Each of the photographers at The Enquirer chose five of our most memorable photos of 2015. For me, it's the people I remember. We wrote the stories behind the photos, and one image from each of us ran in print. To all of those who inspired and taught me in 2015 – Thank you!
Dec. 27, 2015 - After the funeral of Samuel DuBose in July, I photographed Tramell Metz of Avondale having a final moment with his cousin. An important part of this job is talking to people whom you’ve photographed, but that is never easy during a tragedy. Metz talked to me about DuBose, who he said was like “a big brother.” Then, we parted ways and I continued shooting.
Tension was building as the crowd waited for the hearse to leave for the cemetery. I pointed my camera towards a man who was yelling through a megaphone. He locked eyes with mine and directed me not to take his photo.
I lowered my camera and he yelled at me, “Your people did this.” He was putting me in the same category as the white police officer who shot and killed DuBose.
We were in front of a large crowd, including DuBose’s family and other members of the media, and all eyes were on him and me.
“An eye for an eye. You shot ours, now we need to shoot you,” he yelled at me.
I wasn’t sure what to do. I looked for fellow media members who were still around, and they just looked back at me in shock. I started backing away, and then I turned around and saw the friendly face I had just photographed a half-hour earlier. He had seen everything and rushed over.
He took my hand and led me closer to the family and back to the hearse. “We’re not racist,” he whispered to me.
“Our family is not like that. Sam was not that way.” He shook his head.
“That man doesn’t represent us. Sam was peaceful. He loved everyone, no matter what color their skin is.” He hugged me.
In this business, you see people at their best and people at their worst. You see intense beauty and you see immense tragedy. That day, I witnessed it all.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!