While taking Photojournalism II at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, I started several photodocumentaries. I soon became hooked. There is so much a good photojournalist can do, from introducing the viewer to another individual they might never otherwise meet to dealing with hard-hitting social issues.
We will continue to add or change photos, so please check back periodically.
Note: We are also adding a couple of photo documentaries in the very early stages at the bottom of this page; some may simply become a loosely-linked batch of photos, and remain as such, while others may go on to become full-fledged photo documentaries. Please check these out.
Democracy in Action
What does democracy mean to you? Do you think of voting in an election? Does it evoke images of protests? Possibly gathering to honor someone who has made a difference? How about meeting with your local elected officials, or going to a city council meeting to address a concern?
Chances are it means all of that and more. Democracy is a complex ideal and should involve everyone in order to become a true democracy.
My Home Town
Pinellas Park, Florida, located on Florida's west coast, is a city with blue-collar roots, rather than blue-blood royalty.
Over the years, it has been growing, changing, trying to become more inclusive. While it still maintains its working-class persona, its growth - and changes - make life interesting.
More photos will be posted in the near future...
These are photos to go with a video documentary. Some of the photos show nature in its glory: some photos were taken in parks where people can go on specified trails and boardwalks, while others were taken, well, au natural. Then there's the garbage photos.
The emphasis on the photo and video documentaries, both currently in the filming stage, will be on what the individual can do to help save and protect the environment. Many of us wonder, "What can I do? I'm only one person." Frequently, that's all it takes to start fixing what we consider to be a problem. When Lois Gibbs wondered why so many people in her community had rare cancers, she tried to find out what the cause could be. When she discovered that her son's elementary school was built on a toxic dump, she organized her neighbors, contacted the media and brought the problem out in the open; years later, her name might not be instantly recognizable, but many of us have heard of Love Canal. Erin Brockovich also blew the whistle on corporate greed poisoning people.
There are still people who are working to help the environment, both individually and in groups. The finished photo and video documentaries will be dedicated to these people, those I know about, and those unnamed people striving to make a positive difference.
Photos were taken from the mid-1980s through to the present. Taken in Pinellas County, Florida.
People of Pinellas County
No doubt you've run across people or places that cause that little voice to say, "Wow, I'd love to know a little more about him or her..." Is it that artist whose house is really cool, a touch of whimsy creeping out into the yard? How about the tuxedoed man who cooks great barbecue for the public? Or that couple next door who started a home-brewing business to supplement their income and who finally quit their day jobs to keep up with the demands of their new venture? Then there's the couple running that really fantastic Mom-and-Pop store or restaurant with their fingers on the pulse of the community.
But even if someone doesn't stand out by their dress or actions, we all have our stories, that spark, life experience, that something that makes us different: the 80-year-old student sitting in on college classes to get an education denied years earlier; the middle-schooler who has become a budding Andrew Wyeth, Clyde Butcher or Donna Ferrato, or Anna Quindlen after a brief meeting with an artist; the cashier at the local grocery store who escaped from her war-torn country to start a new life in the U.S.
This photo documentary introduces the viewer to interesting people from around Pinellas County, Florida. We'll be adding photos, so please check back.
Photo Documentaries in the very beginning stages
These are a few of the projects in the earliest stages:
Women at Work - This project will deal with women's work, whether as homemakers or in the workforce. It will include traditional jobs, such as teaching, nursing and/or secretarial as well as non-traditional, such as firefighters, police officers, doctors, construction workers...the list goes on.
Finding Our Way - As the recession continues, many have found themselves forced out of jobs that they had counted on to pay the bills. While many have been fortunate enough to find suitable jobs, others haven't been as lucky. Some of those left without jobs - or with part-time jobs that don't quite pay the bills and therefore need assistance of some sort (see Suncoast Haven of Rest, above), others have created jobs for themselves: hobbies have turned to a means of income; volunteer positions have lead to paying jobs; an idea of "I'd love to do that if I had the time" becomes a way to make a living.