Wednesday, September 26, 2012

D.C. Day 2: White House, Teach for America, Reuters

This day began near the White House at the EEOB with Jenn Poggi who explained some of the differences between AP and working directly for the White House as a photographer. Ultimately the greatest difference is that photographers working for the White House have a responsibility to record the actions of this presidency and to create archival work representing it.

Jenn Poggi talks with some of the students outside the EEOB as we prepare to leave. 

Following EEOB, we made our way to Teach for America to meet Megan Rossman, formerly at the Washington Post as well as an RIT alumni.

Finally Reuters- the last place we visited, who made a point from the beginning to explain that they are as objective as possible. In stories and cutlines they do not use the label "terrorist" unless using a direct quote. The reason being that a terrorist to one side is a freedom fighter to the other which personally made me far more interested.

Mary Calvert: It was great to hear a women who's been in the business a long time speak about her work. She showed us work covering a wide geographic area but her work on a Nigerian decision to ban a polio vaccine was most intriguing. Calvert was very realistic about the trials involved in her work.

     I just do what I do so I can make my picture and not be bothered.

Louie Palu: An intense, hard-working journalist with an interesting body of work and firm dedication to it. 
William Snyder troubleshoots with Louie Palu before Palu spoke with us and showed his work. 

     "There's no silver bullet. It's hard work.

     It took me twenty years to be where I wanted to be. 

     It's my biggest regret: that I wasted any time bitching and complaining instead of working.

     People remember people who are professional all the time.

     Always be positive and just work hard. It's all about obstacles. I've got about four-hundred obstacles going on all the time."

Amanda Lucidon: Emphasized risk taking. Largely self-taught. Her work called "Legal Stranger" about lesbian and gay couples is solid. She, like myself, has realized her inclination in photography is towards  tackling stereotypes. 

     "I just take these steps and I don't know why I go that directions but I have to go that direction.

     The risk is so great but once you accomplish it…it's like, 'oh my gosh, I can actually do this.'

     The way I learned is by failing."

Lucian Perkins: He showed us some of his older work on Washington, D.C.'s early punk rock scene he's turning into a book and a piece of work I'm really excited to see completed on an older man named Doc who lives like he's in the 1920's. The heart of the story is his relationship with his wife Shoo-Shoo who has asberger's syndrome and autism but feels released in her relationship with her husband and while performing on stage.

*All of the photographers we've met so far have said, "If there's anything you can think of doing instead of this profession do it." Hearing they're always scraping for money is almost a relief because in a weird way it's like, "Okay, unlike my parents and people I've served coffee to in Pittsford, N.Y. they're also generally glad to have the opportunity to tell peoples' stories. Not that I'm anywhere near their level but just knowing there are professionals still working hard because they're passionate evokes a feeling of camaraderie. 

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