A couple of weeks ago, I had a first in my photography career: covering professional video gaming. I photographed the finals of the first week of ELeague, a partnership between WME | IMG and Turner Broadcasting. It was absolutely electric in there! Fans, many of whom waited hours for a seat in the studio, cheered and hissed at the humongous LED screen as the two teams battled each other in the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In the photo above, Epitacio de Melo, whose gamer name is TACO and plays with Luminosity, is shown on the screen as the crowd cheers.
A pro-white rally of a few dozen folks waving Confederate flags inside a gated parking lot today drew hundreds of anti-protesters who clashed with police most of the day. The rally, called “Rock Stone Mountain,” was held by a group of white supremacists who secured permits from Stone Mountain Park. Many of the anti-protesters were part of a “All Out ATL,” whose goal was to shut down the rally. Though the park didn’t shut down completely, all attractions and events at the park were closed for the day.
Back in January, I traveled to Mobile, Ala., for Sports Illustrated to cover the circus that is the Senior Bowl. For most folks involved, it’s not about the game on Saturday, it’s about the week leading up. Players meet with NFL agents, coaches, financial planners, sales people of all sorts, including suit tailors peddling their services. It’s also where scouts and coaches find out as much as they can about players, including using written personality and temperament tests. It can be a dizzying few days for these players. To start if all off, players are measured, weighed, and sized up on stage in front of a few hundred folks, all while wearing only underwear while scouts and coaches fill out spreadsheets. Above, players head to the stage for the weigh-in.
Donald Trump made a stop in Atlanta on Sunday, the day after winning the primary in South Carolina. This was my third assignment covering Trump on the campaign trail. His rallies are never disappointing: the people, Mr. Trump’s antics, the atmosphere, it all mixes together for the brightly colored and dizzying show that is American politics. Here are a few of my favorite frames from the rally, which was held at the Georgia World Congress Center this past Sunday.
Last year was unbelievable. It was my fourth year as a full-time independent photographer, and definitely my most exciting and rewarding. I worked for clients that I used to dream of shooting for, and I got to cover some of the biggest stories of the year and meet some incredible people along the way. I am forever grateful to the folks who hire and trust me to tell stories with my camera, whether it be The New York Times covering the Charleston shootings or the Atlanta Falcons to show a behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a professional football player. I also got featured (twice!) by Instagram and blogged by them, helping me gain over 90k followers! It has been a great year for sure, but I definitely have a long way to go.
I have been wanting to photograph Donald Trump rally for a while now. So when I found out that he was coming to Macon, about an hour and a half south of Atlanta, I pitched it to The New York Times. They said they wanted coverage, and I was one happy photographer. Sure, I wanted to photograph Trump himself … but like many things, the real story lies on the periphery. And that’s what I really wanted — the people, the colors, the personalities that come to life for an event like this.
I traveled down to Moultrie and Thomasville, Ga., a few weeks back to help illustrate an investigative story for BuzzFeed News about the H-2 guest worker program. My assignment was to photograph a few people who had agricultural jobs and were fired for cheaper, immigrant labor. Agriculture is a huge economic engine for this part of the state, and BuzzFeed claims that the government and businesses here, and elsewhere around the country, have purposefully sought immigrants over Americans in order to save money.
Hillary stopped in Atlanta last Friday, for the launch of the African Americans for Hillary at Clark Atlanta University. I have covered other political events, but this was my first time photographing the former First Lady. Political events are always insanely interesting to me … I get to see the candidate and their political machine up close. From Secret Service to how the crowds are managed, it’s all part of the show.
A 93-year-old woman fought the City of Atlanta and won. Mattie Jackson, pictured above in her home, refused to sell her house to the City after it deemed that the block she lived on in the Peoplestown neighborhood of Atlanta was unsafe. City officials contend that part of the neighborhood, which sits in a low-lying area near Turner Field, is susceptible to flooding of sewage.
I traveled to New Orleans a couple weeks ago to cover the 2015 Tau Kappa Epsilon 2015 Conclave. In a nutshell, it’s the fraternity’s biannual national convention, where “Tekes,” as their called, handle business matters, fraternize, do community service, and yes, party. It was a glimpse behind the curtain of what fraternities are all about and how they operate, something I knew very little about.