By David Early, Mosaic Staff Photographer
I didn’t get the right shots. Days seem to be passing by really fast, like it’s already Thursday and I already feel adjusted to the workflow, at least somewhat. I’m not sure if i’d call it a reality check, but being told to go out and reshoot someone again was a little frustrating. My photo’s weren’t enough, they fit the subject, but not the idea. In all honesty I’m glad I didn’t get the shot on my first try because that gave me incentive to think about my composition more carefully.
Brian drove me out to Silver Creek Road way out in east side to go find our guy, Sanni, a strong, extremely spiritual guy from Nigeria who on a daily basis pushes the same cart up and down Silver Creek and Yerba Buena road, multiple times a day.
Two days prior me and Sara interviewed him as he trudged up Yerba Buena road. In my head I kept thinking, “What if this guy’s crazy or something and he goes berzerk?” This thought was quickly brushed off my mind as he greeted us both with a handshake and a joyful “Hello!” This made me feel a little more comfortable, seeing as this was my time shooting for a report.
After walking up nearly two miles of sun bleached road we reached the same Starbucks he goes to every day, where he gets two large cups of ice, as I was told by a Barista is what he gets when he comes in.
We managed to talk him into giving us just 10 minutes of his time, with a sandwich and frappuccino incentive of course, which he seemed completely fine with. The moment he sat down I began shooting away, mostly close up’s of his face, trying catch a shot of him without food or a straw in his mouth.
Strangely despite his open and rather forthcoming ways, he looked to his phone, got our numbers, then said, “It has been 10 minutes, time for us to go”, and with a nod he stood up, walked out, and gave us a hug. After a few more pictures I shook his hand, then he went back down the road we walked down to repeat the same procedure he did everyday.
Upon returning and reviewing all the pictures, I knew I had gotten some great profile shots, but something seemed off, I felt like it was just some picture of a person, it didn’t really tell me anything, no story, emotion yes, but no story. This was reiterated by Karl Mondon, which was sort of the “reality check” I was saying.
Karl urged me to go back out and shoot him again, stating that I truly had a lucky subject as he was not only friendly, but I knew where he was almost all of the time, along with having his contact information. Brian and I went out and found him walking up Silver Creek road, which we would drive about half a mile up and wait for him. I got out of the car and stepped to the street, where I set up my shot.
I got the shot I wanted.
By Steven Barajas, Mosaic Staff Photographer
When I first arrived here, I expected a challenge. But nothing like the ones I have received lately. It’s nothing I can’t handle but it forces you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and do your best. My first challenge was coming up with a topic for a photo essay, I thought I had a solid idea about homelessness. Karl quickly stopped me and reminded me how broad homelessness really is. Karl is an enormous help and inspiration, I have proposed about four ideas and they have all been shot down. It’s not something to take personal because Karl and everyone here really want us to succeed, I really appreciate the push everyone here gives. I have yet to find my topic but with help from the the amazing staff at Mosaic I rest assured that everything will fall into place.