Photojournalism in Los Angeles

This assignment is a case for Photojournalism in Los Angeles.

The editorial-style assignment for JVS Socal was to photograph case manager Ernesto Sanchez, who came to JVS SoCal through a re-entry program that gives formerly imprisoned people the opportunity to get work experience through subsidized employment. Only a short time after joining the organization, he was recognized with a JVS SoCal Inspiration Award.

I don’t do much photojournalism in Los Angeles anymore, but my impulses and skills remain. Combined with my commercial and portrait-making sensibilities, these kinds of assignments can turn out pretty well. I enjoyed being cut loose to come up with a series of images that characterized Enersto in a dignified manner. I just loved making this set of images.

The best thing was that the client just let me rip. Their offices were not a great place to tell Enersto’s story so we walked around the neighborhood looking for suitable locations. We did not have much of a photography budget so, it was just me Ernesto, and the client who held a reflector for me while I chose the locations for the pictures.

I selected a 50mm 1.2 lense for the project, which isolated the subject from the background while creating a soft out-of-focus environment.  It was just me riffing off of the environment and the good fortune I had with the weather. Nice diffuse sunlight and interesting and relevant locations to photograph Ernesto. I liked the simplicity of the project and the authenticity of Ernesto. The perfect storm of elements to create a photojournalistic biography of the man. My photography assignments do not get much more satisfying for me.

This is much different than some of my other photojournalism bast projects but the story makes for case for biographical photojournalism in Los Angeles. As a media tool, it can be very powerful if executed properly.

Thank you JVS and Ernesto Sanchez for this opportunity.