Leaving Arizona (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals June 28, 2010, 6:37 p.m. permalink

Hi Pat,

First of props to you for taking this on to the point of going with them to Pennsylvania and for keeping it to 1:54. So many people would want to have justified a long trip by having a long drawn out story and pictures.

Overall for me you took a long journey with them and made some really nice pictures, some good audio but I didn't feel connected to them. I wanted to feel or hear their disgust with what is going on in Arizona and anguish of having to pickup and go.

There were a couple of images of people crying, saying good bye (and I know you're at the mercy of what is going on in front of you) but I thought there would have been a going away party or one last visit to their church etc, turning in the keys to their place to the landlord or realtor.

Your access to the family was great obviously and they trusted you (it shows) I like the story telling of the journey from washing up in a river to having car trouble. This might have been hard to get but it would have been nice to have seen something showing them in Pennsylvania. I know the whole "Welcome to _______" signs are a dime a dozen but just something to show and tell me they made it.

I thought your visuals were really good and I think you are the one who did the unicycle mountain biking and the kids boxing (black and white with 5d, one my favorites) you have a really nice eye for moments. Even the main image in the car is nice with wife hand on husband and daughter sleeping in between them.

Keep up the great work and sometime you're going to have to tell me how you shot and edited your kid boxing story. The black and white tones were great nice shooting and you made it look so easy shooting with that 5D, it was really nice!!!


Rep: 48
Pat Shannahan June 29, 2010, 9:01 a.m. permalink

Thanks for taking the time to check it out Eric. I spent a lot of time with the family before hand. They did have a barbecue before they left but their were not many moments there, it was also in pitch black darkness in a courtyard. Their sadness about leaving was a subtle sadness. Probably because the people they care about the most were already in PA or traveling with them to PA. I didn't really see any loud emotional moments as they left. It's either there or not, ya know. When we got to PA we pretty much got shut down. The family we were following were open to us but the families they were staying with got weird with us really quick. The vibe totally changed. Five hours after the got there the dad got up and went to work with his brother. I managed to meet up with him and make photos of him working in PA but the story seemed to end better with the arrival. I don;t know, maybe him working again might be a better ending, seeing that it starts with him working.

Rep: 4
Don Himsel July 15, 2010, 5:36 a.m. permalink

Good strong single images.  Though this story could have been told in a traditional fashion it's a good example of how subjects' voices and compelling photography can communicate better.

I agree with Eric regarding sticking with them on the whole trip but not letting it get too long.

Some smoother production would have helped this a bit.

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