It was made with my cellphone while walking away from the Cochranton Fairgrounds after documenting gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano's visit this summer. This couple had attended to hear what he had to say and I ended up behind them as they were heading back to their car. I saw them holding hands and made a couple frames as they strolled over the walking bridge. The starburst from the sun was an added bonus.
Every year photojournalists around the world share a selection of images they made over the course of the last 12 months. We do this as a breath and as a time to evaluate what we're doing and how we're doing it. We do it to share with our readers and colleagues to emphasize that being a witness is important.
Sometimes we are pleasantly surprised at all the things we captured and the way we captured them. Some years we knock it out of the park and other years our eye and reflexes might not have been quite as keen.
This year, I wouldn't call stellar in terms of portfolio possibilities, but boy did I cover a lot of things. As I look at all these images I remind myself I am witness to life around me and the images I make, whether they are portfolio worthy or not are important documents of our time and the people and places that I capture ina fraction of a second.
Below is a selection of images from 2022 that are in this collection either because I just like them or there was something important that I was witness to and captured.
No place shows this better than local fairs. The below photo, from the Rocky Grove Fireman's Fair, has so much of the makeup of the community all in one shot. At the time of taking this, I thought it was the best image I had made in a long time. A snapshot (pardon the pun) of how we each live our lives - separate yet together. And it has a "flying" carny making it all the better.
I love being able to capture those little connections that go by us in a blink of an eye.
If we just pay attention and learn, even a simple opening of a spoiled class time capsule can show a bit of who we are as a community.
Who might pick up the slack to do what is needed? Are these service organizations a thing of the past? Is there a next great thing for youth? These are questions, if we truly analyze what we're seeing, that these photographs pose.
I admit to being drawn to children at events, especially when I see them engaging with adults and adults giving them the respect of teaching valuable lessons. Perhaps it was my relationships with my grandparents and many older people growing up, but every time I photograph old and young coming together for a common bond I think of my own childhood and how those connections shaped who I am today.