Some assignments can be best visualized with an environmental portrait. I’ve had a few over the last month that really summed up what the story was about.
This first one is of a man named David Johnson. I met David at two in the morning at the scene of a fatal house fire. He lived in the neighboring building and rescued many people from the burning building. He expresses much guilt for not being able to save one woman who died in the fire. We did a followup story on David and I met him to shoot a portrait. I had him stand in front of the burnt building and took a few shots.
The next portrait I did is of a woman named Lisa Archey. Lisa lives on a block where there are neglected and abandoned homes bringing down the neighborhood. She has a background in helping revitalize rough communities.
The final portrait is of Bud Bush. Bud, on top of all of his community service, has built a website tracking the genealogy of much of the county. He recently became wheelchair bound and volunteers helped him by building a ramp at his house.
For a photojournalist, a portrait needs to tell a story. I think these do the job.