A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of covering a PR event for a non-profit called Building Homes For Heroes, where the organization announced that they were building a home to a double amputee war veteran, his wife and five children! As beautiful as it was to witness an organization giving back to a man who made great sacrifices for the freedoms we all as Americans get to enjoy, this wasn’t the focus of what struck me the most. As documentary photographers, we observe people. With cameras in hand, I’d call my style less fly on the wall and more unobtrusive trusted partner of moments, enjoying and sharing what unfolds in front of me. That morning, the extent to which how irrelevant the father’s disabilities were to his family was on center stage. The way his wife looked at him screamed, I love you louder than the words said out loud can ever match. The way he gently yanked his oldest boy by the collar in an effort to slow down his roughhousing or the way one of his youngest clung to his neck and shoulders, as though it was the safest place in the world, relayed just how little his disability affected his family. I’ve read and seen stories about people overcoming their physical disabilities but witnessing it to this extent was mesmerizing. I hope to photograph this wonderful family again. From left, Paul Alfonso, Austin Frosch, Emma Boudreau, and Sophia Bizzarro donate a paper flag they made in Heidi Albertie’s kindergarden class at Northlake Park Community School to wounded veteran Robert Jackson during a groundbreaking ceremony by Building Homes For Heroes in Orlando, Fla. on April 2, 2013. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
One of the shooting positions allotted to photographers during the 2013 Sony Open was five feet on either side of the southern most baseline in the first role of the stands. All of these photos were taken from the same spot as these athletes started a point. I find it interesting to see the service motion of each of these finalists next to each other. As similar as their motion may seem at first glance, the subtle differences become very interesting. For example, at 5′ 9″ David Ferrer is the shortest player yet he jumps the highest while serving. Maria Sharapova has the highest trailing leg kick, which could mean she leans forward into the court more so than anyone else. Serena Williams stands much more square to the net than anyone else, yet she still has the fastest average serve in women’s tennis. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
David Ferrer of Spain serves against Andy Murray of Great Britain during their final match at the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 31, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
Maria Sharapova of Russia serves to Serena Williams of the USA during the Womens Final match of the Sony Open on Day 13 at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 30, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
I LOVE TENNIS! It’s pretty obvious! David Ferrer of Spain does battle with Tommy Haas of Germany during the Mens Semi Final match on Day 12 of the Sony Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 29, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
I LOVE TENNIS! Can you tell?David Ferrer of Spain returns a shot against Jurgen Melzer of Austria during Day 10 of the Sony Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 27, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
I LOVE TENNIS! Yes, I do!
Janko Tipsarevic, of Serbia, gathers himself in between points against Gilles Simon, of France, at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., Tuesday, March 26, 2013. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
I LOVE TENNIS! It was such a pleasure for me to photograph it at the pro level, not to mention at one of the most pretty venues in the world where the light is magical! At 5 years old, tennis was the first sport I liked and stuck with. Too bad I got burned out on it just before high school. In college I picked it back up and was offered a partial scholarship for one year to play at a NCAA DIII school. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to attend that school…
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia prepares for the next point against Sara Errani of Italy during the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 25, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
I tried playing with a Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC-E during my coverage of the Oklahoma Thunder verses Orlando Magic game on March 22, 2013. These were my favorites. Trying to manually follow focus along an extremely tilted focal plane is good practice for anyone! It also puts into perspective how hard it was to be a sports photographer pre-auto focus. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES
Polk County is the only county in Florida to detain youth charged as juveniles under jail standards rather than Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) standards. The guards receive virtually no training on how to work with children. In case you are not familiar with the Juvenile Detention Facilities Bill (SB 2112), some people have a problem with the part of the bill that allows the detaining of children in adult facilities instead of juvenile detention centers.
Here is J.P.’s first hand account of an experience he endured while at the Polk County Jail. VIDEO CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES