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!
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.
It was no surprise to find out that Clayton State women’s basketball head coach Dennis Cox has taken a job on to bigger things. No one in Clayton State athletics history has taken a program so far, so it was only natural that someone with his talent would end up at a larger university (it was announced yesterday that he has accepted the head coaching position for the women’s basketball program at San Francisco State University).
A few weeks ago, USA TODAY asked me to take some portraits of Miller Grove (Ga.) High School boys basketball head coach Sharman White. He was in the running for the 2014 ALL USA Boys Basketball Head Coach of the Year, which he was named yesterday. And it’s not hard to see why he would be candidate for this title: He has led the Miller Grove Wolverines to six straight AAAAA state titles. Six straight. White, who is also the athletics director, started at the school when it opened in 2005. He has been winning championships since the 2008-09 season.