03 September 2007

The Picture Story.

Missouri family. St. Genevieve, MO. 1991
Domestic violence. St. Genevieve, MO. 1991.
*this is the story that started it all for me. -cg.

Late nights w/ the Seaside Heights, NJ Police. 1993.
Late nights with the Seaside Heights, NJ Police. August, 1993

Nothing means more to me than investing the time to document a story. The whole process of researching, making initial connections with a subject, and finally beginning the processes of actual shooting and editing can usually lead to something magical. Doesn't matter if it's in Ethiopia, South America, or Kenya working for a client, onboard the Trans-Siberian Railway on a personal self-assigned trip across Russia, or around the corner documenting an HIV/AIDS advocate on another self-assigned project I'm currently working on. With the improvements of digital image editing software and web-based slide-show applications like SoundSlides, final projects are easily shared with worldwide viewers via the web. As a photographer with a strong passion for observing the everyday and the "everyman", I really gravitate toward telling simple and concise stories that bring the viewer "inside..." When I attended the Missouri Photo WorkShop way back in 1991, that one week challenging master class changed my philosophies on documentary photojournalism. The class structure and faculty did everything as advertised - it made photographers think. It taught me how to spend all the time I needed to get close to a subject and gain their trust. Something I will continue to do in my personal as well as professional work.

"Go early. Stay late. Get the uniform dirty..."

here are images from a few of my favorite picture stories, with links back to the stories:

AMMAN, JORDAN. An Iraqi mother watches as doctors and support staff with Operation Smile treat her child at the Jameel Tatonji Hospital in Amman, Jordan on Monday, April 24, 2006. An Operation Smile team of international medical volunteers were in Jordan from April 20-29 providing free medical evaluations and reconstructive surgery to Iraqi children suffering with facial deformities. This marked the third mission during which Operation Smile medical volunteers have worked in Amman to treat children from Iraq. Operation Smile Jordan, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Jordanian Society for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, has organized missions providing surgeries to more than 700 Jordanian and Iraqi children since 2000. Operation Smile of Norfolk, VA has provided free facial reconstructive surgery to children and young adults in 30 countries the last 24 years. © Chet Gordon / THE IMAGE WORKS

Cheshire Services Ethiopia.  12/2005
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA. An orthopedic patient tries on new orthopedic shoes and leg brace received from the charity Cheshire Services Ethiopia at the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday, December 1, 2005. © Chet Gordon / THE IMAGE WORKS

"Trans-Sib."   June 2005.
IRKUTSK, SIBERIA. RUSSIAN FEDERATION. Train passengers onboard the Trans-Siberian Railway buy omul fish and other food products sold by villagers from the Lake Baikal region near Irkutsk, Siberia on Thursday afternoon, June 16, 2005. Lake Baikal is famous for it's tasty omul fish. © Chet Gordon / www.chetgordon.com

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