Jun 16, 2013
Some of you have showed some interest in seeing some photos I took for the Hearst Championship in San Francisco a couple weeks ago, so here’s my entry!
Basically, at the championship, six photographers go from around the nation and do a ‘shootout.’ In 36 hours we had to photograph a picture story on immigrants/immigration in San Francisco, and as a secondary assignment, photograph a spot-news event (which was a total pain in the ass without a car in a city you don’t know).
We had a little less than a week before the competition to talk to people and hunt down a story subject, the only rule being you could only do things over the phone or internet, or basically make progress anyone could make from anywhere in the globe, not just those fortunate enough to come early or to have previous experience in San Francisco.
It was an awesome week, I met some awesome people including the family I was lucky enough to photograph.
I chose to do my story on multigenerational Chinese households and how it takes several generations and decades for an immigrant family to fully disperse from a small, packed apartment. I also wanted to focus on the fact tradition and family ties remain strong as the family disperses.
The Quan family eats a hybrid Chinese, Vietnamese and American dinner together on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. In many immigrant cultures, it takes several generations of immigrants to fully disperse a family in their new country. When a family initially moves to the states, they often squeeze into a small one-bedroom apartment. Eventually a family member will buy a nicer, larger home, and the family will go there and split between the two places. This happens repeatedly until the family all has their own space, if ever. It is not uncommon to have many generations under the same roof. During the dispersement process and after, Chinese families stay extremely close and often make homemade meals every single night, sit around a circular table, and have family from around town over to share.
In 1937 the Quan family immigrated from a village in Southeastern China to Vietnam to escape the Japanese. In 1987, the family was again moved by war and began their immigration to the United States just after the Vietnam War. Now, they live in many different houses, but the bulk of the family, three generations, share a two story, three bedroom house in South San Francisco and have strong ties throughout everyday life.
San Le Li, the wife of the middle generation in the household, cooks dinner on Tuesday night while her sister, Binh Quan, helps in the kitchen. San Le Li cooks homemade food every night, for every meal.
Binh Quan talks to her mother Binh Troung in the kitchen as food is being made. After everyone gets off work they come to the Quan household for a few hours to catch up, eat, and help out.
In Chinese-American culture, it is extremely important to eat around a round table, that way everyone can reach the food. The Quan’s eat traditional Chinese food with influences from their time in Vietnam and the States.
Natalie Ng, five, runs through the Quan’s house on Tuesday night. Natalie has a week off before summer school at her church, so the Quan’s are trading off watching their youngest generation while her mother and father are at work.
Binh Troung, 83, lights incense at her shrine early in the morning. Troung wakes up at 7am every morning to pray and light incense and candles to thank the gods for her pleasant life. She once prayed for her family to remain safe during the wars, and now prays much more often because she says her prayers were answered. The Quan family realizes that the shrine might be a lost tradition after Troung passes away because it takes a lot of effort, time, and space. They pointed out it’s a battle to keep traditions, like the shrine and speaking Chinese, alive.
Binh Quan helps her grandmother roll up her sleeves in the living room of the Quan’s house on Tuesday evening. Binh often takes care of her grandmother, Binh Troung and makes sure she is in good health.
Ming Quan, daughter of Binh Troung, right, shows her mother a wedding picture of extended family before family dinner on Tuesday evening.
Sing Quan, center, says goodbye to his grandmother, Binh Troung, while his niece, Natalie ng plays at the table. In Chinese-American culture, it is extremely important to say hello and goodbye when leaving the home. Sing always comes upstairs from his downstairs apartment to check in with his family as he comes and goes as a sign of respect.
Sing Quan soothes his niece Natalie ng after she hurt her hand on Tuesday afternoon. Sing tries to spend as much time with the younger generation as he can.
Sing Quan ties his shoes while his mother San le LI waves goodbye before he heads to work as a youth ministries director at the Cameron House in Chinatown. Sing works with first generation immigrant children and sets up programs for them. Sing and his wife live in a small apartment below his parents and grandmother in Souther San Francisco.
Nathaniel ng squeezes his lollipop while his mother, Susan, talks with Sing Quan, right, and his sister, Natalie, looks through her backpack, after family dinner on Tuesday.
The Quan family walks to the car after family dinner on Tuesday night, before everyone settles in for an early evening.
…and spot news: (I grabbed a ride along with the Fire Department to help guarantee some ‘news.’
San Francisco firefighters and Paramedics put a crashed bicyclist on a stretcher on Wednesday afternoon at 23rd and Florida in the Mission in San Francisco. The bicyclist took a turn too fast and hit the red car, left. The driver of the car, back, watched as he was lifted into the ambulance.
Thank for looking guys,
Jun 14, 2013
Quick post, I’ll elaborate later, but I’m in my first week at The Denver Post, and yesterday I was sent out to shoot the first-ever evacuations within city limits of Colorado Springs.
The Hubbard Family was nice enough to allow me into their home as they evacuated from a voluntary evacuation area on Thursday afternoon.
I wish them the best. They just moved into their dream home after moving around for 24 years due to the father in the house being in the military. He retired officially last Tuesday and just made it out to the house, and they had to pick up and leave right away due to Colorado’s most damaging fire.
Things look to be settling down a bit, but here are a few photos from yesterday. All photos copyright The Denver Post.
AAnd be sure to check out the staff’s coverage here: http://www.denverpost.com/coloradowildfires2013?source=Subnav_News_CoWildfires
May 12, 2013
Today Trinity and Sierra graduated from high school! They both got lots of whoops and hollers as they walked across the stage, then went out to Sierra’s mom’s house out of town to hang out with family to celebrate.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve done some rough edits with this story. After talking with a bunch of editors, friends and photographers, I decided to keep an eye out for story telling details and some sense of the outside world. Today I was able to grab a detail I really liked that and also a shot with some family involved. I did get a photo with Trinity talking to some older women (grandmas), but it just didn’t have enough ‘umph.’
It’s been so extremely rewarding to be able to follow the two of them around for the past 6 months. I’ll only have another one or two trips out to Macon before I head out for Denver this summer, and I couldn’t thank the two of them, and their family and friends, enough for teaching me the value of long form story telling and the deep and meaningful relationships that can stem from them. I’m proud of both of you and you have taught me so much. Thank you.
Here are the two photos I mentioned and some extras I liked from the day.
Sierra got a giant blanket from her grandma covered in pictures of herself as she grew up. ^^^
Thanks for looking!
Mar 20, 2013
Today I got to reconnect with Sierra and Trinity. They’re both doing wonderful and are ready to graduate and move onto bigger things. Today I tagged along with them as Trinity got measured for her tux for prom, they visited Sierra’s friends and their three-month-old daughter. While rocking the baby asleep Sierra told me the two had already come up with names for their children one day. Here are some photos I liked from today. It’s always awesome catching up with them.
The baby seemed to get along with Sierra a bit better. Trinity said this happened every damn time.
The two are staying together even though Trinity will be headed to Columbia to study journalism at MU and Sierra will start on her path towards medicine closer to home.
The two have already proposed and are engaged and could be getting married as early as this summer.
You two are awesome. Thanks for letting me hang around all the time.
Mar 17, 2013
I’ve shot 14 basketball games in the past two weeks for Missouri State High School Activities Association tournament. It’s been a bit ridiculous, a little over kill, but it helped shake off a bit of my rust.
I hardly had time outside of the games to shoot many features. I had to knock off my laundry list of stuff for the wire, and access was limited, so when I got the chance I tried to watch out for the range of emotion that comes with a shot at the state title.
A bit of a long post, but here are some of my favorite moments from the past couple weeks.
Thanks for wading through all these! It’s super nice to be shooting more again. More to come!
Dec 2, 2012
Hey! It’s been ages since I’ve blogged. I apologize. I have a lot of work to show as the semester winds to an end, so expect more posts soon. Here are some current frames.
I’ve been blessed with not only getting to work with Trinity once (for my My Life My Town project last year), but again for my capstone project with Rita Reed and David Rees.
Trinity has fallen in love with Sierra since I saw her last. The two are extremely involved and live in Trinity’s home with her father. They go to school together, but both work many hours a week and have lots of school obligations. Their time together is precious when they get it and are looking to continue their relationship as Trinity goes to MU next year to pursue journalism and Sierra works on a career in radiology.
I’ll be shooting much more of this, but here are some frames I’ve liked from my first two days with them. It’s been a blast.
Thanks for looking guys!
Oct 25, 2012
This last weekend I had my first assignment for the AP since this summer. It made me a bit nostalgic about this summer, but really made me miss working everyday. That’s all I want!
Williams, a singer, known for his rendition of “Moon River” and his Christmas specials, passed away on Sep. 25. His friends and family organized a public show at his theater, the Moon River Theater, in Branson, Mo., as a sort of last hoorah. Branson entertainers and other friends such as the Osmonds, the Gatlin Brothers, Bob Newhart and the John Davidson showed up to show their support and perform.
Either way, it was nice to go to an event that’s a bit staged and one-dimensional, and try and make some slightly off-beat frames. It was my first time in Branson, and it is just such a strange, strange place.
Andy, I didn’t know you, but from all the stories I heard that day, you sound like a pretty great dude. RIP.
Thanks for looking!
Aug 27, 2012
I hope you’ve heard of Larry Towell. He’s awesome.
I remember when a friend of mine showed me his book “The Mennonites” for the first time, and it’s had a lasting impression on me since.
Towell worked with the Mennonites of Canada (his home), and as migrant workers in Mexico. I just really, really enjoy all these pictures. They are older, but a bit off beat. They are seen differently. Clean, yet not over thought.
I like the idea of covering something as a whole community. I think these sort of essays and stories are important documentation of our time and people. I think Towell does a fantastic job of having a visual continuity to this work. Without it, it would just be a bunch of pictures.
Aug 7, 2012
It’s pretty hot around LA this week. Somewhat of a heatwave, though it isn’t like it is in the Midwest. Either way, I went to the Valley because the mountains block the cool ocean breeze from chilling things down. I drove around, walked a few blocks with a mailman, accidentally stumbled across people setting up a set for “Parks and Recreation” and ran into kids getting snow cones. The awesome Jonathan Makiri suggested a pool in the area I check out, so I headed there. At first I just walked around the pool, but eventually talked to a family who was beating the heat in the water and they suggested I hop in. I was a bit wishy washy….but grabbed my shorts and fish tank from the car and made some photos.
Aug 6, 2012
So I just CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT TENNIS.
I’m only half joking. Every time I bring up a sport, or more specifically, shooting a sport, I refer to all sports as “tennis,” after my five days at the Farmers Classic held at UCLA.
Here is one of my favorite off moments from the week.
Thanks for looking,
Aug 3, 2012
Today I woke up to a call to head to the Chick-fil-A in Hollywood to check out the scene. Purportedly gay-rights activists were supposed to be kissing in protest at the food chain all over the country.
The first time I went today it was more media than activists, and I heard from Jonathan Alcorn that part of the protest wasn’t supposed to happen until later. So on my way back home from work I stopped by to see what was up. Thanks to Timmy Huynh for helping me edit! (He has a new website and it looks great.
These two guys were heterosexual but there to support their gay friends and show just how foolish the whole ordeal is in their minds.
Aug 3, 2012
Back in June I photographed a few of the events at the X-Games. The wire didn’t need them all that bad, I was credentialed and went when I had some free time. After going for two days, I realized it wasn’t something I was too interested in shooting. There were just way too many media rules and regulations and access was extremely limiting (everyone gets the same shot, unless you work for the X-Games).
But, on my first day there I had an open stadium to play with, more or less, for MotoX practice. Names were difficult because there was no announcer, numbers or roster.
I have a slow day in the office today so I flipped back through some old takes and here’s what I found from the practice.
Aug 1, 2012
Catholic schools all around the country are struggling with dropping enrollment. Principal Cori Marasco is helping head a new push for increased enrollment at Our Lady of Lourdes in East L.A. Her school is attempting to get the community involved and get kids to inspire kids into being apart of their program. Our Lady of Lourdes is offering incentives, in discounts and prizes, and is making a push to better their facilities. They’re restructuring their curriculum to teach kids in a multi-age classroom. Students are volunteering their time after school to help renovate and keep the facilities in tip-top shape in hopes of boosting enrollment. The efforts seem to be paying off. The school, which was on the brink of closing with just over 30 students enrolled at one point (K-8), now has near 150 signed up for this coming fall.
As far as shooting went, it was fun!
I arrived, and Christina and I talked with Principal Marascos for a few minutes. Half way through Christina’s interview, the principal offered up “oh! the kids get out of school in fifteen minutes, if you want to get any pictures?” “YES.” So I proceeded to take about as many pictures as I could until the kids got out of class.
I don’t remember where, but I once heard some awesome advice for photographing children in a classroom. Click, click, and click some more without any film in the camera. Kids get bored quickly, and play into it. So I did just that. Snap, snap, snap and they were bored, and I got to get to the real picture making.
Thanks for looking.
Jul 25, 2012
Jul 24, 2012
Anaheim’s been a hot spot for a few days. Earlier this week Manuel Angel Diaz was killed on North Anna Drive, purportedly unarmed, shot in the back of the neck and head. The next day Joel Mathew Acevedo was shot dead after fleeing from police and firing at them.
In the following days people of Anaheim rushed the police station, started fires in trashcans and started a riot large enough that police needed to intervene, all in protest of the police shootings.
Last night friends and family of Diaz held a prayer vigil along North Anna Drive. They asked for people’s thoughts, prayers, and actions against police brutality.
I hate that this is my second blog post in a row with such sad a sad story. These things are difficult to shoot. It’s emotionally draining to drop into these situations knowing that I’ll never quite understand how it feels, no matter how hard I try and how lightly I step. I don’t have the words for it just yet. Maybe one day.
Interning in LA has been a sobering experience. If you had asked me if I felt ‘invincible’ a few years ago, I of course would have said no. But the reality of how frail life actually is has been setting in more and more. This isn’t only because of the things I’ve covered. I get dozens and dozens of emails a day about all the happenings of the LA/SoCal area. Most days I wake up to an email about a fatal accident somewhere on the highway system, or a number of shootings and other crimes. So I just ask of my family and friends, be safe. Don’t take anything for granted.
I headed out to Anaheim after eating dinner with my good friend, and LA Times intern, Patrick T. Fallon. We agreed to meet each other there. I can be completely honest in saying that no one has the work ethic he does. I’ve never seen anyone more committed to making the best picture and staying until his work is done. He’s always thought out, prepared, and has all possible circumstances planned for whenever he is shooting. It’s always a learning experience shooting next to him and I hope to one day have such a level head on my shoulders while behind the camera. Keep it up man, and thanks for everything.
Thanks for reading everyone.
Jul 6, 2012
Yesterday was rough. There was a triple shooting in South LA late on the Fourth. As far as I know, two are injured and hospitalized. I’m unsure if it’s right for me on my personal blog to release the name of the young girl who was killed.
Unfortunately, this happens more often than you’d imagine in LA. Someone murmured something about six shooting this month in just South LA. Motives for most are still technically unknown, though there is speculation, of course.
When I showed up to explore the scene and photograph the memorial, nothing was going on. Not a soul was out. There were a handful of candles out at the curb, particularly eerie firework debris. I called back to the office to let them know the situation. I decided to stick around for a bit and talk to another journalist I ran into. As I waited around, the victim’s aunt (who I understand was the primary guardian) came out of her home and met family friends and neighbors for a few minutes.
As I stood outside her yard, a young kid with a colorful flat-brimmed hat rode up on a BMX bike. As soon as he stopped, a couple older kids that new him and a few neighbors came up to him and told him he needs to take the hat off. Told him that he can’t wear that hat around here. It was a friendly reminder, not a threat. But I realized I was in a much different environment than I’m familiar with. I’m not completely naive to it, but to have something small like that happen feet away from me was an experience itself.
Here are a few photos from this quick assignment that was more eye opening than expected.
Thoughts and sympathies go out to all the victims’ family and friends.
Jul 4, 2012
Jul 2, 2012
Jun 30, 2012
Today I covered what I could of Rodney King’s memorial in Hollywood Hills. Much of the ceremony was private, per the families wishes, but this is what I got hanging around outside.
Reverend Al Sharpton looks in one last time onto Rodney King’s casket in the back of hearse on Saturday, June 30, 2012 in Los Angeles.
Thanks for looking,
Jun 15, 2012
I had yesterday (Wednesday) off, and worked all day today. The Kings had their celebration parade and rally at Staples. This sort of thing is so much fun to be at, and you get a front row seat, but it is a media frenzy. It’s put on almost for the media. Everyone has their entire equipment locker strapped on them, all trying to get the same shot. It’s part of the job though! Any day taking pictures is better than a day another. I’m learning how to shoot for me and a wire at the same time. I think I’ll be working on that for the duration of the summer.