From the Archives …. August 1980

This series of photos were taken on a hot August day, 1980, in Shreveport, Louisiana, during my very good years working for the Shreveport Journal.    The boys, twins, found their family water hose to be a fine alternative to beat the heat.   If memory serves, they were probably about 8 or 9 at the time.    The thing I cut my teeth on in photojournalism were these slice-of-life moments of everyday people going about their lives.   Most often, they were kids like this.  For many years, beginning in the early 70s, candidly documenting these things was relatively stress-free.   When I took photos back then, an element of trust existed.    Sadly, that’s harder today, for a couple reasons.  One is a continuing mistrust of the news media.   Also, today’s parents are increasingly careful about allowing their kids’ names to appear in the newspaper, and online.    I ran into this issue recently when I wanted to photograph a group of kids selling lemonade.   The dad, while really nice, would only agree if we used just first names.   Okay, I get a little of this … with the Internet, parents are concerned about their children’s identities becoming so public.   One fact of life, too, is this:  when I took the photos posted here, I was in my late-20s.   Now, I’m nearing 65 and probably look a bit crusty.   That I can’t help.   I fear, however, that these small bits of community photojournalism are slipping away from newspapers, both large and small ones.   While many of my fellow photographers seemed to find my style of coverage beneath them, I loved it.   The passion is still there, but it’s challenging.

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