Tag Archives: Freelance Photographer

Richard Rowland, Untitled

Richard Rowland, Untitled

Richard Rowland

Untitled,
Mumbai, India, 2012
From the Mumbai Stories series
Website – RichardRowland.co.uk

Richard Rowland lives in Brighton, England where he received his BA in photography in 2005. He has a passion for the urban environment and this has led him to undertake projects in cities including Shanghai, Dubai, London and Mumbai. Richard’s work has been included in both national and international publications as well as solo and group exhibitions at the University of Westminster, London, The National Galley, Kosovo, FORMAT Festival (UK), and the Brighton Photo Biennial, England. I recent years he has been regularly funded by Arts Council England the National Lottery (UK). He earns his living as a freelance photographer for design, editorial and publishing clients. Richard’s work has appeared in publications including The Guardian, British Journal of Photography, Vogue and Wallpaper Magazine. 

Articles | November 2012

Some interesting articles and reviews from the past two months.

Afghan policemen patrol during an operation near the border with Pakistan ©
Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Observer: : The Month in Photography | The Observer New Review’s monthly guide to the 20 best photographic exhibitions and books

Sara Hussein: Tweeting from the front line (AFP blog)

Freelance photographer Phil Moore has been filing great work for AFP from Kivu region in Democratic Republic of Congo (I’ll share links to some of the work later this week)… Was fascinating to read about his experiences working in DRC on the AFP’s Correspondent blog…

Photo © Phil Moore / AFP

Phil Moore: ‘I love you very much, that is why we are here’ | Phil Moore on working in DRC

Robert King on working in Syria…

Photo © Robert King

Vice: The Man Who Was There | Robert King has been covering the FSA so long they named him ‘Haji Memphis’

Why we need war correspondents.

Terry Anderson:  Running Toward Danger | ‘Why the world still needs war correspondents.’

New York Times: Using War as Cover to Target Journalists

WaPo and NYT public editors on ‘controversial’ Gaza photos…

Washington Post: Photo of dead baby in Gaza holds part of the ‘truth’

New York Times: Photo Caption Should Have Been Better. But ‘Orwellian’? No. | NYT’s Public Editor defends Tyler Hicks’s Gaza photo caption.

Not your average war correspondent… crazy story…

Sunil Patel: I Went to Syria to Learn How to Be a Journalist…And Failed Miserably At It While Almost Dying A Bunch of Times (Vice)

“Attack—Eastern Front WWII,” 1941, © Dimitri Baltermants, Russian, born Poland, 1912-1990.

PDN: War Correspondence | ‘This month the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) will open an exhibition that promises to change the way photographs of war are seen, understood and written about.’

FT: War and Peace 

Lightbox: War/Photography by Geoff Dyer

Lightbox: This Means War: A Look at Conflict Photography

Telegraph: The unique advantage of female war reporters in Muslim countries

Wired: HBO’s Witness Goes Inside the Pulse-Pounding World of Conflict Photographers 

Fast Company: HBO’s “Witness” Looks At The World’s Deadliest Places Through The Lens of Photojournalists

Photo © Sara Terry

Lens blog: Coming to Terms With the Legacy of War | The Aftermath Project, Putting Together Its Fifth Book

Wired: War Reporters Train in the Bronx, Complete With Blood, Smoke and Gunfire

Cover photo © Ben Lowy

Forbes: Why Time Magazine Used Instagram To Cover Hurricane Sandy

Kenneth Jarecke: Instagram, the Devil, and You (photographer’s blog)

Kenneth Jarecke: Great Job, You’re Fired (photographer’s blog)

Fast Company: An Intimate Portrait Of Innovation, Risk, And Failure Through Hipstamatic’s Lens

Jon Levy: Foto8 is Leaving Home

Five interesting articles from Guardian’s 80 page supplement ‘Photography Masterclass’ from a week or so ago…

Photo © Antonio Olmos

Antonio Olmos: Street Photography (Guardian) ‘Trust your instincts, be brave and alert to every possibility and wear sensible shoes – all that pavement pounding will pay off eventually …’

Martin Argles: Photojournalism (Guardian) Even as technology advances, the role of the photojournalist will remain the same: to expand our awareness of the world

Suki Dhanda: Portrait photography (Guardian) |A powerful portrait must connect the viewer to the subject. Beyond technique and timing, observation and empathy are vita

Eamonn McCabe: Landscape photography  (Guardian)| Good landscape photography does not require epic surroundings – beauty can be found on your doorstep if your eyes are open to it

Guardian: Photography: an ever-evolving art form | Our photography critic examines the changing landscape of a thriving medium

Petapixel: Photojournalists Reflect on Documenting Obama’s Reelection Campaign

Wired: Photographs Are No Longer Things, They’re Experiences

Business Insider: Photographers Will Soon Be The Most Valuable People In The News Room

Lens blog: An Inside View on Documentary Stories

David Campbell: Thinking Images v.25: The politics of the individual against the white backdrop (David Campbell’s blog)

Guardian: Magnum Revolution – review | ‘Magnum photographers provide a compelling visual record of violent uprising from Budapest 1956 to the Arab spring’

Evening Standard: Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present 

Guardian: Photography: is it art? | | ‘From the earliest days of photography, practitioners took their inspiration from paintings. But as a new exhibition at London’s National Gallery shows, the link went both ways’

Guardian: Light from the Middle East offers a true reflection of a complex region | ‘A new exhibition at London’s V&A offers insights from within cultures that are more often photographed and reported from the outside’

Harlem, New York, 1947 © Henri Cartier-Bresson

Guardian: Henri Cartier-Bresson: who can beat the master of monochrome? | ‘An exciting new London exhibition pits Henri Cartier-Bresson, famous for eschewing colour in his photography, against some of the best colour photographers of our time’

ABC News: AP Photographer Walt Zeboski Dies at Age 83

Petapixel: Canadian Photogs Now Officially Own the Copyright to All of Their Photos

Guardian: Enrique Metinides: photographing the dead for Mexico’s ‘bloody news’

PDN: Photographers on Their Favorite Image from Robert Frank’s The Americans

Lightbox: The Americans List: A Salute to Robert Frank

PDN: 8 Dos and Don’ts for Crowd-Funding Campaigns

PDN: How to Survive and Conquer Portfolio Reviews

MediaStorm Field Guide

ADWeek: Time Moves to Responsive Design

BJP: Kodak releases iPhone app for professional film photographers

BJP: Inaugural Photoreporter festival finances photographers

Forbes: Do Not Trust This Joel Sternfeld Photograph

Photo Brigade: Holiday Photo Gift Guide 2012

Visual Culture Blog: London Photography Map

Guardian: The best photography websites, publications and galleries

Lens blog: An Outsider’s Life in Pictures and Boxes | The Still Unfolding Legend Vivian Maier

© Doug Ricard

Lightbox: Street View and Beyond: Google’s Influence on Photography

Lightbox: From Photography to Film: Stanley Kubrick Enters the Ring

Lightbox: The Bechers on Display at Paris Photo

LA Observed: LA Times wins $266,000 from photographer David Strick

Telegraph:  Portraits of a woman | ‘What makes a portrait of a woman unforgettable? We asked eight leading female photographers to identify their favourite.’

BBC: Photographer Dody Weston Thompson dies aged 89

Art Daily: Phillips de Pury & Company announces highlights from its London November Photographs Auction

Andrew Spear

With gun control a heated topic in the upcoming election and horrific events in Colorado recently, the idea that someone would want to own a machine gun still is beyond my comprehension. Photographer, Andrew Spear is exploring that phenomenon in his on-going project, Knob Creek.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Andrew works a freelance photographer, in addition to creating documentary and fine art work. Often choosing to pursue personal projects near home, much of his work reflects his surroundings as he attempts to understand both the communities he lives in and the relationships he builds with others.  His work has been exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography in Houston, Texas, the Annenberg Space for Photography in New York City, and was presented at LOOKBetween in Charlottesville, VA. His clients include Esquire, TIME, Mother Jones, The Washington Post Magazine, Le Monde’s M Magazine, The New York Times, Smithsonian, US News and World Report and The Wall Street Journal amongst many others.

Knob Creek: Twice a year, thousands of gun enthusiasts descend upon the former Naval munitions testing ground outside of West Point, Kentucky to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights at the largest machine gun shoot in America. Used in the early 20th century, the property tested many of the large scale weapons used in World War I and II before being sold in 1963. Now, the Knob Creek Range is one of the last places in the country where privately-owned class III automatic weapons can legally be fired. This is an ongoing body of work.

Review Santa Fe: Jonathan Saruk

Over the next months, I will be sharing some of the photographers who attended Review Santa Fe in June.  Review Santa Fe is the only juried review in the United States and invites 100 photographers to Santa Fe for a long weekend of reviews, insights, and connections.

Jonathan Saruk is a freelance
photographer based between Kabul, Afghanistan and Malmö, Sweden. His days in Kabul show bring a humanity and a face to a culture that is doing it’s best to be part of the contemporary world. I’m featuring two projects, Movie Theaters and Driving School, both are amazing windows into daily life in Afghanistan.



Jonathan’s work has been published in The New
Yorker, Neon Magazine, IO Donna, The Sunday Times Magazine, and his photographs
from Afghanistan were recently selected for the 2012 PDN Photo Annual and
American Photography 28.  Jonathan is a
Featured Photographer with Reportage by Getty Images.


Image from Driving School

Beyond the headlines of the latest suicide
attack, political wrangling or military success, Afghans in the city of Kabul
go about their business going to work, studying, hoping for a better life, and,
among other things, going to the movies and learning how to drive. 
After having spent considerable time covering what is now the longest
military engagement in U.S. history and the plight of a population that has
lived through over 30 years of near constant conflict, I felt that there was a
significant disconnect between the reality of how many live in Kabul and how it
is perceived in the countries sending thousands of troops.  Over
my last several trips to Afghanistan I
have sought out features that can hopefully connect western audiences
with aspects of Afghan society may not have been previously contemplated.
Movie Theaters
On a Friday afternoon this
past summer at Pamir Cinema in the Old City of Kabul, the busiest day of the
week, a standing room only crowd of several hundred young men in a smoke-filled
room cheer on the hero of a Pakistani film as he seeks revenge against the
villain. Match-heads flicker constantly, throwing flashes of light across the
darkened theater as the men chain-smoke throughout the film. Cellphones ring,
and men occasionally yell across the crowded room to locate friends. On stage a
young boy dances with his hands raised in the air, illuminated by the
projector, as his friends in the front of the audience cheer him on.

Only ten years ago, this would have been unthinkable in Kabul – the Taliban had banned, among other things, going to the movies.
Today there are about a half dozen movie theaters that operate around Kabul, giving some relief to otherwise difficult conditions where most still find themselves in the impoverished metropolis.

Driving School

Eight lanes of traffic
squeeze closer together, drivers honking and yelling at one another, as they
attempt to merge into one lane through a broken traffic light.  Dust and exhaust fill the air and
potholes crumble ever wider.  A
traffic cop waves a small stop sign in vain as he tries to make order out of
chaotic scene, but no one seems pays attention; its just another evening rush
hour in Kabul.
In the second floor of a dilapidated building in the old city of Kabul, Mamozai of the Mamozai Driving School tries to make sense of the art of driving in Kabul to a handful of men sitting in a stuffy, low ceilinged room.   On the table in front of them the guts from one of the country’s ubiquitous Toyota Corollas is splayed out on a table, as he explains basic mechanics to his young audience-  a necessity in a country where roadside service is unknown. 
One might not believe this after a spending a day driving back and forth across Afghanistan’s capital, where the only rule seems to be that there are no rules, but a handful of driving schools exist around the city, teaching students eager to pass the driving test administered by the Traffic Police.

Interview: Nicole Tung on covering the battle for Aleppo

Earlier this month, TIME published A Syrian Tragedy: One Family’s Horror, a series of images shot by freelance photographer Nicole Tung. The images, shot in Aleppo as the Syrian city was under attack, portray civil casualties, highlighting how the war has torned apart families. For the past four months, Nicole has been documenting the uprising in Syria. Months before, she was in Libya, covering her first violent conflict at just 25.

Nicole started taking pictures when she was 15, living in Hong Kong, her hometown. “A good friend of mine, who also became a photographer, also served as one of my inspirations,” she says. “He showed me the first book in contemporary photojournalism that I clearly remember today, Winterreise by Luc Delahaye.” She studied journalism and history at New York University, and has since been published by The New York Times, TIME and Global Post among many other magazines and newspapers.

In an interview with Photojournalism Links, she tells us more about her work in Syria, how she gained access to the country and what she’s seen there.

Men carry the body of Hatem Qureya, 15, after he was trapped under rubble following an airstrike in the neighborhood of Bustan al Qasr in Aleppo, Syria, on Monday, August 6, 2012 which claimed at least eight lives including five children from the same family. Hatem later died at the field hospital. His father, mother, younger brother and sister and two younger cousins were also killed. Bustan al Qasr, a Free Syrian Army controlled district in south west Aleppo, has consistently been shelled and attacked by helicopters and planes over the last two weeks after the FSA entered Syria’s commercial capital and its most populated city. According to the UN, over 200,000 civilians have fled the city, whilst many other displaced remain inside, seeking refuge in mosques, parks, and schools. Bustan al Qasr remains almost fully populated by its residents who chose not to flee. Image © Nicole Tung.

Mikko Takkunen and Olivier Laurent: Why did you decide to go to Syria?

Nicole Tung: I decided to go to Syria because I felt that the coverage was lacking from the inside. But I was also personally curious and I wanted to fulfill something that the late Marie Colvin once said: “Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice.” Marie was a friend and I felt that her death could not, should not, cow journalists from carrying out their missions. She would have been disappointed to know that her death was the reason so many decided to turn off from directly covering Syria. I admired her deeply, and felt the best way to honor her, and other colleagues killed in the past year was to continue working.

MT & OL: How did you manage to enter the country?

NT: I entered the country through Turkey, like many journalists do. Up until a few weeks ago, all the crossings in to Syria via Turkey had to be illegal. It involved some running across border areas with gear in hand, to avoid the Turkish military police.

MT & OL: How did you make your way to Aleppo?

NT: I first went to Aleppo city a week before the fighting began on July 20. I was in the Reef Aleppo (the country side), spending time in the towns there that were experiencing frequent helicopter and shelling attacks by the government forces. At that time, Aleppo was still in full control of the military, intelligence, and police units and getting in meant sneaking through back roads, avoiding the plentiful checkpoints, and high tailing it in to a safe house in the city. One could not really work as a photographer in Aleppo just four weeks ago– spies were everywhere and you were busy focusing on not sticking out, so having a camera in public, even out in the car, was absolutely out of the question.

The brother of Abdul Latif Qureya, 33, reads the Koran near his body after he was killed in an airstrike in the neighborhood of Bustan al Qasr in Aleppo, Syria, on Monday, August 6, 2012 which claimed at least eight lives including five children from the same family. Abdul Latif Qureya’s wife Wahiba, two sons, Hatem, 15, and Mahmoud, 14, and his 8-year-old daughter Bara’a as well as a neice, 7, and nephew, 1, were killed in the same airstrike. Image © Nicole Tung.

MT & OL: Was sending your work back to your editors a struggle? How did you manage it?

NT: When I went back to Aleppo as the fighting started, sending work back to editors was and is, certainly a struggle. Many of the activists there were caught off guard, I think, by the actual fighting having finally reached Aleppo. I saw a steady decline in the quality of communications over a three-week period. Phone networks in the city started to fail, and the 3G Internet the activists often relied on began to shut down too, besides the fact that it was very difficult to buy credit. Only a few, highly skilled activists could set up satellite Internet quickly enough, or run DSL connections out of still-government controlled areas of the city. Added to that was the severe electricity cuts that about 70% of the city was experiencing. I managed to send images out because of the Syrians, who would often go to the ends of the Earth to help me. They worked tirelessly to get a car, to get fuel for the car, to make sure the roads were safe, then worked to get you to a physical location in order to connect to the Internet. And then they stayed with you, drank tea and coffee with you, for hours on end while your files were beamed halfway across the world. It is a cumbersome way, but often the only way, to work in Syria. I have never experienced such patience and generosity from people who are themselves going through the darkest hours of their life.

MT & OL: Where you working with other photographers/journalists while there?

NT: I was working with one other videographer whilst I was there. It’s difficult to work in Syria in big groups because of the logistics. Also, in a dangerous situation, having too many opinions from too many colleagues often causes more problems.

MT & OL: Did you have an assignment before you left for Syria or were you confident you were going to get published once you were in the country?

NT: The first time I went into Syria at the end of May this year, I did not have an assignment. I was there to establish contacts and get a better idea of what things looked like on the ground. I went back several times, selling images to various publications before getting an assignment in June to go back in with Die Zeit. When I was not on assignment — I want to say I was confident, but in those situations you just never know — I knew for a fact that there were very few journalists covering Syria from the inside because of the dangers it posed and for logistical reasons. I thought that having a view from the ground might be somewhat valuable in itself.

Demonstrators shout slogans as they carry the bodies of nine civilians killed the night before by mortars fired on the city of Maarat Al Noman by the Syrian Army on Sunday, June 10, 2012. Estimates put the death toll between 20-30 people as many died on their way to Turkey for further medical treatment, and over 100 people were injured. Image © Nicole Tung.

MT & OL: Your work for TIME in Aleppo has received particular attention. Can you tell us about your experience on the ground in Aleppo?

NT: I witnessed the situation in Aleppo both before and after the fight for the city began on July 20. It was incredible to see the changes because the neighborhoods which are experiencing the heaviest fighting now, and which have been hardest hit, were the most defiant in terms of staging almost nightly demonstrations against the government even in a very tightly controlled city. When I first went there, checkpoints had been set up on all the main arteries of Aleppo. I moved around with doctors and activists who took incredible risks to do their jobs and added more risk by having a foreign journalist in their car. I couldn’t have my camera out at all, because there were pro-government militias known as ‘shebiha’ all around, and informers for the regime, as well. The only time I could take my camera out briefly was when I was at the demonstrations, running the risk that the protest would be broken up at any given time if the security forces open fired on the crowd, which they did very often.

I saw the Aleppo Underground as it was. There were doctors clandestinely treating injured protestors at private and sometimes public hospitals, and falsifying their medical reports (taking care not to write ‘gun shot wound’ or any other violence related injuries) to avoid scrutiny by security. There were pharmacists shuttling medical supplies in and out of the city to other affected areas around the country. Women who left the comfort of their middle-upper class life to deliver clothes, food, and formula to families who sought refuge in Aleppo from places like Homs and Hamah. One woman even counseled girls who had been raped. There were teenagers, all high school students, who dared to protest and were arrested, often tortured before being released and they were back on the streets the very next day protesting again. And then there were the Aleppo University students who became the heart of the uprising in city, through their shows of multiple, daily demonstrations in front of their faculties. They paid a high price for it, often getting beaten, shot at, and arrested by the security forces on campus. No less than one dozen students were killed on university grounds over the months of protests, and in June 2012, three medical students were found bound, shot, and their bodies burned for attempting to treat an injured protestor. The revolution was very much alive, and it was conducted almost completely through peaceful means. But finally, the war came to Aleppo, and since then, overcrowded neighborhoods have become ghost towns, the chatter and noise of daily life and children has given way to the sound of incoming mortar rounds, tank shells, the drone of helicopters and furious sound of diving fighter jets. Shelling in the contested areas of the city has no pattern and it is indiscriminate, often hitting civilians in their own homes. The Free Syrian Army has continued to pour in to the city. They have the advantage of knowing the streets and urban warfare is their forte. But they still lack weapons to make any real gain on the government forces. Civilians in some neighborhoods have fled to other parts of the city, to parks, university dormitories, and mosques whilst others have gone to Aleppo’s countryside. Some families have been displaced twice over as they left Hamah and Homs, only to be leaving their refuge in Aleppo. That was my experience in Aleppo: the situation was fluid, and working around it was incredibly difficult.

MT & OL: You concentrated a lot more on civilians rather than FSA fighters. Was this something you had decided beforehand or did it just happen?

NT: I did not decide beforehand that I would cover specifically civilians, but it became very apparent to me, once I was there, that it was necessary. The war is fought by two sides with particular, sometimes varying, agendas. Photographing combat is dangerously addictive to some people. I have a one-day tolerance for it when I’m there before I find that most of those images end up looking the same and provide little scope for what else is happening. Certainly the FSA is up against a violently disproportionate use of weapons but the civilians are the quiet sufferers of what happens on the battlefield. Assad’s forces don’t hesitate to kill them if they peacefully demonstrate or harbor FSA fighters in their neighborhoods. Often, the FSA base themselves there to try and protect the civilian population or use it as a point from which to attack the Syrian Army. But it’s the civilians who pay the price because they lose their lives and lose their homes. Sometimes there’s no reason at all for killing civilians. The worst is seeing children getting injured, or dying. For what, though? When I witnessed an airstrike last week that killed five children from the same family, it occurred to me that it was something beyond comprehension, beyond reason. At that point, agendas don’t matter at all.

Men gather at a graveyard on the outskirts of Anadan, Syria, on Friday, June 8, 2012 to bury Fawaz Omar Abdullah, 30, a civilian who was shot and killed by a Syrian Army sniper the day before as he was walking near a checkpoint in the village. Image © Nicole Tung.

MT & OL: How widely have your images been published?

NT: Certainly the advantage of having published with TIME is that many people see those images, and I have the editors there to thank for their support when I was working in an extremely difficult situation. They have since gone on to CNN, Human Rights Watch, Paris Match, other European publications and will also be screened at Visa Pour l’Image in September.

MT & OL: How different was covering Syria compared to Libya?

NT: Syria is far more dangerous and complicated than anything I ever experienced in Libya. Libya was the first combat zone I’d ever been to and I was lucky to have so many veteran journalists around who looked out for me and guided us younger photographers. We also shared rides with them and listened to (or more correctly, noted) their advice, followed them as they worked, and learned from them. I was fortunate to have security consultants lend me body armor and give me crash courses in first aid. Syria has none of those luxuries. I’ve since picked up my own body armor, took a combat medical training course, and made a fair number of my own contacts inside. You are on your own from beginning to end, and you cannot rely on anyone but yourself. The government’s use of fire power is unlimited. At least there was a no-fly zone very quickly established in Libya, but in Syria, anything goes. The people of Libya and Syria are not so different, though. I have met some of the most generous, warm hearted people working in both countries and their hospitality often knows no bounds.

MT & OL: Now that you are out of the country, what are your plans? Are you going back? Or will it prove difficult to go back?

NT: I will continue to go back to Syria because, like Libya, I have become committed to the story and the path of where the country will go. It will prove difficult going back only because of people’s concerns about my safety, which I certainly understand.

MT & OL: How do you see the situation evolving in Syria in the coming weeks?

NT: In the coming weeks, the fight for Aleppo will still be going on. The rebels there are no match to the forces of Assad, especially when they continuously run low on ammunition. The country is already in chaos when you think about how many millions are displaced by fighting, how many thousands of lives have been lost, and the amount of destruction this war has wrought, physically, financially, and emotionally. Added to that is the lack of unity from both political and military groups from the opposition. While Damascus and Aleppo become the biggest news stories, other cities near Idlib and Hamah continue to get pounded by government forces. And let’s say Assad were to be finished off tomorrow, what will a new government look like? Will minority groups be proportionately represented? And what about the regional implications of this war? These are all questions the Syrians are still wrestling with. Most don’t have answers that would satisfy the international community.

Nicole Tung’s images can be seen on TIME’s Lightbox here and here.

For more information about Nicole Tung, visit her website at www.nicoletung.com.

Louisa Marie Summer: Jennifer’s Family

Some photographers do the hard work.  They approach strangers and integrate themselves into new worlds, and through that integration, give us insights into situations and experiences we might never encounter. This hard work also connects us to our humanity and to the human condition. Louisa Marie Summer is one of those photographers, and Schilt Publishing has recently released a powerful book of her series, Jennifer’s Family.

Louisa was born in Munich, Germany, received her undergraduate degree in Photo Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, and her MFA in Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. She now lives and works in New York and is working as a freelance photographer and teaching for non-profit art organizations with students with special needs. Together with the NYC non-profit organization “Rehabilitation Through Photography”, she helps people to improve their lives through photography.

Louisa’s work has been exhibited worldwide, and has received numerous awards and nominations.  She was a selected student of the Edie Adams Workshops, and has been featured in a range of publications.

The photographs of Jennifer’s Family share my experience with Jennifer, a 26 year-old
first-generation Puerto Rican woman, whom one day I approached in South
Providence, RI. This area is an urban neighborhood with a large
African-American and Hispanic population, high unemployment and crime rates,
and where many families live well below the poverty line. 

For more than two years I have been portraying the daily life of
Jennifer, who lives with her Native American life partner Tompy and their four
children in a rundown three-bedroom apartment at or near the lower end of the
socioeconomic ladder. In spite of difficult living conditions, poverty, and
illness, Jennifer remains optimistic while thoroughly caring for her children.

Over time I literally became part of the daily life of an America family
I care for and who cares for me. The quote of Jennifer’s life partner and also
the title of my short video documentary, Respect
Goes a Long Way
perfectly expresses our relationship based on mutual trust,
respect, and understanding.

To support the
family’s voice, I included short essays from interviews in the book
that
reveal details about their relationships and emotions, as well as their finances
and child-rearing philosophies. The words reflect them as trustworthy human beings,
while also revealing the contradictions and tensions between what they say and
how they act. 

 With this work I want to give
people a voice, particularly those who cope with poverty and despair. I am
convinced that honest and compassionate images play an important role as a
“social conscience” that can change people’s views or at least raise awareness.

One of us in trouble… let’s help a colleague!

Photographer #242: Jonathan Waiter, age 32, was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma (stage 3 or 4), cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell that forms part of the immune system. Tumors were found in the chest cavity, lungs and the surrounding major arteries. The cancer has also spread to his kidneys, liver and pancreas. His Medicaid application was denied and the information is currently being reviewed by his friends. They will be going through the motions to appeal the decision by way of a hearing. Jonathan himself is undergoing aggresive treatment while the medical bills are piling up.

Friends of Jonathan have started a fundraiser. As Jonathan is a freelance photographer (thus self employed) he is unable to make any money, has limited access to health coverage, no disability insurance and no paid sick time. However, he needs to cover his day to day expenses. This is our possibility to help a colleague who is truly in need.
I wish Jonathan, his family and friends all the best and strength.

For more information, updates and to donate go to: www.gofundme.com/x1fy4
For those that do not have a creditcard, paypal is also possible to [email protected]

A Young Olympian: Diver Carolina Mendoza’s Path to London

Although she is one of the youngest athletes set to compete in this summer’s Olympic games, 15-year-old Carolina Mendoza displays a maturity beyond her years through her training. In early June, TIME commissioned photographer Tomas Munita to photograph Mendoza as she prepared to represent Mexico in the 10-m platform dive in London—one of the only remaining Olympic sports permitting teenage competitors as young as 14.

(For daily coverage of the 2012 Games, visit TIME’s Olympics blog)

Munita, who photographed Mendoza at the National High-Performance Center (CNAR) in Mexico City, was drawn to his subject’s balanced approach to her training. At an age where many kids face distractions from friends, family and school, Mendoza has found a rare balance in the frenzy of her life.

“Her happiness and professionalism completely explains her success,” he said. “She is not just tough practicing over and over again, but she also loves what she does as a challenge and a game—not just as pure competition.”

Mendoza seems perfectly suited for the rigors of the Olympics. Learning to walk at 9 months old and swimming by age 2, she was encouraged athletically by her parents: her mother, a Mexican national track-and-field champion and her father, an Olympic cyclist competing at the 1968 Mexico City Games.

At age 11, Mendoza discovered that her experience in both swimming and gymnastics found harmony in diving. And now, four years later, she is packing for the London Games.

Munita watched in awe as Mendoza dove again and again during practice.  “She works every detail systematically and patiently. In between each dive, she finds time to joke and laugh loudly with her partners,” he said. “Then, suddenly, she’s running up the ladders again.”

Read more about Carolina Mendoza on TIME.com.

Tomas Munita is a freelance photographer based in Santiago, Chile. He previously photographed Church and State: The Role of Religion in Cuba for TIME.