Monday, February 16, 2009


Catherine Nickson, of Cleveland, fixes her daughter Dagian Lee's dress while her other daughters, Danielle (in bed) and Dayloni, play with a toy guitar in their room at Children's Hospital. Conjoined twins Dagian and Danielle were surgically separated in December.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Church Fire

North Side resident and church parishioner Tim Jones prays as a four-alarm fire destroys the North Side Institutional Church of God in Christ on California Avenue on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009.

Super Bowl Commercial Guy

Antonio Rivas of Greentree poses for a portrait inside his restaurant, "Rivas", in Carnegie on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009. Rivas will be appearing as a photographer in a Coke commercial during the Super Bowl.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Inauguration of Barack Obama

Several weeks ago my boss at the Post-Gazette lets me know that they were planning on sending me to the inauguration. At first I was almost certain that we weren't going to get anywhere near Obama, and I started to plan out ideas for crowd photos and the likes. Then, a week before the big day, my editor calls me and says that we've obtained one credential for the main press riser during the swear-in ceremony. He offered me the credential (which is strange, because I'm the least senior staff member), and I almost turned it down. All I could think about was how standard and similar my image was going to be compared to the countless others photographing the event, a good host of whom would have better positions than I.

I wanted to work the crowds instead. I wanted to be able to do something and have something to show from the event that was unique to me. And I would have probably done that, had I not called a friend of mine that works for our competing paper to ask his advice.

He was fairly shocked that I was really about to turn down the credential. He put it plainly, "You have the opportunity to photograph the swearing-in of the first black president in the history of the United States." Implied meaning: "Are you an idiot?"

It hadn't really hit me, how momentous this occasion was, until he said that. I don't know why I'm like that. But, needless to say, I took the credential.

And this is my frame. It's no different than the hundreds you've all probably seen thus far, except that it is mine. I feel proud about this image in a way I haven't felt before. I'm proud that, in a time defined by cutbacks and layoffs, my paper found a way to send a team of journalists to cover an important moment in this country's history. I'm proud that I can say that I saw Obama raise his hand to take the oath of office with my own eyes. And I'm proud that we live in a country where, truly, any one of us can achieve even the loftiest of goals. Be it a black man becoming president, or a kid who one day decided come hell or high water, all he wanted to do was take photographs for the rest of his life.