The sound of the marimba blares from my pocket. I answer my phone to a recognizable “JOOOOOED how are ya bro?” This means one of two things, Cappy is having a cookout or Cappy needs a favor, usually the later. We talk, I hang up and plug the address he gave me into my phone and head out the door. An hour later I’m at Ransomville Speedway. After some convincing (for some reason the publisher won’t let us have official county press credentials) I was able to persuade the gate that I was from the newspaper. I was given an orange vest and jumped into the pits of a modified stock car race event. I’ve never shot a car race so as usual, I played it by ear. Billy Decker is the driver for the Gypsum Racing Team. His team was gracious enough to let me snoop around their trailer. I’d rather be photographing real interactions around events than pose people and ask for smiles. We’re so used to smiling for every camera that presents itself. I like it when people forget I’m there and act as though i’m not. It’s more honest.
The best part of this job is that you rarely know what to expect. This October afternoon called for a trip to a farm. John greeted me with “Are those the shoes you’re gonna wear?”
Unprepared for the muddy trail that awaited us I looked at him and said “lets go.” As we walked I buttered him up with questions I don’t recall the answers to. I like talking because it helps ease people into the idea of me sticking my camera into their face.
We got to the Boar and Sows and he fed them pears as he explained how he didn’t use antibiotics on his pigs. After about a half hour I told him to walk ahead hoping I could find an genuine moment.
On my way out bought some bacon. We exchanged goodbyes and I got in my car. About a half mile down the road I looked down at my shoes. Disgusting.
"Why are you going to the Falls?" asked the newsroom. "Because I want to cover the fight" I replied. I’ve only been afforded the opportunity to cover two boxing assignments in my years with the papers. There is something about boxing that feels historic. Most of the time it’s two men that have never met beating each other until they can’t. The fighter on the ground spent most of the match either complaining or hugging the other. Not the best strategy. He lost. Art shot for the two papers only ran in one. This particular one didn’t make the cut.
Assignmentless on St. Patricks day my newsroom greeted me with a familiar “go find something”. I went where any of us would go when given a roamer on this sacred Irish holiday, I went to a bar. Alone and entranced by the patrons drinking; this unidentified woman didn’t notice me until the very moment i pressed the shutter. It was my favorite photo and I at least wanted to it have as a secondary. I asked if she would give me her name. She said “No.”, I said “Shit.”