Tag: mourning

professional project: 512 mary street

This afternoon, Valeria took me to the place on 512 Mary St. where Deandra Buchanan shot and killed her daughter Angela almost to the day ten years ago. She had a little bouquet of flowers with her that she laid down on the sidewalk where Angela was found. The house where the shooting took place still stands, but has now a wooden exterior rather than a brick one. It doesn’t look like someone’s living there now, and trees and bushes grow all around it. It looks kind of creepy, and I’m wondering if I should go back when it’s dark to work out that aspect. I’m kind of torn apart about it, though, because I’m not sure if it might come across as sensationalistic or editorializing. I’d be glad to hear some other thoughts on this.

2 Comments October 26, 2010

honor guard for adam smith

The community of Macon, Mo., has recently lost one of their own when Navy Seal Adam Smith died along with two other soldiers in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Tuesday, September 21, 2010. This Friday, Adam Smith’s visitation was to be held at the First Baptist Church in Macon. The American Legion Riders provided an honor guard. The previous night, Wayne, a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Macon (the MPW hosts) who is also part of the American Legion Riders, came up to me and asked if we could send a photographer to document the occasion.

With things at the workshop going smoothly, I was able to free up some time and walk over to the church to photograph. Here are some of the shots I came back with.

1 Comment October 1, 2010

professional project: church

Yesterday I went to church with Valeria and her granddaughters. I had joined them before, but didn’t really like the pictures I came back with. With the way the church is set up, it’s hard to get a telling image. A low ceiling, a row of columns along the middle of the room, fluorescent light in the main room and tungsten in the altair room all make photographing in the building a virtual nightmare. This shoot went better than the first one, however, and I guess I’ll just have to come to terms with the fact that this is the most I can get out of this situation.

The congregation is quite small, with maybe 40 to 50 regular attendants.

Valeria makes it a point to highlight sections in her bible that the pastor talks about in his sermons.

Valeria talks to her pastor after service.

August 30, 2010

professional project: redecorating

Once a year when the Dreisha and Drejanay are out of town on vacation, Valeria redecorates their rooms. Tediously, she puts glow-in-the-dark stars, Michael Jackson posters, butterflies and – most important of all – a lot of pictures of her daugher Angela in place. She says it’s important to keep the girls’ memory of their mother alive. Paul helped Valeria with the redecoratoin this year, and they asked me over to take pictures.

One of the foster children (name withheld) carries an old picture of Valeria’s children Chris and Angela upstairs.

A picture of Angela sits on the bed as Valeria sifts through memorabilia of her granddaughters’ childhood.

I like this one and the next one a lot. They are two moments from a series of about 15 pictures that I want to include in the project as a time lapse.

My favorite shot of the day. It may be blurred and noisy, but I love the moment between Valeria and Paul. After dinner, they were all excited to go upstairs to see the glow-in-the-dark stars lit. Valeria laid down on Drejanay’s bed and became quiet when all of a sudden Paul sat down next to her and hugged her.

August 6, 2010

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