This opening quote from Johannes Koch's Book "Break into Journalism" - Contact building tools and tactics represents for me personally one of the key elements to be a successful photojournalist and beyond. The author of the book has coached me before on my visit to Miami in order to reflect on a few journalistic methods that would assist me on the road ahead.
One's Attitude, the way I feel or think about something, the way I present my self and approach the situation and character in front of my lens is integral to the image I am about to capture.
Under the working title " Riders on the Storm", I planned to meet several locals who have sat out hurricane Irma. I wanted to hear their stories and what they have experienced not just in living through this particular storm, but the also the storms we are faced with in our daily lives.
Many encounters we had, numerous pictures were taken, and as I work my way through the archives, I remember fondly the meetings and people I was privileged to meet and portray on the streets of Miami.
I met Ray briefly in 2015 and he made quite an impression on me. A man who not just coined the street, but was coined by the environment we found ourselves in. And as I prepared my visit for the mission ahead, and planning the Interviews for my visit in 2017, Ray instantly agreed kindly to be portrayed while having a chat about the questions I had.
The photo I took of him in December of 2017 on the streets of Wynwood is one of the most profound portraits in my portfolio so far. It's been part of exhibitions and is an integral image in my project folder that means a lot to me.
In a time of political limbo, where sentences such as "Make America great again..." and similar phrases suddenly become chewing gum, It is a great honour for me to meet people that are real, that keep it real, ...fulltime.
It's these people that make not just America great again, but should also inspire others wherever we live and to keep on living, ...keep on loving, ...keep ...on riding, in a respectful manner.