Monday, June 23, 2008

Week 3

So I survived my first week shooting by myself. I almost died of heart failure on Monday when my first assignment was to shoot a portrait of the CEO of a bank in Miami, and he gave me only three minutes to shoot. I really almost died.

I didn't take any amazing pictures last week, but my favorite assignment was with a dog and kids, of course. I was assigned to shoot a portrait of two guys and their dog on Thursday. They rescued Nikki from the Humane Society, and have started a campaign to try to get cities to adopt an ordinance to not allow people to chain their dogs. When the 911 Animal Rescue show on Animal Planet found her, she was running around with a chain embedded in her neck about an inch wide and an inch deep. She had to go through surgary to have the chain removed, and she has a scar that goes all the way around her neck. So now her owners go around to schools and camps and around to the community to talk about the cruelty of chaining dogs. When I was shooting their portrait we were talking, and they told me that they were going to a summer camp on Friday to talk to the kids about Nikki. I thought it sounded like it would be a much better opportunity for pictures, and much more interesting than a portrait, so I told my editor about it and he said I could shoot it. So Friday morning I went down to Davie and I had so much fun. I'm happy with what I got, but everyone always tells me to stop shooting kids and animals because they're so easy to shoot. But regardless, I think I was able to shoot it in a different way than I normally do, so I think that's ok. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from that assignment.

I love this last one, it cracks me up! But they didn't want it.

I'll be shooting something more serious today...the sentencing of a guy who shot a police officer last year. I'm not looking forward to sitting in court, but I'm a little excited because I've never taken pictures in a court before.

And I think I may have found a story! Hopefully...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Rest of Week 2

I was still shadowing photographers last week. On Thursday I didn't have to go into the office in the morning, so I decided to show up to my first assignment early. I was meeting Susan in North Lauderdale to photograph the artist Wyland painting a 1,000 foot wall. I got there at 9:25am, but I was told to get there at 10:00. I was really glad I got there early because he ended up going to an interview at 9:45, and didn't come back until 11:30, so I had 20 minutes to photograph him when no one else was there, which was really great. One of the pictures that I took of him during that time ran on the front page of the Local section in color the next day. Here are the pictures I turned in:

The artist known as Wyland, a conservation-minded artist who is based in California, paints details on a dolphin. "This is the fun part of the painting, is adding all the details," says Wyland. Wyland is painting a sea life mural on the 1,000-foot-long wall on the north side of McNab Road, between Rock Island and Avon Lane. The wall is 10-feet-tall and borders the Fountains neighborhood of single-family homes. Wyland has a goal to paint 100 murals that he calls "whaling walls" within 30 years. This is Wyland's 99th wall.

Twelve-year-old Carly Grimes, from Venice, Fla. paints on the kid's mural. Grimes was selected as one of the Youth Ambassadors For The Planet, and will be going to China with Wyland in July.

Wyland congratulates 8-year-old Malik Sainzil, Ga., for doing a great job painting the kid's mural. Wyland painted along with the kids, and also worked on his mural.

The first picture was the one that made the front of Local, but I liked the last one the best. It ran also, but inside the section in black and white.

On Friday I got to shoot my own assignment, and it was really close to my house which was nice. I went to a camp in Coconut Creek to take a picture showing that camps are still crowded with kids even though the economy is really bad. When I got to the camp I found out that they were having a color wars event, which meant that the kids were going to be separated into different groups. So it was hard to show how crowded it was. But this is what I came back with:

(Left) Eight-year-olds Kendall Carr, from Coconut Creek, and Marley Hall, from Coral Springs, watch as seven-year-old Mason Hall, from Coral Springs, runs a relay race during Sport Star Camp at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek on Friday, June 13, 2008. Working parents are not cutting costs by keeping their kids out of summer camp, despite the faltering economy. Sport Star Camp's enrollment is about the same as it was last year. Attendance at local camps has not dropped in most cases from last year, because working parents still need care for their out-of-school kids.

Then I went with staff photographer Carey Wagner to photograph an 84-year-old guy who is getting in trouble with the city because his 22-inch boat that he drives in the lake in the back of his condo is too loud. I had a lot of fun watching him because he reminded me of my grandpa. Every time his boat would break he would stomp his foot and shake his fist and say, "son of a bitch!" And it cracked me up.

John Madden, 84, tries to fix his 22-inch toy boat. Madden plays with his boat in the lake behind his building, but the association says that it's illegal and reported him to Margate Code Compliance for violating a city code. Code Compliance Officers came out to measure the sound that the boat makes, but they weren't able to get an accurate reading because the boat kept breaking. From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the maximum amount of sound allowed is 60 decibles.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Week 2

My second week got off to an okay start... I got to shoot my own assignment in a Wal-Mart. The story is about how companies and consumers are reacting to the problem of overfishing worldwide by switching to fish that is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. The pictures are boring so I'm not posting them. Then I got sent to meet up with Lou at a park that Dwayne Wade was going to be speaking at.

NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade celebrates the winning of the Staples Dream Park Challenge. Mitchell/Moore Park is the grand prize winner of $25,000 in park improvements on June 9, 2008.

This was a feature I shot at a nearby water park.

Ft. Lauderdale resident Michele Wiggins plays in the water with her son, one-year-old Angelo Piccirillo, at Croissant Park Pool on June 9, 2008. Wiggins takes her son to the pool about three times a week.

Then I got sent to shoot a portrait of a guy that is in trouble with the city of North Lauderdale for wearing the city seal on a t-shirt. I was so nervous because I'm awful at shooting portraits, but I really liked the way this one turned out. It ran on the front page of the Local section in color, which I was happy about.

Former North Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Tumin, 50, received a certified letter on Monday, June 9, 2008, threatening him with legal action for wearing a shirt with the city seal on it. Tumin has been seen around the city wearing a shirt with the city seal and the word "debt" underneath. Tumin says that he altered the seal by adding a word, therefore it is no longer the city's seal. Tumin also says that the letter he received is a violation of his First Amendment right to criticize City Hall for what he considers to be wasteful spending.

On Tuesday I went with Susan Stocker to shoot students at Hallendale Beach Elementary School receiving their FCAT scores.

(From left) Ten-year-olds Schnyder Lubin and Nathan Moulton celebrate when their fourth-grade teacher, Aleshia Coleman of Miami, reads out the math FCAT scores that were released on Jun 10, 2008. Schnyder received a three in reading, a four in math, and a six in writing. Moulton received a four in reading, a five in math, and a 5.5 in writing.

I rode along with Joe Cavaretta today to photograph a dog's graduation party. It was great, I love dogs so I really enjoyed it.

Five-year-old Ashley Hayes, Ft. Lauderdale, on left, watches as Franklin, a one-year-old black Labrador Retriever, performs a trick for his foster mom, Valarie Moser, during a graduation party for Franklin. Franklin is heading off to guide dog school. He has been part of the foster family at Lighthouse of Broward since he was nine weeks old. Lighthouse of Broward is a full-service educational and rehabilitation agency that teaches blind or visually impaired babies, adults and senior skills that helps them lead independent lives. Moser is the program director for Lighthouse of Broward, and has been Franklin's official foster parent, teaching him everything from how to behave around people to how to deal with crowds, street noise and riding in buses and airplanes. He will be traveling to the Southeastern Guide Dog Facility in Palmetto, Fla., where he will spend around six months training in a harness before he is matched with a blind person.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Internship, Week 1

The first week of my internship was great, but very tiring. Monday and Tuesday were orientation, but I got to ride along with Susan Stocker on Wednesday morning. We went to an elementary school and turned in three pictures. Then I spent the rest of the day going through more orientation.

Twelve-year-old Genesis Martinez of Miami dances with her friends, (left to right) Samira Manucha, 12, Hollywood, Aldana Ledesma, 11, Hollywood and Aditi Patel, 11, Hollywood, during Hollywood Central's end of elementary school dance on Wednesday, June 4, 2008. "I love dancing," said Martinez. "I just go to my own beat." The dance was held for fifth-grade students who will officially start their "tween years" as they enter middle school next year.

Fifth-grade students Lucia Gil-Morales, 11, Hollywood (in yellow shirt) and Shaina Rivera, 11, Hollywood (foreground), compete in a hula-hoop contest during during Hollywood Central's end of elementary school dance on Wednesday, June 4, 2008.

Kylie Braeseke, 11, Hollywood, competes in a limbo contest during Hollywood Central's end of elementary school dance on Wednesday, June 4, 2008.

On Thursday I got to ride along with Lou Toman, who has been working at the Sun-Sentinel for over 50 years. I shadowed both Lou and Susan about four years ago and they're both great. Lou and I went down to Miami to photograph Bill Parcells with the Miami Dolphins. It wasn't great photo-wise, but it was alright.

While we were waiting for Parcells to come out of his trailer, I saw this guy who looked really interesting, and I spent over an hour talking to him. It turned out he weaves coconut palm leaves. I showed this picture to one of the photo editors and he said to talk to another editor about this guy because they might want to do a story about him.

Miami resident, Dale Silva, weaves coconut palm leaves. Silva learned how to do coconut palm weaving about four years ago when he was recovering from an accident. He can make 22 different palm weaving sculptures, including a rose, grasshopper, angelfish, bat and frog. Silva says that he enjoys weaving palm leaves because he loves meeting different kinds of people on the streets of Miami.

Now here are the pictures I turned in of Bill Parcells.

Bill Parcells, vice president of football operations for the Miami Dolphins, tries out his golf swing in a golf simulator in a setting meant to look like the moon on June 5, 2008. He's helping Gatorade promote Gatorade Tiger, created for Tiger Woods, through a contest where the public tried to get the longest shot in a lunar setting to win a vacation worth $125,000. This contest is a takeoff of the ad with Tiger Woods playing golf on the moon. People tried out for the contest in the simulator at Bayfront Park.

Later in the day Lou let me shoot an assignment for business, but it wasn't visually interesting at all and I don't love the picture, so I'm not posting it.

On Friday I rode along with Andrew Innerty to photograph John McCain in the Everglades. We were there all day and there were Secret Service guys all over the place which was crazy. At first we were going to be on the media pool airboat, and then we weren't, and then about 15 minutes before the media got on the boat, we were going again. So we were on the airboat for over an hour in 90 degree weather. We stopped twice in the Everglades and waited for a long time for McCain's airboat to drive past. The channel 7 news anchor said that he thought it was funny that we went through hours and hours in the boiling heat and sitting on an airboat for a long time, just so forty of us could all get two minutes to get the same picture as everyone else. Which is true, but I guess that's part of the job. Either way, I had a lot of fun and thought it was great. And one of my pictures was on the front page of the paper today!!!!!!

Arizona Sen. John McCain, left, went on an airboat ride at Everglades Safari Park on Friday, June 6, 2008. With him, from left, are his wife, Cindy, his daughter, Meghan and Gov. Charlie Crist.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, backed by U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz said that if elected, he would ask Congress for direct funding of Everglades restoration projects. (This was the picture that made 1A!!!!)

So this week was very exciting and a lot of fun, but I'm really glad that I have this weekend off because my back is killing me from carrying around my 400 lb. equipment! But I still can't wait to see what I'm going to be doing on Monday.