I absolutely love it when a project I pitch to an editor ends up on the pages of a magazine. Such was the case with this project I recently pitched and shot for Atlanta Magazine. The idea was simple: show up at a local courthouse, photograph couples getting hitched and ask them a few questions. Myself, an assistant, and reporter Camille Pendley (also an Atlanta freelancer) did exactly that on Dec. 14 at the Dekalb County (Ga.) Courthouse. It was so much fun!!!
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.
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.
Back in August, I had the chance to photograph inside the CDC in Atlanta. The assignment, for Newsweek Europe, was to help illustrate a story about the efforts to completely eradicate polio. I was to take a portrait of Dr. Greg Armstrong (above), CDC incident manager, and photograph the Polio and Picornavirus Laboratory and the Emergency Operations Center. The whole thing was a bit stressful. It’s not everyday that I get to work in one of the most secure places on Earth, not to mention that I was only going to have a few minutes with Dr. Armstrong.
Back in July, I shot one of the coolest, weirdest, most fascinating stories I’ve worked on to date. It was for the French quarterly magazine We Demain, and it covered the DIY brain stimulation movement. This type of brain stimulation sends very small electric currents through the brain for extended amounts of time (15-25 minutes) and is believed to treat a whole host of ailments, including chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, and poor cognitive function. It also can improve memory, advocates say. Yes, this is a real thing.
I recently had the opportunity to photograph the Major League Lacrosse championship game, held at Kennesaw State University’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium, for Lacrosse Magazine. It’s not every day that I get to photograph the championship game of a major league sport, so I was super excited about this assignment. Lacrosse is obviously less covered by the media than other major league sports in this country, and that’s a good thing if you’re a photographer. Less coverage means less restrictions, less photographers on the sidelines, less stress, and well, better pictures. Here, Denver Outlaws defenseman Matt Bocklett and teammates celebrate with the Steinfeld Cup after defeating the Rochester Rattlers in dramatic fashion.
Some assignments change your perspective. Photographing former boxing champ Paul “The Punisher” Williams a few weeks ago was one of them. The assignment was to take a few portraits of Williams for Sports Illustrated’s annual “Where Are They Now?” issue, which published this week. Williams, who had an impressive 41-2 career as a boxer, was paralyzed following a 2012 motorcycle accident in Marietta, Ga. I photographed him at the Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center in Atlanta.