For the past month, I’ve been working on a project multiple people have referred to as “a perfect fit.” It’s basically what I was made for.
It’s fascinating how joy, seriousness, comprehension, and innocence can all exist in one person, in the same instant.
I photographed the graduation ceremony of the most recent graduating class of the Detroit Emergency Medical Service Academy. These cadets officially became EMTs for the city of Detroit. In the same moment, you could feel their joy at their accomplishment, while watching the seriousness in their faces – a respect for the ceremony and their newly-earned responsibilities. They had the fresh, innocent look of any new graduate in any industry while, in the back of their minds, they knew what they would see in the line of duty.
On the way to a friend’s house in Southfield, MI, I drove over an intersection with good visibility and saw a plume of smoke on the horizon. Thinking it would be something close, small, and insignificant, I picked up my buddy and we went to check it out. (We are photographers after all).
Well, as we were heading in the direction of the smoke, we realized it must be bigger than I thought because we didn’t seem to be getting closer. Turns out it was actually 20 miles away.
From what I gather, it was an abandoned factory complex on Detroit’s West Side and the PD have no idea what happened.
To reiterate the scale, we met up with a volunteer firefighter from a northern suburb. He was there because he saw the fire from Auburn hills – almost 40 miles away.
Here are some of the shots.
I’ve been gettin’ retroactive lately.
I’ve been feeling the need to restructure my portfolio – trimming down some spots, bulking up some others, creating new categories altogether… Throughout the process I’ve been looking through my work from early on in my career all the way up to last week. It’s been fascinating.
One of the trends I notice repeating itself is that of the “completely ridiculous.” It seems to be a driving force in a lot of my personal work.
Which brings us to the topic at hand.
2 years ago there was a competition for a scholarship; I had to tell a story in 8 images. As per usual, I put things off and it was dangerously close to the deadline. Then I got a call from the accepting committee, reminding me that I still had not submitted. I confirmed that there were still 4 days left to submit.
They corrected me. It turns out I had gotten the date wrong. I had less than 36 hours.
With the relentless help of Carl Amyoni, we jumped into action.
In a 30-hour shooting spree we planned the shoot, bought the props, found the locations (3 different cities), shot the pictures, and ran post production.
The project won 2nd place in the nation.
I share with you – NERDMAN.