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Sep 13

In history at 7:42am

It’s been fun watching the Williams sisters make a lot of news of late, from gold medals and grand slam victories to a cover story in the NYT Sunday Magazine. It’s been amazing to see these two take their talents as far and and as long as they have. When I first encountered them, Venus was the budding star, nobody really knew about Serena, and they were a pair of funny, mildly awkward teenagers.

They were kids, really, with braces and beads in their hair, which was something of a signature fashion statement for them at that time. But even in their goofy camaraderie, you could see the beginnings of their power and talent.

When you’re a people photographer, it’s kind of like having a really big version of a family album. You make a photograph of someone, presumably because that person is in the news, or is very good at some particular thing or another. You might stay in touch, or shoot them again at another point in time. Or you simply sit back and watch them live, grow and achieve. Your pictures are kind of like your kids. They’re a great way of noting how time flies, and how, every once in a while you can stop it, however briefly. More tk…

steve bryson says:

on September 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Joe, I have to say sometimes I’m reluctant to come and read your blog when I see the links posted on Twitter and Facebook.

I’ve only recently picked up a camera again and rediscovered my teenage love of photography. Currently I’m lost with where I want to go with it and how really bad I am compared to everyone else. I know when I come here your words give me that boost that reignites my passion and my reasons for loving this medium which are so perfectly described above. That’s pretty damn amazing to me as I’m pretty much as cynical as it gets! But, and here’s the downer, I know that little bit of direction found here will see me floundering again within days.

Two steps forwards but thankfully not quite two back…! Thanks.

Mark Catizone says:

on September 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Joe -Your statements are so true. I am always amazed by how connected photography gets you to subjects you hardly know for years to come. It’s almost as though by looking through the lens at someone your mind takes extra care of placing that memory in a special place. I guess that is why we love doung it.

Keith Winsor says:

on September 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Its all about the relationship, you have shown that for years . You seem to do an exceptional job of connecting with the subject as well as documenting the relationship between two exceptional sisters.

Great work as usual.

Karen B says:

on September 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

The sentiments you express are so very true. I love being a “people” person photographer and whether it’s someone we’ve known for years or just met because of our cameras ~ the connection we make while photographing them definitely makes them feel like “family”. Thanks for penning and giving us something good to think about today!

Peter Wine says:

on September 17, 2012 at 7:20 am

I know what you mean. I have only been doing media photography for a few years, and I’ve already got more than 40,000 photos in my published archive.
Many of these are “You’ve been spotted” photos taken at various events, some are portraits, and some less happy news pictures.
When someone asks about an event that I took pictures at years ago, and I look back at them, the pictures act as kind of a time machine, taking me back to the moment, and causing me to smile again.
Thanks for the reminder of why I do what we do.

Tonia says:

on September 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Great post! Those pictures are like kids — how adorable.

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