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.
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.
I made the short drive over to Talladega this weekend to cover the races. You can’t always count on the racing to be entertaining, like this weekend, but people and sights always deliver. Here is a selection of my favorite images from Saturday and Sunday.
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.
A few months ago, I had one cool assignment, courtesy of Sports Illustrated. I got to hand out with the famous/infamous Don King for a fight he was promoting. The fight, between Eric Molina and Deontay Wilder, was held at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The story was part of SI’s annual “Where Are They Now?” issue. I’ve assisted SI photographers on stories for this issue in years past, so it was a real honor to be shooting this assignment.
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to document a day in the life of a man making a huge difference in his community. The assignment, for NPR, was on Omar Shekhey, an immigrant from Somali, who moved to Atlanta in the early 1980s to pursue an engineering degree at Georgia Tech. But Shekhey abandoned that dream and now devotes his entire life to helping Somali refugees in Clarkston, a suburb of Atlanta. Most of his day is spent at the Somali American Community Center, which he founded to help refugees with a variety of tasks, such as navigating governmental bureaucracies or how to find jobs. In the afternoon, he runs an after school program at a nearby church that helps Somali children with schoolwork and gives them a sense of community. He finishes the day driving a taxi, the same taxi he often uses to pick up children for the after school program. He hasn’t had a day off in years.
If you’ve never been to an NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) drag race, I definitely encourage you put on the list. Even if racing isn’t your fancy, the experience is unforgettable. First, the cars are the LOUDEST THING ON EARTH. Okay, maybe not, but pretty damn close. These 10,000 horsepower cars, shaking and rattling like they may fly apart at any minute (and sometimes do), shake your innards when they go by. I can’t even really explain the bone jarring power of these machines. Well, they go over 300 mph in a 1/4 mile, so that might help illustrate it.