main players in the story, and to document a bit of what life is like there.