I’ve won two awards and an honorable mention for my photos for the story, Kickstarted. Randy LoBasso wrote the story, and we did two photoshoots before we were happy with the results. Usually, due to deadline pressures, we only do one shoot, but thanks to Hip Hop Fundamentals being generally amazing, and having more time, we were able to give this the time it deserved. In the end, that time and energy paid off, because we are getting three awards for our work on this story!
I’m sharing first place with Randy for photo-story with the Keystone chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, who also awarded me second place for feature photography.
Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association’s annual Keystone Press Awards for 2014 gave me an honorable mention in the feature photo category for my cover photo of the Hip Hop Fundamentals dance troupe. My colleague, Kyle Cassidy, took first place for his portrait of taxidermist Beth Beverly.
Stephen Segal, the Editor in Chief of Philadelphia Weekly, is taking home an armful of well-deserved awards for all of his hard work. I get to work with a talented, driven team who believe in me, and give me opportunities I’ve never had before. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, but I’ve never been in one this rewarding.
I’m used to jobs where I’m constantly questioned about my talents, where I fight for opportunities, where dispite my education and experience, I’m talked over and dismissed.
At Philadelphia Weekly, they’ve put the opportunities in front of me. They expect good photography on a deadline. They expect me to work hard. But they also give me the opportunity to do so. I get to meet amazing people, like the dancers and educators in Hip Hop Fundamentals. When I say that I want to stay up all night and document the city, they tell me to do it. When I ask if I can photograph a show, they try to get me a pass. I’ve had to fight for opportunities, and frequently I’ve just made my own. To work with a team that hands them to me is amazing. I’m glad that their belief in me has paid off.