Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's snowing! Everybody panic!

Snow tends to create quite a stir in a newsroom, which always amuses me, because most newspapers cover every snowstorm the exact same way. "Snow is coming, somebody get photos of salt trucks, asap! Are people lining up to buy shovels? Get to the hardware store, pronto muchacho!" Once said snow catastrophe hits, it's time to hit the streets for the bread and butter shots: woman shoveling, man running snow-blower, kid sledding, oh the craziness of it all! This is all a roundabout way of saying that covering snow becomes very, very repetitious, so I'm always happy when I can get something I like that's a little more graphic, something outside those standard cookie-cutter snow pictures straight from the newspaper how-to handbook. This photo from today wasn't anything spectacular, but after covering three of four snowstorms already this Winter, I was happy to get something just a little bit different.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mayor Eddie

Tagging along with a group doing a count of Bucks County's homeless population today, I met Eddie, the mayor of Bristol Township's homeless. It's a title he's given himself after living on the streets for the last 19 years.

Asked how he got there, Eddie blamed drugs. "I used to be a great bass player. I had my own band," Eddie told me. "I played the same model bass as Paul McCartney, but I sold it for a $12 bag of heroin. I finally cut that stuff out though. Sooner or later you have to grow up." While these words were still hanging in the air, Eddie gulped down the last of his bottle of Twisted Tea and walked back into the Ballpark strip club. It was 11 a.m. on a Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Simple Things

It will never cease to amaze me the feeling of contentment and happiness that comes with a cold beer around a nice fire.

Friday, January 07, 2011


New Year's Day in South Philadelphia is a weird and wonderful sight.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I spent a bitterly cold morning in Camden this week tagging along with police K9 units searching for a 57-year-old woman who has been missing for nearly three weeks. She was taken from her home by an ex-boyfriend early on a Sunday morning and beaten with a pipe. He was found and arrested the next day wearing bloody clothing. She has not been seen since.

This wasn't the first time I've gone with police on a missing person search, but it's the first time the tragedy of how a person can simply disappear has really hit me. I've been out with these same police officers a few times over the last couple weeks, and it has been interesting to see their mood deteriorate each time.

With a suspect in custody who refuses to say anything, the police are left to blindly search parks, roadsides, lakes, rivers, anywhere they suspect someone might dump a body. It's an overwhelming task, and after three weeks, they've come up with nothing, and likely never will.

Five years ago I covered friends and family searching for Danielle Imbo when she disappeared, along with Richard Pitrone, after leaving a club on South Street. In five years, nobody has ever found a trace of either one of them, or his truck. All simply vanished. I can't imagine the pain of losing somebody that way, and it makes me appreciate the work that a lot of these police officers are putting in, some on their own time, to finding a complete stranger, and a needle in a haystack, one they know is likely already gone.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Closing the Doors

With steadily declining attendance, the Bristol Presbyterian Church was forced to close this year after being a fixture in the community for more than 150 years.

Oh to be a Kid Again

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hoping Again

I just got a $100 ticket in the mail from a red light camera at 5 a.m. on my way to photograph Obama. I'm considering petitioning for a presidential pardon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Echo Park

Echo Park. Apparently it's the 12th novel in the Harry Bosch detective series, and now it's the last book read by a man killed in a car accident in Bristol tonight. I've photographed plenty of accidents like that over the last five years, and while it's never easy, the camera helps detach you from what you're seeing, at least in the moment.

But seeing that book lying in a parking lot, 20 yards away from where it's owner was lying under a white sheet, both of them thrown from an SUV that was broadsided by a utility van, instantly stripped away any emotional detachment I've grown accustomed to. I spend a ton of time in my car, and I don't go anywhere without a book sitting next to me in the front seat. I'm not going to get into any sort of deep introspection on a photo blog, but I will simply say that looking at that copy of Echo Park tossed across a debris-strewn parking lot is an image that will stay with me for a long time.

Film Noir

Interviewing witnesses, accident scene, January 25, 2010.


Radcliffe Street, Bristol Borough, January 25, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Final Resting Place

After a protracted legal battle over zoning issues and historic preservation concerns, Washington Crossing National Cemetery officially opened on January 20, 2010. Seven veterans are now interred on a plot of land that will eventually accommodate up to 200,000.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Calm before the Storm

Swimming is one of those sports I have a hard time being creative with. There's only so many different ways to shoot someone going up and down lane four over and over, so I try to keep myself entertained by looking for features away from the action.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

D.C. in the Dark

I've been to D.C. plenty of times before and never get tired of it. But walking around the National Mall at night, especially during Winter, has a completely different feel to it(yeah I know it's still technically Fall, but when it's 30 degrees, I'm saying Winter). Everything looks much more dramatic, and it feels like you have the place to yourself. It was cold and wet and I loved every second of it.

Different Views of the Same Thing

One of the biggest things I've learned taking pictures for a living is that there are countless ways of seeing the same thing. It's what I like to stress more than anything when I get to speak to photo students: when you get to an assignment, don't get tunnel vision. Take a step back, walk around, walk behind, climb up, lay down, you'll be amazed how the view changes. I can't count how many times I've gotten back to my car on an assignment, turned around and said "Oh $h!t, I didn't see it that way before!"
I was reminded of that idea the other day when I finally made it to the Newseum(worth a trip to Washington all by itself if you ask me). The front of the building faces the National Gallery of Art, which I snapped a picture of from the top floor of the Newseum at the start of the tour(above picture). As I walked through the exhibits, my eye kept getting drawn drawn back to the Gallery. I would up taking a slew of pictures and included a couple of my favs.

My position in relation to the National Gallery never really changed much, but just from moving around inside the Newseum and noticing different foregrounds, I was able to capture some different looks. I'm not sure that's interesting to anybody other than me, but I thought it was pretty cool so I figured I'd share.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

It's Raining Tabs, Hallelujah!

1,632 pounds of aluminum can tabs collected over two years by a boy with leukemia to raise money for the Ronald McDonald house. Pretty incredible what some people choose to do when faced with adversity.

Think I'll Go for a Walk Outside Now

Upper Moreland, PA

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A Dying Sport

I ran into this guy one day while out looking for feature art, and he said he hunts Rail. I had no idea what he was talking about, so he let me tag along a couple days later. It turned into a fun little story, though I wish I'd been able to spend more than just a few hours with him. It's crazy the stories you can find all around you. This wasn't more than a few minutes outside Philadelphia!

Friday, November 13, 2009

I miss these days...

I preferred jumping in them, but it still looks like fun.


Lesson learned on this assignment, when you have a picture you like but a cluttered highway for a background, wait for a big red box truck to drive by to clean it up.

Friday, November 06, 2009

They'll be back

From eating Cosmi's hoagies outside Citizens Bank Park this summer to being there to photograph the team clinch the NL Pennant, and finally watching the final outs of 2009 surrounded by anguished friends at the South Philly Bar & Grill, it's been an incredible season. Thanks Phillies. The best is yet to come.