Leaping Van Gogh


Just the other day I had the opportunity to photograph a local modern dancer. Deneane is a dancer and choreographer in Philadelphia and we met when she needed head shots done for her portfolio. When I photographed her head shots in the studio we got to talking and had all sorts of ideas of how we might be able to get creative and do a few images that would be above and beyond. What better way to go above, than to actual leap over a building!



I had the idea of Deneane doing high leaps on the top of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps. No matter where you are in the world if you have seen the movie “Rocky”. One of the most famous scenes is of Rocky running up those steps and putting his arms up in a victory stance at the top.

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It’s About Giving Your All


Back in early October I wrote an article about seizing opportunity where ever it arises, in this case the beginning of Occupy Philadelphia, titled Opportunity in the Streets. I really didn’t know what business I might get out of that but I am happy to say that those images and thousands I took at the occupy encampment has led to other shoots and events that I was only able to get because I was there.


Through meeting people at Occupy I have gotten events, portrait shoots and a number of other gigs that have kept me very busy over the 56 days that the movement occupied Dilworth Plaza in from of City Hall in Philadelphia. So in a sense I guess I am indebted to the people there and the movement too. But how did a political demonstration/movement/evolution really give me chances to get work?

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Opportunity In The Streets

This past spring the world was flooded with images, even more images than usual. The protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere filled our inboxes, Facebook pages and news sources. Images and stories filled our eyes and our minds. The shear proliferation of cameras assured that few if any didn’t see some image involving at least one of those events.

But of those images, although almost all were moving, few told the story alone. There was just too much to say and it takes many, many images to tell the whole story. This story isn’t over either, there is much more to tell.


This article is not about politics. But it is about the protesters and the stories that can be told and the images that may tell those stories. As I write this thousands are at a rally called Occupy Wall Street and many more occupations are beginning to take place throughout America, Canada, the UK, Australia and many other places. There is now Occupy Wall Street, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, and today marchers hit the streets in Greece again as well. These people “are the 99%.”


How is this opportunity?  This is opportunity for every person with a camera to tell a story. This is a chance for professional photographers to get in touch with what brought many of us into the industry in the first place, and the chance to tell not only a story but to tell the story in the way that we see it. This is an opportunity to capture history in the making.  It is opportunity in the streets.
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What you capture, the story you tell may be from the right or the left, if you are a journalist you will try to tell it from the point of view of an observer. To truly document these occupations you will need to be in the streets, out where the story is, among the people.


Tell your side of the story; get out and capture the chance of a lifetime when the story actually comes to you in your home city or town.  Whether you are telling the story of the 1%, the 99% or both this is a chance to make images that will be remembered for a lifetime other than your own.


Maybe I will see you out there.