I miss road racing. I especially those long weekends during my collegiate racing career that were filled with long car drives, endless eating, and of course, racing bikes until you thought your legs were going to tear apart. Looking to fill that void, I've been looking at bike races to photograph and stumbled across this twilight criterium. Not only is it so incredible that 108 starters in the Men's Cat Pro 1/2 race for 90 minutes, but also the fact that it happens at sunset and into the night; very rarely are they held in this kind of light. I was beyond excited to experiment with my flash and play with the darkness and little available light.
Every Thursday night, July until February, some of the best youth boxers in the city fight at any one of 21 park district boxing gyms throughout the city. I attended one of these “night fights” on July 23, 2015, at Chicago’s Taylor Park.
I commuted to Taylor Park by bicycle and was greeted with a boxing ring set up amongst basketball courts bustling with players, the “L” train flying past occasionally in the background, an audience of around 100 people, and golden hour light. There were ten fights in all with the weight classes beginning at 50 lbs. and ending with 175 lbs.
After the fights, I spoke with Coach Mason and directed the conversation to the girls that had boxed; of the ten fights, only one was between two girls. Coach Mason explained that he had three girls in total but the other gym only had one girl in their weight class and the other two girls sat on the sidelines. One of his girls had actually been to five matches, but never fought because of the lack of young girls in the sport. He gave me his email address for photographs and I reached out to him showing interest in working further with the girls and exploring how they got into boxing, what the boys think of girls fighting and training with them, and carrying out interviews with the girls, boys, coaches, and parents. Unfortunately, the email address the coach gave me was invalid (I should have gotten his phone number) and I’ve been trying to find him since. During my search, I came across the powerful work of Jason Reblando who worked with youth boxers in Chicago and am inspired to carry out my idea. http://www.jasonreblando.com/Youth-Boxing
On Sunday, July 19, I was introduced to Captain Dick Dunne of the Chicago Yacht Club and spent the day on "Rosebud," his boat of over 40 years. Wednesday night I'm tagging along for some racing and we've discussed working together and documenting sailing in Chicago.
It has become routine that every morning, I've found myself researching possible events to shoot in the city. One of these events was The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers presented by the Slideshow Theatre Company on Saturday, July 18, at the Logan Square Auditorium. I invited one of my photography friends to join me and we had an absolute blast. There was an amazing energy in the room and the theatrical performances were highly entertaining.
This Fourth of July, I explored Chicago's South Side. Fireworks were being blown off continuously in every direction, but one particular block party especially drew my attention and I stayed there for three hours getting to know the people (who kept generously offering me food, drinks, and a turn to blow the fireworks).
Wednesday, July 1, was my first time attending the Full Moon Fire Jam that takes place every full moon from the spring to the fall at Foster Beach along Chicago's Lakefront Trail. As local percussionists played music, fire dancers and fire breathers took to a field, enclosed by rope and an audience with at least five people deep all around, and performed. Circling the area for at least ten minutes, I was lucky to find a spot near the rope between two lawn chairs. Crouching, and sometimes getting hit on the head (accidentally) by my new lawn friends (who were apologetic, but I had to explain that it was my fault and I was just happy to be so close), I was able to photograph the spectacle. It wasn't until I started looking at what I had shot that I decided to compose these gifs. I love having the ability to experiment and try new things, just to see what would come of it.
These events and the people I meet make me appreciate just how lucky I am to live near such an amazing city.
Yesterday was full of running errands and making phone calls (I've been working on gaining access to do police ride alongs with the Chicago Police Department to explore the role of women in a heavily male dominated filed), and I wasn't sure if I would have time to photograph the viewing party of the Women's World Cup U.S. vs. Germany. However, I set out with my steel bike, a heavy backpack full of equipment, and made the 44mi commute to Lincoln Park, telling myself that even if I completely missed the event, I would at least get in a good workout.
I arrived with 15 minutes left in the game and am very glad I did. The U.S. advances to the World Cup final for a record fourth time and there will be another viewing party on Sunday in the same location. I now have an idea of what to expect and the environment in which it will be held. I am beyond excited for the game.
On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. The following Sunday, over one million people were in attendance for Chicago's Pride Parade. The atmosphere was electric and full of love and excitement.
After the parade, in Boystown, I found people dancing in a large puddle in a parking lot. There was music blasting from the apartments facing the parking lot. Occasionally getting sprayed by the water from dancing feet, I grabbed a few shots of the celebration. Sunday was an amazing day.
Very honored to be a part of this amazing project and representing RIT with fellow classmates. http://familylifeproject.org
“Family. Life. is a collaborative student project initiated by Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. The project explores the feelings, relationships, obstacles, and identities of families through visual stories produced by photography schools around the world.”
On Thursday, May 14, 2015, I shot the Larkinville Challenge with a Mamiya 645-AF in Buffalo, N.Y. This was my first time shooting an event with a medium format camera and I found that I really began to look at things a little differently, specifically with more attention to detail and the light. The experience gave me a chance to look at cycling in a new way.
First Comes Trust exhibits the Senior Capstone Projects of the fourth-year RIT photojournalism students. In case you didn't have the chance to see the work, I've made this walkthrough of the gallery. All projects can viewed in depth at firstcomestrust.wordpress.com.
Featured music in video is Chris Zabriskie's "There's Probably No Time" found on freemusicarchive.org.
A week after the opening of our exhibition, "First Comes Trust," my classmates and I spoke about our projects and answered questions on Thursday evening, Apr. 16, 2014, at the William Harris Gallery at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This was an amazing experience of being able to really hear some of the feedback from those attended and hear my classmates speak; a perfect way to end the Capstone Projects.
Lauren Carroll #18 of the RIT Tigers collides with Molly Byrne #5 of the Mercyhurst Lakers at the Gene Polisseni Center on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 in Henrietta, N.Y. Mercyhurst defeated RIT 3-0.