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 on Creativelive. 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 Creativelive. 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 I'm feel free toe, bring on any questions you have because there's a lot to cover and I'll probably forget to say something. So, um so a little bit about me and how I came to photojo...
urnalism. I grew up in Massachusetts. 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 toe, go to concerts. So one time, um, 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 out. 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 surveyed the situation. And I kind of like, was just observing, and 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 10 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, Mom saw Springsteen, but, um, 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 her friend and I We drove up to Boston and we, you know, we were there. We were thinking, How are we going to get in here? You know, it's sold out, and, um, 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 black pants and white bless 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 crazy, huh? And I waited probably about five hours until BET came on. Now she did come out into a sound check and I was under the table with my camera. It 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, Daredevil, 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 it's 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 to show it to document it. Earning and building trust is so important in my work, you know, it really is the backbone of my work being honest and be incredible. 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, um you know, just being honest and being riel, incredible credibility, you know, it's so important. Like readers, you know, people that are looking at are images. They have to know that their riel, you know, this is the way it was when I saw it. You know, informing and engaging the viewer is 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 o humanized the subject to find the person and tell their story. And it's about not directing, you know, I just letting riel 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 photographers. 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 more in depth projects when you're doing a personal project or you're doing something where you really spent some time with your subject and really get to know the people, you just invest time, invest, quality time, um, and binding 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. You know, go find a story within that. I think it's so important to have personal projects, you know, when 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 photojournalist, 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, um, you know, and at first I wanted to be an artist. I thought I was gonna 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 love telling stories. And so, um, so I'm certainly after school. I got hired at the San Francisco Chronicle as a staff photographer. I mean, what an incredible situation that is. Your 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, um, you know, every day I would have these assignments and, um, 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 sword and just understand it and then come up with a beautiful or compelling photo that tells the story. So it really 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 thes air, my kind of through the window shots. 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 along there. I'm not gonna move something, but I'll move the camera angle, you know, and it's or change the lands. But you know it's but these are the layers that I really try to do in all of my photography. So the windshields, the first layer, etcetera. And this is another windshield picture. And this is raindrop shot with a macro lens on my window during a rainstorm in San Francisco. Okay, showing some old pictures to get going here. But you know, there's the end up with these crazy animal pictures, right? So this is like some cat circus and a jet skiing squirrel. He really was jet skiing and serious serious. It was where and this is Gibson, the world's tallest dog. And that was in 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. 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've got 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 foreground 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, this guy got branded, 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 started getting over that fear of connecting with people, feeling that I'm really not supposed to. And, um, a writer and I we were driving to Nevada for a story, and we passed this sign and it says, girls, girls, girls, so with 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 watch the madam. And she looks us up and down. And she said to Kevin, she goes, Well, you can come in hair, but not her, unless she wants to go to work. So I kind of had my work cut out for me. I had to convince her to let me in. 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 started so soften a little bit, so little by little, she says, Well, I suppose you could come to the front door, you know? And then, you know, I'm going out. This is amazing. And I like stepping a little further and then next. All right, talk to the girls for us. 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 what I was doing again. Just honest up front. I'm working with the Chronicle, and these could be published in The Chronicle. You comfortable being photographed. So, um, but I do have an interest in photographing subcultures. I'm interested in 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 Fay something about the story, but also visual pacing to You've got the wide shot. Then you want to go to a tight shot, but it's a detail that tells you something. And then I went on Teoh Mustang Ranch and did a little bit of shooting there, but, you know, really didn't get much time. There. Have a quick question. Eso 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? That's a good question. You know, I got I got a little bit of time. I got a little bit of ah Fleiss of life into this world. But I did not get the 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 spent 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 so a day like a night it 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 Okay, what's a brothel before I go there, you know? But then, Riel 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 the 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 and did this other story on sex trafficking 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, um we had to tell a story that already happened. And sometimes you have to do that. And that is hard. 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 Teoh kind of visually give a sense and just 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 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 were there. They're all trying to get the best picture and the best storytelling picture. And so I loved that challenge. But I also have to figure it out. You know, I really didn't understand. I mean, I knew baseball because I come from New England Red Sox fan, 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 in 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. Waas senior. He's going through the film and then goes home D and nice. You nailed the blocked punt. Cool, miracle. You know, it's just foam in the action, really. But by photographing sports, I've 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 pod, 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 I 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 gonna 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 are they as people and I wanted to explore that, but it is so hard to get access to athletes, you know, they always have so many handlers and people around them. So many people you have to go through, um, 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 1st 1 I'm 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, um, I was heading down to spring training, and so I I spoke with the P R. Guy at the Giants, and I said, You know, I'd really be interested in doing a behind the scenes story with Dusty Baker. Um, you know, can you ask him if that would be OK? He asked him, and Dusty said yes. I said, Great. Told my editors they go great, Fantastic. Go spend 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 some personal things going on, and, you know, I understood. But 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 who Dusty Baker is. Um, I knew that he showed up in the morning on his motorcycle. Is Indian motorcycle my night? That would be a cool picture getting dusty on his motorcycle. You know, just something you don't see. It sheds a little bit of light on who he is. The people that you just normally see him on the field. So, um, so I just showed some early in the morning. I was standing there when he arrived. I knew he drank green tea. I got to Starbucks. I had my my latte and his green tea, and I was just standing there when he showed up and said, Hi, Dusty. How you doing? A 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, is that thanks for the tea, you know? 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 and 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 and photographed him with this family, and, you know, it was just a little slice of life. But it was 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 said yes, sure. Come on over to my house, my family's They were cooking up something for dinner, and so I was like, following him to his house. And then I thought, Oh, 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. Um, yeah, and other editors have seen this and they go cheese. Would you have like, a flatbed truck? And you know, like all these assistance in life now that right? Yes, 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 gonna help you get that? No. Turned into a Yes. Who's going to really be able to facilitate you? Especially in a tough situation where maybe you might not get access, but you need to 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. Um, but, you know, you go through an interpreter and hopefully you can trust that interpreter. But there'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, um it was Barry Bonds. So, you know, I 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 Teoh, but the p R. People at the Giants and I said, No, no, no access with bonds, then I they should talk to his agents. I went to his agent. No, not gonna happen. So I did it on my own, and, um, it's a similar thing, So I went down to spring training in Arizona. The Giants are starting off their season, and, um, the day that Barry Bonds arrived, you know, Big Deal day and they your editors are waiting for the pictures and 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. Barry just came out in the field. He's just sitting down. And so I'm standing back. I've got a long lands on a mono pod and I swing the lens to go photograph him and he looked at me and glared at me, and I thought, Who thinks is not good? So somehow I get up this courage and I walked across the field toe where he waas and it's 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 haven'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 are waiting 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 gonna 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 said He says, Hey, D 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, ah, personal connection with him. You and nobody had seen pictures of Barry off the field. Um, 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 600 home runs. Could I photograph you behind the scenes as you're approaching this record? You know the viewers, people want to know who you are, and so I just come like spoke Honest DeLay. And he's said, OK, he's surprisingly agreed, so I was able to get a little bit off behind the scenes access. Now this is the Giants locker room, and I knew it was like legendary Barry has this whole wing of lockers. He has a leather recliner, whereas the other players have ah, folding chair in front of their locker. Um, 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 okay, 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 up Teoh. It was two cities. It was Philadelphia and then Pittsburgh. So I get to the first city and you know, I go up to Barry, you know, before the first game and I said, 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? You go out to dinner? Do you just hang out in your hotel room? What is it that you dio? And he says, Oh, 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 were in Pittsburgh and he's just saying, um, again, No, you can't photograph me here. I'm under tight security and I said, Well, wait a minute. If you're on a tight security A. When 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 getting closer and closer to the record, and he's not giving me access. So So one day, um, I was in Pittsburgh and I was just so frustrated I think it was like, you know, head like, you know, one or two days left, my editors were like so about those pictures, you know, 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, Dan, how's your story going with Barry? And I said, Dusty, I am so frustrated. I said, I've got nothing. I said He has shut me out. I'm not getting anything. I thought I'm really, really frustrated. And so then he says, Come here And he said, Listen, I'll tell you something. I think Barry's gonna go to this bar tonight. Really? He said, Yeah, so it's like, you know, probably can't get into the bar with my camera If he's really the air, he might freak out if he sees May. I don't know, Um, but I just took a camera and I stuck it in my bag in my purse and someone walking into this bar and there iwas across the room. So I'm walking up to him, and I better do this fast before I lose courage. Straight up to him. And I said, Hey, Barry, um, you said you were gonna call me if you were doing something, and then he says, Oh, I'm sorry, D I forgot. And I think I'm gonna shoot a picture Fast reached in, pulled in my camera, shot a couple of friends. And and you know what this one picture made the road trip worthwhile goes, you know, pictures that you don't see of Barry Bonds in a bar. But again, 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, um, Dusty, I showed him respect. I, you know, did the story on him, and he trusted May and he wanted to help me out. So back in the Bay area, he's getting closer and closer to the milestone, and and he's going to the gym. So I go to the gym. My photograph in that is, um, 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 beforehand? No, but it's a unpretty dobel moment that humanizes him. Throw 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, um, 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, um, 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. Um, and it's because I connected with a 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 are you doing today? What's going on? Anything, really? That's all it takes, You know, you just treat people with respect. And so he saw that I was trying to get this picture and he could have very easily said, I'm 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, Teoh. 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, ah, niche for me of doing the behind the scenes with the athletes. It just kind of happened. And, um, 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 very sports illustrated contact May And they said, you know, we would really like to hire you to photograph Barry Bonds his next record, you know, behind the scenes. And Isobel. I can't. I work for the Chronicle. I mean, it was 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. Can I ask you a question? Do you? Before we move on? What, um 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. 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. And about being honest. You know, there are times probably maybe unless intimidating than a guy or 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 be. So, um as I've been saying, you know, everybody's important everyone around you and you know, I told you the story about 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 100 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 to, um, you know, to you just think about the people that are around you. So I do think also is a photojournalist. 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 um 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. Um, so after I became a freelancer, I said, You know, I'm gonna go back and do some more shooting on this story. They're fascinating to May and I wanna just maybe take it a little bit deeper. So I go out there and Lisa the band leader she says to May D and can you do me a favor? The family of the deceased has paid for 10 band members, and I only have nine. Can you feel in your wearing black? I said, wait a minute. I'm sure I looked at her in horror. I said, You want me to play in the band? She was, you know, really help me out. I'm really in a jam. So what am I gonna play Inches here? You can play the gong. So I agreed. And I thought, Well, you know, maybe it'll give me a new perspective or some 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 I 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, OK, Deanne, it's time for your solo said my solo. And he said Yes. He said, Um, he says, Okay, here we go Tempura solo So the procession stops the Hearst, um you know, they open the back door of the Hurst of the Hurst The family gathers around and and then says to May, um, he says, OK, here's how it works Every time the family bows, bang the gone. And so I just They kept bowing and I just kept banging the and he was going bang it louder. Bang it harder. I think it did okay as fire and solos with gangs. Ca do yes. I mean, is that a different procession or did you have your camera with you while you were had camera? I didn't have my camera with 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 a fine man at the paper. I couldn't have done that because, you know, you're on assignment. But I was really at that point. It was a personal project, and I felt like, Okay, it's not gonna impact it at all. I could go back and I can shoot the next one. That's that's really that's a 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, um, so is 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 but I get really interested in taking things more in depth, going deeper with stories. So so is a staff photographer at the Chronicle. Um, you know, you, um you know, you get these different assignments, this one waas I get sent to the presidential campaign, and this was in Iowa and in the assignment was, you know, Huckabee, you know, if 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 than in a coffee shop. And I guess I thought I might be the only one there. So, um, along the presidential campaign, Barack Obama was gonna be speaking. And it s 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 gonna 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 no, 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 do you guys doing? And they said, Oh, you're not gonna believe it. 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 just stop and maybe see if we could catch a glimpse of him. Now, Um, 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, um, 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 back guy shows up and it comes walking up to the bride and the groom and he said, Um, would you like to go backstage and meet Barack Obama and this? Yeah, we'd love to. So they start 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, the sky, he he turned and looked at them and he said, Oh, she's OK, She's the wedding photographer. I just wanted to help me out, and it's just from making a connection. Okay, so I'm gonna show you on a story about an Iraqi boy that I did. And I just want to warn you that there is 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 difficult 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 Salah. His nickname is Lionheart. um, Paedo. The cramp 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. Salah, nine years old, lived in a small village near Nasariyah. He was walking home from school with his older brother, Deah, who was 16. And on the way home from school, Fella picked up what he thought was a ball, and it turned out to be a bomb. Um, it his brother was trying to wrestle it from him and it blew up. And it killed DEA, 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 gonna be able to save him. Your only hope is to go to the Americans. So Raheem 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. Andi started contacting doctors in America, and the doctor at Children's Hospital said, If you can get him here, will take care of him. So you know this is where I picked up the story is when he came to America and you could 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, um, you know, he was getting great treatment. So a writer and I get sent to go do this story for the Chronicle, and 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 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 oh, um initiated this mission to get so lotto America, he goes D and how you doing? Turns out it was Dr Bets 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 Raheem felt OK about me. You know, She maybe she's okay, 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. And the resource is to do this story. Um, 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 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 to, you know, build the trust of the hospital staff. And basically they told us, If Raheem agrees, then it's OK, 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 Raheem? 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, um, 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, Okay, it's Tuesday night. I'm gonna go to hospitals, 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 or the nurse taped a Sharpie to his arm so that he could draw in. 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. Um, 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. Yeah, I think that. And I think that's absolutely what people in the chat rooms and at home are wondering how rude she says, How do you ever overcome the 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 thinking about where I have to be. I'm anticipating. What's the next thing that's gonna happen? So I'm actually really pretty busy, you know? Like, I take it pretty seriously, Leg. And I'm thinking, okay, I do not want to miss a picture. I think this might happen, so I need to be over here. Okay? I'm affecting the dynamics in the room. I'm gonna back out. So you know, I'm always thinking about things, so I'm kind of busy, which helps and always just trying to compose. And but, you know, it's it's that is 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. 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, like, 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 that capture his personality. And here you kind of get to 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 him and make him laugh. You know what, So we would just have this. I mean, that's a human connection. We don't speak the same language, but we laughed together with looking in 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. And so he start running around the hospital, shooting pictures of his favorite nurses. No, 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 toe toe, 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. Um, 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, um, Ibrahim 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 started. So you know, Salah's off in 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 and he 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. Um, I think he had a lot of stuff going on. He not Onley, um, you know, 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 lodges 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, ever journalist, you can't you know, you really? If I didn't capture this moment, if I didn't pick up my camera 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 already, and that's enough. We don't want your photographing us anymore, you know that. I mean, that could have been the breaking point. I could have lost all future access. But, you know, I So I 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. Um, but, you know, I shot a picture that I thought was important. And then Fella 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 an interpreter, um, so wrecking was worried about his family back in Iraq. He got a job as a custodian at Children's Hospital. Um, he applied for asylum, for he and Salata stay in America, and they were granted that, um Then he went on the 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 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, um, at this point, I said, Okay, the families coming from Iraq is an incredible twist to this story. I want a document that so the writer and I went to Iraq to meet up with a family and traveled 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 that 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 Ollie 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 19 now. He just had his birthday. I just spoke with them, Ah, 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. Um, And then after that, I went on, I did a story about you know how this 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 black and white. Is there specifically a reason for that? Like, that was a choice that you made in showing intestinal. That I mean, what can you speak? Yes, I'm some of my stories. I convert to black and white. I mean, I shot this digital a 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 2008 left the paper. Um, you know, I mean, you know, I just decided. OK, you know, time to move on, do something different 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, you know? So I would just I was trying to learn how toe 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, So we're doing different things now. It's freelancers. This is ah, Joe McNally. Photo were running this photo or the Siri's 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, Okay, it's a story. It's happening now. I'm gonna go shoot it where 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 wanted to get seen? Um, So I had photographed to this couple before. They've been together for a long time, and, um and I said, are you going to get married 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 still 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, when a technique is really important to diversify and use these amazing tools that are available to us now h d fl 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 editor, saying, Hey, I'm a freelancer 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 2000 and 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, um 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 the 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 Ah, 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 and 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? You know, again, I think it's, um 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 followed it for a period of time You know, I think it just it takes on more meaning if you've followed up for a longer period of time. And do you ask the people in advance? Like, as you're building this relationship? Is it okay if I follow up with you? Yes. Um, 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 same sex marriage. And I just analyse it here. You guys gonna 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 upfront 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 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, um, you really don't need Teoh. I mean, it's nice to just, like, as a backup in case anything happens, but I've never really done that. Um I mean, it's probably good practice to do it, but in the editorial world, I think that, you know, you just honest with them. I say, OK, I'm doing this story about you. I'm gonna 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 realm. That's when you really need releases. Okay, so all right. I'm gonna move faster here because, um, 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 Christie cocktail and I went and I did this story on her. And on my Web site, you can see the the video where I was working with a team at at media storm to create this piece. But, you know, I found this wonderful subject. Christie Cocktail. She is the blade throwing target for throw Dini at Coney Island. Circus sideshow. And so she was just great. So we ended 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 Okay, look at this picture. See how big her face is and where it is in the frame. The next frame I have, This kind of breaks it up, right? Whole different picture. Now look at this frame. Same size face as that bus picture. Same facing the family. Everything right? If I had put those two pictures together, it wouldn't work. So when I'm putting my stories together, I try to, you know, to see what flows in tow. What, And you want visual variety? I'm wondering if we can maybe talk a little bit deeper about that, because that's definitely in in the story of the Iraqi boy and yet totally forgetting his name. 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 while I'm still following it now. Um, 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 work 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, um, you know, remember that picture of Raheem where he's mopping. He's, you know, working there. That, to me, is a transitional picture. Right before that, you're in As your of you were going through this 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 shows 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 you guys can work together? I think it. Barry's on editors. I really dio you know, some editors are much more hands on. I think it's important to find editors that you 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 I think it's important to find editors that you love to work with. And so if you find when you like to work with, would you first shoot him a message saying Hey, I'm working on this and if there they don't really say, hey, well, let's develop it now, then would you read, connect with them and say, Have you shooting this? Just wanted to show it to you or do you dimly this sense pretty early on that. Either they want to see it ahead, time or wait. Ilyan. 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 long 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 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. I know that. Hey, I have something here. I can't get a start flying. Thanks. Yes, she was fine. And then I went on to do a behind the scenes with Tim Lincecum and I'm gonna go through this kind of path. It's a similar thing. Teoh Barry Bonds in 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 Teoh 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 2010 and that was the year they went on to the World Series. So I got lucky with that. But I'm Here's this refrigerator, but, you know, he didn't look like a normal, um, major league baseball player. So, like, who is this guy with this deal? I want to know about him. I want to understand him. And so, yes. So I just spent the season with him, and 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, Doug. Huh? And you know his father. I was saying, Hey, where are you sitting during this game? I'm gonna get a picture of you watching your son, and, you know, he calls me. So they heard you were looking for May. I said, Yeah, where are you? And then he said, I'm actually at the bar next door. Doesn't make me too nervous being made. 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 you 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, D and I want you to go photograph the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Invisible. Great. What's he doing here? Practice. And he says, No, he's 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, um, photographed Mavericks big wave competition, football players taking an ice bath. My mom was looking around the edges, and this was in Sports Illustrated on a profile on Jabari Parker and another 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 B A and then the world Siris in San Francisco last year, and I shot a panorama of the ballpark. And then another photographer shot a similar scene in Detroit, Um, for Sports Illustrated. So it's for Target for Avon, Sergei Brin from Google, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook. And this was an interesting story that I shot for Sports Illustrated about the 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. Um, it goes from class to class and he's driving this from home on his computer, you know, interacting with the kids. It's like, Hey, dude! And you know, his brother was having baseball practice and he couldn't play, you know, he just can't. I can't be around the kids, Really? So here his family takes him to church, takes robot to church, and this is some pictures I did in Africom. 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. I'm here some of the stills, a tough situation, you know, We were working in Kibera, which is the world's largest slum. Actually, you know what? I'm gonna take that back. It's the largest slum in Africa. I don't know if it's the largest one world. It feels like these stories that you do there just immersive, like completely immersive those there 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 just in your 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, like have some time where you're just like, away from business, away from photography away from your work. And it's hard, you 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. I'm I love what I do. I absolutely love it that it doesn't feel like we're, you know, And then this is This is a story that I'm a friend of mine who's a producer and is living in Nairobi right now. She and I are working on this and we're developing this story about street kids, and we're shooting stills and motion with this, and we're going to do a documentary on that. And, um, this is the town where I grew up. It's a small town in Massachusetts and this is my last slide here. That's that's it. So I'm think tank photo. And, um um, yes, that's where you can find May Twitter and my website. Well, Dan, we still have time for questions before we we have to go. So, um, want to take a one from the studio audience for started also Deion for people getting started, who are young photojournalists or 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? Do 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 grant, a lot of times you have to show a previous story of done. 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 in 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 to editors. And but it is important finding finding your work, finding the thing that you want a photograph and really make it yours. All right, so many questions coming in from bringing that, um, we have time for maybe one or two. A question from, um well, Kelly Hoffer said, How do you get access without credentials. We 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 attitude? You know, it really depends on what? Your city. It depends what you want to shoot. If you want to go photograph a 49 of 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 talk to someone of 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 out next to go into the college games and, you know you show it to the P R. Guy. Show him your pictures is Oh, yeah, you're pretty good. You 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 built it. Okay, 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 IPhones. Are they helpful tool for a photojournalist Mobile photography? For Are they impacting photojournalism world in adverse ways? Yeah, I think. IPhones a greater you kitty. I love mine. Um, 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. Um, 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 love instagram. I mean, I think it's great. Um, 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 have 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 cause, like, you know, say, with print 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 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 the way that you look at the world but the way that you present the world to us. So thank you so much. Thank you so much. Can I mention one thing? One more thing. And that is I'm gonna be doing a little thing about how I pack my bag. And I think that's gonna be on the DVD. Yes, right. One of the bonus videos or DVDs, a bonus. A bonus video. Okay. 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 gonna take the thing apart and just show you what I shoot with and what I carry and the think tank bags that I use. I'll just show you kind of my style of working. That's awesome. Thank you. 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. Creativelive tell us about think tank. Well, think tank. Um, my husband and I are co founders of the company. We teamed up with bag designers to back designers in 2005 and started the company. And you know the company we now have, I think about 150 different bags. You know, we've got rolling cases. 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, I'll I'll want a different bag, you know, in Africa, it was a tight security. So I wanted something around my hips and my shoulder. So But anyway, we, um you know, we've got a great group of people, and we really Arad was trying to come up with new solutions in how to carry your cameras and coming. It's 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 dio I can say for personal experience that I truly loved.