Documentary Storytelling and Photojournalism
She is a pulitzer prize winner just amazing amazing body of work and I have been waiting for a long time for you to be here I'm great alive so I'll let you take it away great thanks kenna hello everyone I'm really excited to the hair and so great to meet all these people at creative live this audience is wonderful everyone so enthusiastic I love it so I want to encourage you feel free with questions at any point I'm showing a lot of images and I mean a lot of these air kind of complex things how do you build a story? How do you find a story? How do you get access? How do you turn a no into a yes and they're things that apply to all aspects of photography whether you are a photojournalist, whether you're a wedding photographer really anything that you're doing it's the same principle so feel free to bring on any questions you have because there's a lot to cover and I'll probably forget to say something um so a little bit about me and how I came to photojournalism I grew up in massachuse...
tts my father was a fighter pilot who went on to m I t where he met my mother who was a librarian as I grew up I was really into music and my friends and I we used to drive up to boston to go to concerts so one time bruce springsteen was playing and I didn't have a ticket and I really wanted to be there so I went up to boston it was the boston garden you know, big place high security and I felt confident that I could get in even though it was sold up so I walked around the boston garden found a door in the back and I walked in and there was a crowd of people in there trying to get into the concert and there were security guards and I just kind of like survey the situation and I kind of like was just observing and I I noticed this one guy came walking in he was nicely dressed and he walked right through the crowd and went up to the security guards and said I'm here to see mr bose so I waited about a respectable ten minutes and and I went up and I said, yeah, I'm here to see mr bose and they said, oh great come right with may they brought me into an elevator up the elevator we went and all of a sudden the elevator doors open and I see springsteen playing in the distance in this huge venue and I just looked at the security guard and I just ran so um you know, so it was great, you know, saw springsteen, but you know, I've really never stopped walking through closed doors I do it a little differently now and I'll talk about that another time bette midler was playing for two nights in boston and she was playing at a smaller club type place and I wanted to see a friend and I we drove up to boston and we you know, we would they were thinking, how are we going to get in here? You know, it's sold out and I noticed that the waitresses were all walking in there in the afternoon. You know, it was early in the day and they're wearing black pants and a white blouse. So the next day I came back wearing a black pants and white blasts middle of the afternoon and I walked in there, I just walked into the door and I looked around, I went to the very front and I hid under a table and free crazy, huh? And I waited probably about five hours until that came on. Now she did come out and do a sound check, and I was under the table with my camera. I was crazy. So when they started letting people in, I just slipped out from under the table and sat in a chair in the front, so it really wasn't until later that I realized that my a lot of my photojournalism skills came from my fighter pilot father, you know, dear devil, fearless and my mother, you know, kind of the intuitive analytical library in and I think those two things are a lot of who I am as a photographer, so I want to talk a little bit about photojournalism and you know what I value in photojournalism I'm being curious and being fearless I mean, you don't have to be fearless, but I think you have to be confident, um and curious, I think, is just so important, I think you want to be interested in people in life um being compassionate, I mean, I think you have to feel something to be able tio show it to document it I'm earning and building trust is so important in my work, you know, it really is the backbone of my work being honest and being credible, you know, we just have to be responsible and we have to be trustworthy and, you know, we build trust with our subjects through through, you know, just being honest and being riel um, incredible credibility, you know, it's so important, like readers, you know, people that are looking at our images, they have to know that they're really, you know, this is the way it was when I saw it, you know, informing and engaging the viewers just so important to just communicate and to get our stories out there and also bringing understanding to issues you know, there are these incredible issues and incredible stories and my approach is I really want to know humanized the subject, find the person and and tell their story and it's about not directing you know, I just letting really life unfold to me real life is pretty basic and documentaries story telling our documentary photography you know, we all I mean you might talk to other retirees, they'll have a death different slightly different definition but this is like, you know, for me you know, the core values of photojournalism and documentary is really the same thing, but I think of a more in depth projects when you're doing a personal project or you're doing something where you really spend some time with your subject and really get to know the people you just invest time, invest quality time and finding a story how do you find a story? I mean it's hard and I think a lot is about following your heart following your gut going after what you're passionate about what do you do with your free time? That might be your story and I'll go find a story within that I think it's so important to have personal projects you know and you really have to love it to sustain it so as a photojournalist you really taught to be an observer and not alter the reality of the situation so at first, as a photo journalist, I think I took this too far because I really thought that I'm not even supposed to talk to people that I photograph, you know, it's, just like I do know one alter the situation. So I really wasn't even approaching my work as a human. I was just, you know, I really wasn't making this personal connection because I thought I wasn't supposed to. As a photojournalist later on in documentary projects, I started to learn the value of really connecting with my subjects. So, um, you know, I would not. I went to the academy of art in san francisco and, you know, and at first I wanted to be an artist. I thought it was going to paint. But, you know, um, I felt like I wanted to be closer to the action. I would be in a studio with a canvas and, you know, so I took a photo journalism class and I was hooked. You know, I just I love people. I love to be kind of on the pulse of what's happening. I've loved telling stories, and so, um s o shortly after school I got hired at the san francisco chronicle as a staff photographer I mean, what an incredible situation that is you're going out every day what a great way to learn to shoot you know, there was a little bit of learning on the job, you know, it's like, you know, every day I would have these assignments and, you know, two or three a day and you have to go there, you have to figure it out on the fly, you have to understand the story and you have to go there, you have to make a connection of some sort and just understand it and then come up with a beautiful or compelling photo that tells the story so it really, you know, was great training so over the years, you know, of daily shooting of assignments, you know, I've kind of come up with these little galleries, you know, like the's air, my kind of through the window shots, but but there's more to it than that and that is I love toe layer my photographs, you know, I think it's just an important compositional element, you know, just layers of information I want every corner of the picture to say something I don't want anything in there that doesn't belong there, I'm not going to move something, but I'll move the camera angle you know and or change the lens but you know it's but these air the layers that I really tried to do in all of my photography so the windshields the first layer et cetera and this is another windshield picture and this is rain drop shot with the macro lens on my um window during a rainstorm in san francisco. Okay, now shown some old pictures to get going here but you know there's you end up with these crazy animal pictures, right? So this is like some cat circus and a jet skiing squirrel he really was jets can syria syria it was when and this is gibson the world's tallest dog and that wasn't the simon I shot life magazine when they were publishing a few years back in in the sunday papers and so the world's tallest dog and then this was the time that this dog was actually voted the world's ugliest dog perfect it's not his fault and street photography. So, you know, a lot of times my editors would just say, you know, go find us we'll get some space in the paper tomorrow go find something you know and it was just great, you know, I just go cruising around and looking for something you know, you find something like this and a lot of times you find the background and you wait for the form around to come together so I would just stand back with a long lens and just wait for something you know, my other layer to come in another layer right famous twins in san francisco and people doing weird things you know, I'm this guy got brand dead and this is backstage at an elvis impersonation contest so about finding the story and changing my my focus a little bit, you know, I think this story was one time when I know that I started connecting with people or start getting over that fear of connecting with people feeling that I'm really not supposed to and a writer and I we were driving to nevada for a story and we pass this sign and it says girls, girls, girls so it's a brothel and prostitution is legal in nevada and so we were just curious, you know, again curiosity leading to a story but we we pull up out front, you jump out of the car, I've got my cameras and out walks the madam and she looks us up and down and she said to kevin, she goes well, you can command hair but not her unless she wants to go to work, so I kind of had my work cut out for may I had tio convince her to let me em, so I just started talking with her and with complete honesty I said I have never been in a brothel I am really curious what it looks like inside you know and then she starts so stop in a little bit it's a little by little she says well, I suppose you could come to the front door, you know and then you know going oh, this is amazing and I like stepping a little further and then next day all right talk to the girls first if they're good with it, you can photograph here so um you know, so I met some of the women there and I spoke with them and I asked them, you know, I told him I was doing again just honest up front I'm working with the chronicle and these could be published in the crack are you comfortable being photographed so but I do have an interest in photographing subcultures I'm interested in, you know, people creating their own communities but, you know, looking for details to you know, when you're telling a story a little detail so you're looking for things that fei something about the story but also visual pacing too you've got the wide shot, then you want to goto a tight shot but is a detail that tells you something and then I went on tio mustang ranch and did a little bit of shooting there, but you know, really didn't get much time there I have a quick question so these images how long were you there? Did you just have that one day there with them or was this the beginning of a longer story took a question you know, I got I got a little bit of time I got a little bit of a slice of life into this world but I did not get it depth that I really wanted to know what I mean to really show who are these people? What is their life? You know what I mean? That really does it really does and this story so we were on our way to another story and we spend some time that we had time so we spent a few hours but then on the way back we stopped again and I had some time there and then I think the next weekend I came back and spent a day or some day like a knight and are you mentally building this story in your head as you go? Are you just capturing what you see and then figuring it out later? Yeah, I think what I do is I work in a really documentary style where I really don't go in with a lot of preconceived notions because I think that real life is just so much more interesting than I can think of like if I think about ok what's a brothel before I go there you know, but then really life just presents surprises and that's what? I love the unpredictable and surprising pictures so I really approach it and document a project like discovery I want to discover and I want to understand what this story is rather than putting you know me into it you know, it's just so I approach it that way in an anyone on it did this other story on sex trafficking you know, related to the sex trade but I mean, it was a difficult story to do because, you know, we found out that these girls had been, you know, taken from like asia and brought to america pretty much tricked and, you know, um they weren't able to escape, you know? And so it was a tough, tough situation and so this one girl in san francisco agreed to tell us her story about what happened about her journey from asia to america and how she became a sex slave and was trapped and couldn't get out. So what happened was we had to tell a story that already happened and sometimes you have to do that and that is heart, so what we did is the writer and I we went and we kind of retraced her journey so we went to asia and just tried tio coming visually give a sense of just to understand the story understand where she came from and um how this could happen and how it is happening but I really wasn't able to connect with anyone in this story so I didn't I was able to bring the depth to it that I really would like to have and that's the last picture of that story so so I'm working along at the chronicle and I start to get interested in photographing sports the challenge of capturing those moments it's a pretty competitive situation up there, you know, all the photographers out there they're all trying to get the best picture and the best story telling picture and so I loved that challenge, but I also had to figure it out you know? I really didn't understand I mean, I knew baseball because I come from new england, you know, red sox fan and but I really didn't understand football so you know, I just had to kind of learn it as I went along, but I love the challenge of trying to learn it. So one of the first games I went to I went they had sent four of us photographers from the chronicle and we all shoot the game and at the end of the game the editor it starts looking through our film and he said, so did anyone get the blocked punt now I said no, no, I didn't get that I didn't even know what a blocked punt wass but then, you know, he's going through the filmmakers hadiya nice you nail the blocked punt telling a miracle you know, it's just following the action really, but by photographing sports I really learned about anticipation and I learned about being in the right place at the right time however, I wasn't always in the right place at the right time, so on the sidelines of these football games, I mean these players are huge and so you know you're lined up there with all the other photographers you're kneeling, you've got the long lands with the mono pot and I see well, I think it was a game where I was trying really hard to get this picture, you know, the ball going into the receiver's hands and so probably waited a little bit too long, you know? The quarterback throws it to john taylor and then he's running full speed right at me and and I really did wait too long and some, you know, down there and I'm just starting to get up and I'm saying I'm going to die here because he's coming full speed but instead as you can see, I didn't but he just like, put his arms undermine, lifted me up and kept running hey didn't miss a beat and then the announcer says, whoa, john taylor just picked up a lady photographer, but I did become interested in more than just the sports action I was interested in who are these people who are these players like who today as people and I wanted to explore that but it is so hard to get access to athletes you know and they always have so many handlers and people around them so many people you have to go through normally like the situation is that a lot of times editors or writers kind of paved the way for you in terms of setting up assignments but um you know, I was trying to do something different I was trying to go deep and get to the athletes that would not give access to anybody. So the first one and the first kind of behind the scenes sports piece I did was on dusty baker and he was the manager of the san francisco giants at the time and I was heading down to spring training and so I spoke with a pr guy at the giants and I said, you know I'd really be understood and doing a behind the scenes story with dusty baker you know can you ask him if that would be okay? He asked him and just he said yes I said great told my editors they go great fantastic ghost and the time you need do this story how ever I get down there and he had changed his mind um you know which happens a lot you know, just one thing or another hey had from, you know, personal things going on and, you know, I understood that it was really tough because I was in a tough position, you know, my editors air saying, well, he agreed we sent you there, you know, where the pictures. So I had to just little by little build this connection with dusty and tell him why I wanted to do this understand his reasons for not wanting to do it and to see if we could come to some kind of agreement. So I knew that, like, what I was trying to do with this story is just show little slices of life of who dusty baker is. Um, I knew that he showed up in the morning on his motorcycle it's indian motorcycle tonight that would be a cool picture getting dusty on his motives like, you know, just something you don't see. It shows a little bit of light on who he is, the people that you just normally see him on the field, so so I just showed seven o'clock in the morning I was standing there when he arrived, I knew he drank green tea, I gone to starbucks, I had my my lata and his green tea, and I was just standing there when he showed up so high, just a how you doing? Cup of green tea for you so he stopped and then I get like a minute to talk with them I wasn't photographing behind the scenes because he hadn't agreed to it yet but you're just little by little he's that thanks for the tea you know space then a little later that day I had another conversation with him and we connected on photography it turns out he's a big fan of jim marshall the rock n roll photographer and so we started talking about photography little by little I earned his trust and he agreed that I could have some behind the scenes time with him so I was able to go home on dh photograph him with this family and you know, it's just a little slice of life but it with something and it's about it's about persevering and but it's always a fine line you know you want a push but not too hard so this picture I don't really recommend this but I shot this out my window while I was driving yeah, because he says yes sure come on over to my house, my family's there we're cooking up something for dinner and so I was like following him to his hasn't done it that this would be a cool picture the sun's going down so I kind of sped up a little bit to get next to him and I shot out the window yeah, and other editors have seen this and they go cheese which have like a flatbed truck and you know, like all these assistance in life now not really dan when you're working in a foreign country maybe where you don't speak the language how do you go about finding a fixture who's going to help you get that no turned into a yes who's going to really be able to facilitate you, especially in its house situation where maybe you might not get access but you need one really champion for you yeah, you know, um I think I can talk about this on an upcoming story I wasn't in a foreign country, but I was dealing with a subject that didn't speak english and so it's the same thing right had to build trust without speaking the same language and that's really hard to dio but you know, you go through an interpreter and hopefully you can trust that interpreter but it's so much about body language and just about connecting, you know, I think they can look in your face and just see if you're really and honest, you know, but we'll talk about that a little bit more in in the story that I have coming up so the next one, the next behind the scenes story with an athlete I did was it was very bonds so you know, I undertook a difficult subject because he did not like to be photographed, had a distrust of photographers and the media you really kind of built a wall up around him and it was really hard to get close it's a very difficult subject, but he knows one of the greatest all around baseball players and he was breaking records and setting milestones and I thought we really don't know who he is. All we know is what we see on the field so I, you know, and there's no one that could get me access but, you know, I did try going through the normal routes I went tio thie pr people at the giants and they said no, no, no access with buns then I had talked to his agent, so I went to his age and no not gonna happen, so I did it on my own and it's a similar thing. So I went down to spring training in arizona. You know, the giants are starting off their season and the david barry bonds arrives, you know, big deal day and they your editors are waiting for the pictures on yeah, barry arrives at camp, so I see him come walking out onto the field and most of the players, when they come out to the field, they start running around the field my thoughts kind of weird barrett just came out on the field he's just sitting down, and so I'm standing back. I've got a long lands on a mano pod and I swing the lens to go photograph him, and he looked at me and glared at me, and I thought, this's, not good. So somehow I get up this courage and I walked across the field to where he waas and its photographers don't walk across the field. Media doesn't walk across the field, especially when barry's on the other end of that, but I went up to him and I said, barry, do you have a problem with me photographing you? And if so, are there some boundaries that I should know about? No, I hadn't really thought this out because he could very easily have said, yes, I have a real problem with you photographing me, you know, stay away, do not photograph me, and that would have been a problem because my editors awaiting for pictures, however, he paused for a minute, and then he said, no, I don't have a problem. Um, what's your name and who were you shooting for? I said, I'm shooting for the chronicle, my name's dan, he says, okay, I'll call you d, so I mean it's an odd way to get access by confronting someone I mean I wasn't even thinking of getting access I was just thinking up I need I need to do my job how am I going to do this all season with someone glaring at me I can't you know and I wanted to know what he was thinking so from that point on he would just stop and talk with me you know, just small talk and then next thing I know he's interested in photography and he says he says hey do you know let me look through your camera and then um you know, next thing I knew he'd like you know call me and say can tell me how that aperture thing works again so little by little I was kind of building a relationship making a bit of a personal connection with him you and nobody had seen pictures of barry off the field and you know so I really wanted to do that just to shed a little bit of light so as the season starts going on, you know, one day I asked him you know I said, hey, barry, you're about to reach this milestone you're about to approach six hundred home runs could I photograph you behind the scenes? A cz you're approaching this record you know the viewers people want to know who you are and so I just kind of like spoke honest delay and he's said ok he's surprisingly agreed so I was able to get a little bit of behind the scenes access now, this's the giantslocker room. And I knew it was like legendary. Barry has this whole wing of lockers. He has a leather reek, kleiner whereas the other players have ah, you know, folding chair in front of their locker. You know, he has a big screen tv and I knew about this, but photographers can't go in the locker room. But if barry says, ok, you can so I was able to get this photo and trying to build a story with little moments that just say something about who he is. Visually, I went to his home, you know, so I just figured out that he had built up this wall around him and by confronting him, I had broken down that wall. So I noticed on the schedule that the team was going on a road trip, and I thought it was possible he could reach this milestone while he was on the road. So I asked him if I went, could I have access to his life on the road? And he agreed my editors could not believe that barry bonds said this so it's like, ok, pack your bags off you go, so I went off tio it was two cities, it was philadelphia and then pittsburgh so I get to the first city and you know, I go up to bury, you know, before the first game and I say ok, what do you do on the road? You know, do you go out with your teammates, do you? So I almost like kind of interview my subjects a little bit to understand and then I can figure out where do I have to be? You know, at different times to really tell the story so he said, you know, do you hang out with your teammates to go out to dinner? Do you just hang out in your hotel room? What is it that you do? And he says all listen there's a problem you can't photograph me on the road he said, I'm under tight security here and so then the next day same thing the next day, the same thing then we go up to the next city where and you know, this is the last three games of the road trip we're in pittsburgh and he's just saying again, no, you can't photograph me here I'm going to tight security and I said, well, wait a minute, if you're in a tight security, why did you let me photograph that so I can show what your life is like and he goes, no, no can't photograph this, so you know on he goes and you know he's you know, getting closer and closer to the record and he's not giving me access so so one day I was in pittsburgh and I was just so frustrated I think it was like, you know, my head like, you know, one or two days left my editors were like, so about those pictures, you know? So I was just really frustrated and I ran into dusty baker you know who I had done the previous story with? He was the manager of the team, and he said, hey, do you know how just story going with barry? And I said, dusty, I am so frustrated I said, I've gotten nothing, I said he has shut me out, I'm not getting anything I said, I'm really, really frustrated and so then he says, come here and he said, listen on, I'll tell you something, I think barry is going to go to this bar tonight, really? He said, yeah, so it's like something I would probably can't get into the bar with my camera. If he's really there, he might freak out if he sees me, I don't know, but I just took a camera and I stuck it in my bag in my purse and somewhat walking into this bar and their iwas across the room so I'm walking up to him and I said I got to do this fast before I lose courage straight up to him and they said hey barry you said you were going to call me if you were doing something and then he says, oh, I'm sorry d I forgot and I said I got to shoot a picture fast reach them pulled up my camera shot a couple of friends and and you know what this one picture made the road trip worthwhile cozy now pictures that you don't see of barry bonds in a bar but again if it talks also about relationship building and about how everybody around you is important and you just never know and I think it's important to just treat people with respect and just be a human with people you know just ask people how they're doing and you know dusty I showed him respect I you know you did the story on him and and he trusted me and he wanted to help me out so back in the bay area he's you know, getting closer and closer to the milestone and and he's going to the gym so I go to the gym I photograph and that is a local joan and then he says, hey d I want you to meet my workout partners so these kind of things I look for the unpredictable moments could I have imagined this before him no but it's a pretty dull bull moment that humanizes him so patience and perseverance you know he reaches the milestone and this is his father bobby bonds kissing him and I think here showing his range of emotion and you know, it humanizes him again and as it turned out, this was barry bonds last appearance as a giant and as a major league baseball player but you know this this really speaks to what I was talking about, you know, about treating everybody with respect. You notice I'm in a different position here than all the other photographers and it's because I connected with the security guard, you know, I was out there a lot and I would just ask him how he was doing, you know? Hey, carlos, how you doing today? What's going on anything really that's all it takes, you know, he's just treat people with respect. And so he saw that I was trying to get this picture and he could have very easily said on no photographers down here move on. But, you know, he let me just hang back for a minute to get this picture, so I think it is really important, teo, you know, you just never know, I think, you know, you just wanna, um, cast a net and really just treat everyone you come in contact with with respect so so you can see that this turned out to be like a little bit of a niche for me of doing the behind the scenes with the athletes it just kind of happened and you know eventually it really helped when I went freelance and I was able to you know, a lot of clients came to me because of this work so like after this after these stories ran about behind the scenes with barry sports illustrated contact may and they said you know, we would really like to hire you to photograph barry bonds is next record you know, behind the scenes and I said, well, I can't I work for the chronicle I mean those frustrating not being able to say yes to a national magazine but but it you know, I think it put me on their radar so that when I did become a freelancer I got assignment so I think it's important to have a niche I also think it's important to diversify and I'll talk about that too, but I think just find the thing that you're interested in you know, it's like a style of shooting or a subject that you that you like and make that your own a question again before we move on what how do you think you're being female affected this particular story but then maybe a little bit in general about being a photojournalist but in this particular story because I I can see it going both ways yes yeah you're right I think it does go both ways I think sometimes it works for me and sometimes it works against me but you know what? I really don't think about that a lot I just feel like I'm a photojournalist and I'm telling stories and I just I think it's more important I mean it's it's not a female male thing it's really about just connecting with people in about being honest you know, there are times probably maybe unless intimidating than a guy you know, so there's probably little subtle things, but overall I really don't think about it a lot and I don't you know, I think I just myself and I think everyone needs to pay so um as I've been saying, you know, everybody's important everyone around you and you know I told you the story about the security guards and this is a note I got from the elevator guy at the san francisco giants and again it's because I would always get in the elevator and I would say patrick how's your day going today what's going on hey, nice game yesterday just small talk and you know, I think it just kind of made his day and so anyway he sent me a note but I think it's nice tio you know, to you just think about the people that are around you so I do think also as a photo journalist you have to be prepared for the unexpected you have to be adaptable. I had done this story on the green street mortuary marching band in san francisco and it's just this wonderful band and what they do is they precede funeral processions through the streets of san francisco and so I had gone out a dem a story on them and it ran in the chronicle so after I became a free will answer, I said, you know, I'm going to go back and do some more shooting on this story they're fascinating to may and I want to just maybe take it a little bit deeper so I go out there and lisa the band later she says to may dan, can you do me a favor? The family of the deceased has paid for ten band members and I only have nine can you fill in? You're wearing black? I said, wait a minute, I'm sure looks at her and horror I said, you want me to play in the band she's you know, really help me out if I'm really in a jam I said, what am I gonna play? Just here you can play them gone, so I agreed and I thought, well, you know, maybe it'll give me a new perspective or from different angles you know I've always been interested in music but I really never expected to be playing in a mortuary marching ban so I asked vince the player the horn player next to me I said so when do my bang this thing and you were marching along and he says just bang it whenever you feel like it preferably I know they says preferably on a beat then he says okay dan it's time for your solo I said my solo and he said yes he said he says ok here we go time for your solo so the procession stops the hearst you know they open the back door of the hearst of the hearse the family gathers around and and then says to may he says ok here's how it works every time the family bows bang the gong and so I just they kept bowing and I just kept banging in the big and he was going bang it louder bang it harder I think it did ok as far as solos with gang ska yes I mean is that a different procession or did you have your camera with you while you were big on camera? I did have my camera with me but a lot of those pictures were not shot during that when you know it's one of those things where you know, if I was on assignment at the paper I couldn't have done that because you're now you on assignment but I was really at that point it was a personal project and I felt like ok it's not going to impact it at all I can go back and I can shoot the next one that's that's really that's the question I actually was thinking about earlier is how many of these projects is a freelancer do you come up with versus like having them brought to you? Yeah, well, I mean it's a great thing when you can come up with your own projects because it means you really care about them and, you know, as I went on at the chronicle I was starting to do more and more of that and my editors were great and gave me all kinds of freedom so that I could do that and, you know, and the good editors care about that they want people working on stories that you know that matter to them. So so he's you know, I think, you know, later on I started doing that more and more at first I was just doing more of the daily photos and then I get really interested in taking things more in depth, going deeper with stories. So so it's a staff photographer at the chronicle, you know, you you know, you get these different assignments, this one wass I get sent to the presidential campaign and this was in iowa, and the assignment was, you know, huckabee, you know, as he was running for president, and so I look at his schedule and I say, oh, he's getting a haircut excellent, you know, that will be something different right then in a coffee shop and, well, I guess I thought it might be the only one there, so along the presidential campaign, barack obama was going to be speaking, and it was so I show up at this event and it's absolutely packed with people and packed with the media and, you know, I'm thinking, oh, my god, how am I going to do this? I really have to come up with something different, something unique, I don't want to just have the photo of him speaking, you know, that's, the obvious photo there's something else here and know there is so you just start hunting and you're really looking around and but it's a competitive situation, there are a lot of photographers there, so in the middle of the room I see a bride and a groom, and I'm thinking, wow, that is unusual, so I went walking up to them and I said, what are you guys doing? And they said, oh, you're not going to believe that we just got married and we're on our way to our reception and we heard that barack obama was speaking so we thought we'd just stop and maybe see if we could catch a glimpse of them now I I just stood near them and said you know what I just need to be here you know you know sometimes you just go on instinct and so it was the most interesting thing I could see in the room I thought there might be an interesting picture here but you know it goes back to the making a connection a few days earlier I had met one of barack obama's campaign aides and I just again hey how's it going how's the campaign going for you are you exhausted you know you just chatting with people next thing I know that guy shows up and it comes walking up to the bride and the groom and he said would you like to go backstage and meet barack obama and this yeah we'd love to so there's not walking backstage I went right behind them and started walking with them I get to the backstage area the secret service was all there and they looked at me with my cameras and they said you're not calling back there the campaign aide this guy he he turned and he looked at them and he said oh she's ok she's the wedding photographer just wanted to help me out and it's just from making a connection okay, so I'm going to show you a story about an iraqi boy that I did and I just want to warn you that there there's one image that's a little tough to look at here, the second image coming up, but it's really that's the only one that's a little bit typical toe toe look at so I just kind of want to give you the heads up on that. So this is a story about a boy named saleh. His nickname is lionheart kate over crime overcome incredible odds surviving a bomb blast in iraq and it's about his unlikely journey with his dad to america for medical treatment. What had happened is back in iraq on salah, nine years old lived in a small village near nasariyah. He was walking home from school with his older brother deah, who was sixteen. And on the way home from school, salah picked up what he thought was a ball, and it turned out to be a bomb. It his brother was trying to wrestle it from him, and it blew up and it killed dia, the older brother and severely injured salah. So his dad rahim took him from hospital to hospital and they said, you know, we don't think we're going to be able to save him your only hope is to go to the americans so rahim brought him to an american base there and the doctor there was able to stabilize him and said you know we don't have what we need here and he started contacting doctors in america and a doctor at children's hospital said if you can get him here we'll take care of him so you know this is where I picked up the story is when he came to america and you can see his injuries of really tough tough toe look at I mean it's what war can do to a kid you know he lost an eye piece of shrapnel went through it into his brain but no functional problem you know his arm you can see lost some fingers on his left hand and his abdomen was blown open but you know he was getting great treatment so a writer and I get sent to go do this story for the crown when it's like ok this little iraqi boy was just brought in go get a picture for tomorrow's paper so the writer and I we show up and we go walking into this into this hospital room and again it's these connections walking into the hospital room and I see so la laying there you know just really you know, barely clinging to life his father's there just doesn't know what to do the rest of the family still back in iraq the pediatric surgeon the one who took o initiated this mission to get salah to america he goes dan how are you doing? Turns out it was dr bettes and I had just done a freelance job with him about two weeks earlier I had spent the day with him and so he knew me and he trusted me and there's rahim standing there the dad and he sees the doctor come up to me the doctor who is going to save his son's life and this doctor trusted me gave me a hug and so I think oh rahim felt ok about me you know? She maybe she's ok but again we didn't speak the same language this is you know, the difficulty here you know I wasn't able to really speak with him it was a special time at the chronicle we had amazing group of editors who really believed in this story and loved this story and, you know, gave us the time in the resource is to do this story the writer and I we went back to the office and we told our editors, we really want to stay with this story we really want to document this boy's journey and the idea was he'd probably be in the hospital there for about six weeks or so and then he'd go back to iraq so our editors agreed yes that's fine it's also a story we weren't seeing was how the war was affecting an iraqi family now access that's the big challenge there so the editors had a agreed but we had to we had to get the hospital to agree to let us document this story and it's you know there are really tough privacy issues at the hospital and so we had teo you know, build the trust of the hospital staff and basically they told us if raheem agrees then it's okay, you can do it they kind of we had worked with them before and they knew us but they said you know, it's really up to him so I had to convince the writer and I had to convince them to let us do their story so whenever there was an interpreter around I would use that opportunity I would say, listen, come here would you say this to rahim and I would just say I think this story is really important I really want to show what you're going through I really want to understand it and share this story you know, just things like that and so little by little we started getting some access and so I would show up at the hospital sometimes when there was something scheduled like a surgery but many of the best pictures like this nothing was scheduled I just said ok it's tuesday night I'm going to go to hospital see what's happening and just to capture real life moments off what was going on you know, here he didn't know his older brother had died he still didn't know that um and this day he had been down in the cafeteria and kids was staring at him and he got upset and his family are the nurse taped a sharpie to his arm so that he could draw on the first thing he drew was airplanes dropping bombs but you know, people ask me you know how hard it was to photograph this story and it was hard but you know, I think I mean the camera helps a little bit, you know, puts a little bit of a barrier up, but I think you have to feel something you have to feel what they're going through so that you can show it but you can't let it paralyze you think that's absolutely what people in the chat rooms and at home are wondering how like what she says, how do you ever overcome them fear and handle your own emotions when following a story like this? Yeah, it can be very difficult and, you know, I think my number one concern is is the photography I mean I'm thinking so much about the photography I'm thinking how do I tell this story? I'm thinking about my composition I'm figure about where I have to be I'm anticipating what's the next thing that's going to happen so I'm actually really pretty busy, you know, like I take it pretty seriously and I'm thinking ok, I do not want to miss a picture I think this might happen so I need to be over here okay affecting the dynamics in the room I'm going back out so you know, I'm always thinking about things so I'm kind of busy which helps and I was just trying to compose and but you know, it's it's that it's a difficult thing because you have to feel it so you can really show it if you don't feel anything I don't believe you can show it you have to understand it but you can't let it just overtake you so it's a difficult little dance and you know, some days are easier than other days and then there's the in the moment that you're talking about but then there's the after as yeah, yeah, you know, I'm one of these people that's pretty optimistic in general and I tend to see things I tend to see the good in things and you know, so I really focused on okay he was saved, you know? So I think I just have ways of of thinking of things so that you know, I can I just look at the positive side, okay? Yeah horrible what happened to him? But I try to focus on he was saved, but you know, I'm also trying to get moments there capture his personality and here you kind of get teo get a sense of you know who he is he's starting to get better but one of the ways I had connected with him without speaking the same language was through my camera and I would, you know, shoot a picture of maybe one of his stuffed animals and show in and make him laugh you know, what's so we would just have this I mean that's a human connection we don't speak the same language but we laugh together we look into each other's eyes and we laugh it's a little human connection and they're just things like that. So before long salah decided he wanted to be a photographer so he start running around the hospital shooting pictures of his favorite nurses there's just one of these kids it's like nothing's going to stop me from doing what I want to do he would find a way tio teo fire the shot around the camera. Now the story changed at this point salah was released from the hospital and instead of going back to iraq he and rahim that a little apartment you know, the rest of families back in iraq but the two of them got this apartment. What had happened is insurgents had gone and ransacked the family home thinking mistakenly thinking that rahim must be an american spy so the family had to go on the run. They put up wanted posters around the town, and salah and raheem were not able to go back to iraq. And so and, you know, they had just moved into an apartment, so I, you know, just showed up a couple days later, and here, you know, they're going to the grocery store. So, you know, salah's off some ill, and he forgot his sunglasses that he was wearing because he was embarrassed about his eye and people were staring at him. He got really upset. Any ran home crying, you know, it's, um, it's a difficult thing, you know, that was one of those probably one of the most difficult things to photograph was this scene. I think he had a lot stuff going on. He not on lee young people were staring at, but I think it was weighing on him that he was no longer going to be going back to iraq, and he would never see his mom and his family again. So I think that was part of it, and he ran home crying. And, you know, rahim, you know, was there and didn't know what to do, and so largest fell to his feet, crying this was really hard to shoot, because they're both beside themselves and I'm thinking, ok, how do I pick up my camera and shoot this because on a human level you want to help, you know, of course, I hope that my pictures will help in the much bigger picture, but in the moment you're just feeling like as a human, you want to help you want to console him and but, you know, as a journalist, you can't you know you really if I didn't capture this moment, if I didn't pick up my cameron capture this moment, I wouldn't be telling the story the story is the highs and lows a part of the story is the highs and lows of emotion that salah went through, and I needed to show this depth of emotion that he was failing so something that I do in this situation is I picked up my camera halfway and I look at the body language I look around and I see mean rahim very easily could have said our idea that's enough, we don't want your photographing us anymore, you know, he that I mean, that could have been the breaking point I could have lost all future access, but, you know, I saw you pick it up and I look and he's not flinching, I go like this he's still not flinching, so I should the picture so that's kind of how I work I'm think everyone has their own ways of working but you know I shot a picture that I thought was important and then salah was brought on to a private hot private school they brought him in and here it's story time he's telling kids what it was like toe live in iraq speaking through you interpreter so racking was worried about his family back in iraq he got a job as a custodian at children's hospital he applied for asylum for he and salah to stay in america and they were granted that um then he went on he applied for the rest of the family to be brought over so I mean our story had just been published and we heard that what normally takes two years you know was shortened to just a few weeks so it's like you know incredible if your story can do that you know I'm just help people like that um it was a three part series that ran it got a lot of attention but you know it it did help them a lot so at this point okay the families coming from iraq is an incredible twist to this story I want to document that so the writer and I went to iraq to meet up with a family and travel back with them but I knew the most important picture was going to be the reunion when they were all reunited and so I went to the airport before we left I spoke with the airport officials I said when I fly back here on this plane with the family I really need to get off the plane first get through customs so I am in position to capture the moment when they're reunited they helped me out and that happened when we landed they came on the plane and they got me so this is this is iraq so this is the border of iraq and jordan this is rahim's brother helping the family escape and this is the mom this is her idea and this is ali the little baby that they hadn't met yet he was born shortly after the accident and this is the moment when raheem and selassie hadiya and the other kids they went back and they celebrated and this is salah what he looks like now he's he's nineteen now he just had his birthday I just spoke with them a couple weeks ago he's a great kid he's doing great he's he's in high school in california and he's doing well and then after that I went on I did a story about you know how is the soldier who was injured in iraq and I'm here he is with his daughter yes like I just just realized that like all this is a black light is there like specifically a reason for that like that was a choice it you may enjoy intestinal that I mean what can speak towards that yes, I'm some of my stories I convert to black and white I mean I shot this digitally so you know, color digital and you know and I felt like I mean in my editors and I we talked about this and we felt like the color took away from the raw emotion of the peace so we converted to black and white and it just had so much more power, you know, it's just it was raw and it was really so it was a conscious decision we made so so then I go on to freelance on two thousand eight left the paper you know? I mean, you know, I just decided ok, you know, time to move on do something different and about this time, you know, my husband and I were co founders with think tank photo and it's really nice to have something as a solid thing as you go freelance um, you know, so I was just I was trying to learn howto run my photography business, but you know what? The chronicle I really didn't have to do that kind of like a whole new world and really challenging, you know, so we're doing different things now is freelancers this is on joe mcnally photo we're running this photo are the serious that's called about a photograph so you can check it out online it's kind of fun and every two weeks we feature a different photographers work and we interview the photographer and have a little audio track and so this is the seventh of them and they come out every two weeks and it's about a photograph dot com so just one of the things that we're doing you know, I think you just diversify as a business person, so the first story I did when I left the chronicle was a story I did on same sex marriage and you know, it was it was all happening, like, right when I left the paper and I didn't have an assignment so, you know, no one was sending me to this, and but I just said, ok, it's a story it's happening now I'm going to go shoot it or I didn't of course you hope that it it gets seen that it makes a difference because you know it's about humanizing an issue so you you wanted to get seen so I had photographed to this couple before they've been together for a long time and and I said, are you going to get married? You know, next week when they have the marriages in san francisco and they said yes, we are, and they agreed that I could, um, follow them through the day and so you know, in addition to doing the steel photography I started doing some multimedia I was recording audio and on this piece I wasn't doing video but I started doing more and more of that you know, in which I think is really important to diversify and use these amazing tools that are available to us now h dfl our video so I recorded audio of the day as well as doing the still pictures and then shortly after I shot this story I went to new york and I was like meeting with editors saying, hey, I'm a freelancer, you know and and I went into time magazine and they loved this story and they published some of it and they chose this picture to be a picture that mattered in two thousand eight so it's kind of like the thing is I think he just go towards what you believe in what you want to do, what you know the story is trust your gut and things will just happen you know, it's hard to and you really don't have an assignment but um I think it's important and so I just you know, kind of followed them through this this day and documenting the moments and then they went to get rings tattooed on their fingers I went along for that and just continuing you know, with their, you know, fight for gay rights, I you know, just continue telling their story and then this this was just a few like a month ago or so I shot this when prop eight was overturned so I do that a lot of kind of like follow up with my subjects check in with them hey what's going on yes and that's actually the end a question that had come in from the internet from pro photographer what are your rules for interacting with people after the shoot is over yeah again I think it's I think it's just being a you know it's like human curiosity it's like you know I've made a connection with them I've invested time in this story and I'm curious I want to know how they're doing so so I follow up and I think it makes stories more in depth you know you've got you've followed it for a period of time you know, I think it just it takes on more meaning if you've followed it for a longer period of time and do you ask the people in advance like as you're building this relationship? Is it ok if I follow up with you? Yes. Yeah. You know, like what I might do is like for this picture I just sent them an email you know, once I heard this was happening and I thought you know this is important I should shoot this it's just really a part of the story of of same sex marriage and I just email I said here you guys going to be at city hall for this event and they said yes I said do you mind if I come photograph it and they say fine so you know just like being honest and being up front about what I'm doing and and they agreed but then again I think they had had a good experience with me and that they trusted may like like, you know, you go into a subject I trust you but could you sign this contract our release or yeah that's yeah, you know, most of my work is editorial and I mean I think it's mostly with commercial work where it's expected to sign a contract with editorial work I really don't get contracts signed you know, you really don't need teo I mean it's nice to just like as a backup in case anything happens that I've never really done that I mean it's probably good practice to do it but in the editorial world I think that you know, you're just honest with them I say ok, I'm doing this story about you I'm going to try to get it published and you know, you just honest with them like you don't misrepresent what you're doing so with me it's, it's, verbal but I think it's when it goes into the commercial round that's when you really need really says okay, so I'm going to move faster here because I think I'm talking too much, okay, so I'm still to motion you're just started doing a lot more emotion and I don't have any in this in this presentation, but chrissy cocktail, you know, I went and I did this story on her and on my web site you can see that and there the video where I was working with a team at media storm to create this piece, but, you know, I found this wonderful subject kristie cocktail, she is the blade throwing target for throw dini at coney island circus sideshow, and so she was just great, so we end up doing the story. So I just put in some stills from this story and I think about, you know, pacing and editing when you're putting together a story like, ok, look at this picture, see how big her face is and where it is in the frame, the next frame I am this the kind of breaks in that bright whole different picture. Now look at this frame, same size face as that bus picture same facing the same way, everything right? If I had put those two pictures together, it wouldn't work, so when I'm putting my stories together, I tried, you know, to see what flows into what and you want visual variety I'm wondering if we can maybe talk a little bit deeper about that because that's definitely been in the story of the iraqi boy and naturally forgetting his name a lot thank you so that was a question that was coming up was how do you take all of this and piece it together into a story how many images does that do you need or and then putting forward yeah I mean that story that's a great question because I mean I followed that story well I'm still following it now but you know the work you saw that was shot in a little bit over a year so you can imagine I mean I shot a lot a lot you know you know how you do what you worked with a great editor I mean it really helps you know, when I had some great editors I was working with on that project but I think that you know, remember that picture of rahim where he's mopping he's you know, working there that to me is a transitional picture right before that you're in as you have you're going through the story you're in california right after that you're in iraq so it serves to me as a great transition it's like a pause it gives you a break and it helps to get you to the next thing so I think about that you know about building the story and about pacing and visual variety what does a freelancer when working with editors how much do you find that they want you to come with the completed story versus they want to actually help you develop the story and you know would prefer you to come before you've actually shot it so us can work together I think it varies on editors I really dio you know, some editors are much more hands on I think it's important to find editors that you're like working with you know you'll find editors that just you really click with you see things the same way and then you'll find editors that you might not connect with us well, so it's I think it's important to find editors that you love to work with and so if you find what you like to work with, would you first shoot him a message saying, hey, I'm working on this and if they're they don't really say hey well let's develop it now then would you re connect with them and say have finish shooting this just wanted to show it to you or do you really get a sense pretty early on that either they want to see it ahead time or wait till yet? I think it's about building connections with editors at places where you want to work and you go in you make a connection that la times it's really hard to get in to see editors but you know you make a connection with the editors so they know you work so they think of you when something comes up that's it seems like it's you know appropriate for you as a photographer but also you kind of open this dialogue so if I have something that I think is appropriate for certain editor certain magazine I'll contact that editor and also hey, I have something here I can't get a start flying thanks yeah, she was fun and then I went on to do a behind the scenes with tim linthicum and I'm going to go through this kind of fast it's a similar thing tio barry bonds and a lot of ways it's about, you know it's about he agrees to it and then he changes his mind and I have tio convince him to continue on with us but, you know, I was interested in who he was I mean, he didn't look like the typical baseball player, you know, he played for the san francisco giants and I ended up following him in two thousand ten and that was the year they went on to the world series, so I got lucky with that, but I'm here's his refrigerator, you know, he didn't look like a normal major league baseball player says like, who is this guy with this deal? I want to know about him, I won't understand him and so yes, so I just spent the season with him and you we had a tough time in the season where he wasn't pitching well and then he came back and they headed off to the world series a little storytelling moments here in the dugout and you know, his father I was saying, hey, where you sitting during this game? I want to get a picture of you watching your son and he's, you know, he calls me, hey, I heard you were looking for may I mean, I said, yeah, where are you? And then he said, I'm actually at the bar next store because it makes me too nervous being there, so I ran over to the bar and then on the big victory parade, and then I ended up doing a book about his season, so all this behind the scenes work led to a lot of assignments because your editors started thinking of me as kind of a behind the scenes sports documentary person. And so, you know, when editor called me from espn and he said he said, hey, dee and I want you to go photograph the head coach of the oakland raiders and is a great what's he doing, you know, practice, and he says now is going to get his mani pedi, I said, great, I'm there and the u s women's soccer team and just like a little moment where alex morgan goes in her locker to get in the zone before the game um wolverines training with the navy seals for espn magazine and photographed mavericks big wave competition um football players taking an ice bath from what I was looking around the edges and this was in sports illustrated on a profile on jabari parker and to never story I did down in compton an athlete in virginia and this guy was having some tough times trying to make it back into the n ba and then the world series in san francisco last year and I shot a panorama of of the ball park and then another photographer shot a similar scene in detroit um for sports illustrated so is her target for avon sergei brin from google mark zuckerberg from facebook and this was an interesting story that I shot for sports illustrated about this little boy who has a robot that goes to school for him he has a compromised immune system and he can't go to school he can't be around other kids so he has a robot so this robot is going down the hall of his high school and it's live it's like live video so he sees aries go in it goes from class to class and he's driving this from home on his computer you know interacting with the kids hey dude and you know, his brother was have baseball practice and he couldn't play you know, you just can't I can't be around the kids really, so here is family takes him to church takes robot to church and there's some pictures I did in africa and I was in africa in in kenya for three weeks in july and working on a documentary film with a crew and I'm so I shot stills and some video here's some of the stills a tough situation, you know, we were working in canberra, which is the world's largest slum actually, you know what? I'm going to take that back? It's, the largest slum in africa, I don't know if it's largest line world yeah, it feels like these stories that you do, they're just immersive, like completely immersive, those air like a very clear delineation for you when you put the camera away or is it always sort of, you know, like whether or not you're on assignment or even to senior daily life? You know, when you come back home, is that ever been a struggle for, you know, it's hard because I think it's important to have balance, you know, to, like have some time where you're just like away from business, away from photography, away from your work and it's hard to know I'm like I'm working all the time I was thinking about it and I was you know like hey what's the next thing so I'm not very good at you know like stopping but it's my passion on I love what I dio I absolutely love it that it doesn't feel like work, you know and then this is this is a story that a friend of mine who's a producer is living in nairobi right now she and I are working on this and we're developing this story about street kids and where shooting stills and motion with this and we're going to do a documentary on that and this is on the town where I threw up it's a small town in massachusetts and this is my last slide here that's that's it so think tank photo and um death that's where he can find me a twitter and my web site well, dan, we still have time for questions before we we have to go so I want to take a come one from the studio audience for started also deion for people getting started who are young photojournalist to document photographers and doing a lot of personal projects but maybe don't have, you know, large income to fund all their projects are there any tips suggestions grants you think might be good to look into just just recommendations you might have on how to fund personal work to build your portfolio yes, I think first of all what you have to do is find something that's close to home something that you care about something that's accessible because there are grants out there but to apply for the grants a lot of times you have to show a previous story of don you so I think it's important to just start with a subject that you're interested in something that you care about and just do it as well as you can something that you have access to and just make it as good as it can be and develop all your skills on the local stories like that then you have a body of work to take to apply for grants and to bring two editors and but if he's important finding, you know, finding your work, finding the thing that you want a photograph and really make it yours all right, so many questions coming in from a government we have time for maybe one or two a question from on dh. Well, kelly hoffer said, how do you get access without credentials were clearly started off talking about that? Is that the again sort of the ask for forgiveness, not permission attitude do you have to have that too? You know, it really depends on what your should it depends what you want to shoot if you want to go photograph a forty nine are football game you really do have to have a credential, but what you do is you go photograph the high school games you know, when you just talked to someone at the high school village and you really don't need a credential and you just get good, you know, hone your skills, get better and get better then you move up next to go into the college games and you know, you show it to the pr guy, you show him your pictures, so you're pretty good, you know, just give me a few prints here and there, and so I think it just kind of build it like that, you know, you but it depends I mean, certain things you can have access to and certain things you count, and I think you just kind of build it, ok? One more question that had come in from our own kate haley who's in the studio audience, but also that some other folks were asking online and it's pretty hot topic right now in the world of photojournalism is iphone it's? Are they a helpful tool for a photojournalist? Mobile photography or are they impacting photojournalism, world and adverse ways? Yeah, I think iphones a greater kitty I love mine I think it's great, you know, it's opening up photography to a whole new audience and I think it's a really exciting creative time and photography right now and I think you know, a lot of people are starting with iphones and then, you know, moving their way up but I mean like with, you know, instagram it's like I'm love instagram I mean, I think it's great a lot of editors are assigning photographers to shoot instagram's you know? And you know, mainstream organizations that I really care about, you know, in a time magazine has, you know, the great lightbox site and, you know, the new yorker has photo booth, you know, lens block at the new york times and you know, so there's, you know, it's just a real changing time right now because, like, you know, say with prints a lot, we're losing a lot, but then we're gaining so much from all these sites and all these we can all be publishers now we can all publish our work. So it's I think it's a really exciting time and I say, bring on the iphones you know it's great it's um it's just creativity well, thank you so much. I absolutely love as well as the internet your optimism right there you see the way that you look at the world but the way that you present the world to us on dso thank you so much, dan thank you so much can I mention one thing right when it one more thing and that is I'm going to be doing a little thing about how I pack my bag and I think that's going to be on the dvd yes, right one of the bonus for the assertion that dvd a bonus a bones video ok so okay so what I'm doing is I'm I brought my bag with me with everything that I shoot so I've got it I'm just going to take the thing apart and just show you what I shoot with and when I carry and the think tank bags that I use I'll just show you pet him my style of working that's awesome thank so that'll be part of the paid download as well so let's take a minute to I want to talk a little bit about think tank because like you said your co founder but I also thank you for the support that you give us here creative live tell us about think tank well think tank my husband and I are co founders of the company we teamed up with bag designers to bag designers in two thousand five and started the company and you know the company we now have I think about one hundred fifty different bags you know we've got rolling cases you know, it all comes from the bags that we wanted didn't exist you know? So we make we really spent a lot of time thinking about what's the perfect bag. And, you know, we've got our rollers, and we've got backpacks and shoulder bags and laptop cases and belt packs. And, you know, for every situation out, I wanted different bag. You know, in africa, it was a tight security. So I wanted something around my hips and my shoulder. So, um, but anyway, we, you know, we've got a great group of people, and we, really a rod was trying to come up with new solutions in how to carry your cameras. And coming is tough getting on airplanes and things with all this gear, their security issues. So, you know, I was trying to figure it out and do better and come up with better bags. And you, d'oh, I can say from personal experience that I truly loved.