As news photographers, we often struggle with having enough time to make the pictures we need to tell the stories we cover. At times it can seem easiest to show up to our assignments and do our jobs without talking to those around us, especially when documenting news events. For a rally earlier this week in downtown Roanoke, I made it a goal to develop relationships with the people I was photographing.
In some cases, there were those that preferred not to be photographed. Sensitive situations such as this require one to tread carefully to tell the story in a respectful way.
For the picture below, I first introduced myself to Victor, John, Kathleen and Traci nearly 45 minutes beforehand, when I first showed up to the rally. I photographed them several times over the course of the assignment, not knowing that I would eventually make the front page lead image of them, during a moment of silence at the end of the night.
In news photography it is often necessary to work in close quarters with people I have never met before, and it is my goal as a photographer to make my subjects feel safe and comfortable with my presence. Only then can I capture meaningful, intimate images that tell the stories of our community.