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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Photographer Documents Domestic Violence
Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 2:06 PM on 02.27.13
->> Sara Naomi Lewkowicz gets amazing access and creates outstanding images for her Time piece on domestic violence, illuminating an issue that is largely hidden from public view.

http://lightbox.time.com/2013/02/27/photographer-as-witness-a-portrait-of-d...

I know a lot of people are raising the question if she should have stepped in. But by all accounts she called the police and then continued shooting.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 3:10 PM on 02.27.13
->> One of the single-best examples of photojournalism I've ever seen. Sara's access and her courage to stand and record the confrontation in the living room and kitchen speaks volumes about her professionalism as a journalist.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 4:32 PM on 02.27.13
->> Ms. Lewkowicz was very brave in doing this story in many ways...not only the emotional distress this could bring anyone trying to document a situation like this but when it turned violent having the sense to call 911 and then continue shooting. A true professional in every way.
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Alex Menendez, Photographer
Orlando | FL | USA | Posted: 5:08 PM on 02.27.13
->> WOW!
Very impressive...great shots, just reading the captions tells the whole story as well. Didnt read the article yet.....
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Jeff Loy, Photographer
Hurst | TX | USA | Posted: 5:24 PM on 02.27.13
->> Incredible work. This ranks up there with Craig Walker's photo essay on the veteran with PTSD.
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Mark Kauzlarich, Photographer
Washington | DC | | Posted: 6:06 PM on 02.27.13
->> Fantastic work.

I couldn't help but get choked up at her daughter saying "Don't cry mommy, I love you."

Wow. I miss my family now.
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Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 6:56 PM on 02.27.13
->> Reminds me of the work of Donna Ferrato http://donnaferrato.com/domestic-violence/
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Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 7:18 PM on 02.27.13
->> @Wally thanks for bringing up Ferrato. More great work (and a ton of dedication to photographing this topic).

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/helping-the-people-beyond-the-pain/
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 7:28 PM on 02.27.13
->> This is by far one of the best PJ stories I have seen in a long time. Holy moses!

I was "woah-ing" the entire story...
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 7:49 PM on 02.27.13
->> Whoever gave me the "huh" has obviously NEVER covered anything with emotional content. Covering a story like this can have emotional impact on the photographer also. I'm sure if you spoke with Sara she would tell you that.
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 7:57 PM on 02.27.13
->> Glad someone brought this up. For all of the negative stuff about POY and WPP over the last week, it was awesome to see this. This is why most of us got into this. I mean, I can try to do this. We strive to be able to tell a story like this. I really just shake my head. Part of me knows I never could have done this story. I probably would have cold-cocked the guy when he was strangling her. Which is a smaller debate, but I Sara was in a different boat and worrying for her own safety while trying to document this. As someone who has responded to domestics as a cop, I know how haywire they can go, You just never know. I have had wives attack me and my guys for arresting the same guy who was just choking them.

To document this the way Sara did...wow...I mean, I had no words. Anyone who has seen me comment on here knows I like to write, and I can write around this and bestow superlatives, but the amount of us who can say what it is like to shoot in a super-charged emotional situation like that is probably about two or three.

It is real. It is raw. It is what Cliff Edom always taught - Truth With Camera. More than any photo I saw or story I saw in hours upon hours of watching POY judging, this is a story that was never shot to win an award, but deserves any accolades it earns.
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Stan Cochrane, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 8:30 PM on 02.27.13
->> Yet to read story, but not seeing where Ms. Lewkowicz called 911, per photo 25 caption:

"after receiving a call from a resident in the house (pictured at right)"

don't believe she should be getting extra praises for doing so. In fact the question has to be asked, (if this is the case), how far would she have let it go to get the story/shots?


Just placing it out there for discussion?
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Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 8:52 PM on 02.27.13
->> @scottserio -- Well put. Given the debates over the Hansen and Pellegrin photos this photo feels like a breath of fresh air. If you're a photojournalist and you're not motivated to do better after seeing what Lewkowicz did, then you're probably in the wrong field.
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 9:01 PM on 02.27.13
->> It is pretty clear there were other people there, at least two. So, if they were calling, why should she. Having not been there, and knowing how volatile domestic situations can be, I find it hard to fault Sara. If it had just been the photographer and the couple, the dynamic would have been different.
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Adam Vogler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cape Girardeau | Mo. | USA | Posted: 9:08 PM on 02.27.13
->> Stan: Sara grabbed her phone, which Shane had taken earlier, out of the guy's pocket and had someone call the police. I find that to be extremely brave by itself not to mention the courage required to stay and continue working. I can only hope that I would have the guts to do the same thing in a similar situation.

"how far would she have let it go to get the story/shots?"

As the story states law enforcement officers told her that there was nothing she could have done to help the situation, only make it worse. This is similar to what friends in law enforcement have told me about such situations. None of us was there and none of us should go around Monday morning quarterbacking what Sara did or didn't do.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 9:34 PM on 02.27.13
->> Stan,

I gave you the "huh".
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:54 PM on 02.27.13
->> Not sure what happened to the rest of my post. Anyway, Stan, I just don't see the issue here. I fail to see how you can find any fault at all in Sara's actions. This is a fantastic piece, one of the best I've seen in years, and it appears she did everything right.

It'd be a shame for people to Monday-morning quarterback it now.

Truthfully, if I was an editor looking to fill a staff position, I'd hire Sara, sight unseen, simply based on this photo story alone... it really is that good and really does speak that highly of her abilities and character.
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Chip Litherland, Photographer
Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:57 PM on 02.27.13
->> Stan,

Read the story before commenting. C'mon, man...take freaking two minutes educate yourself and then if you still disagree with her approach then fine.

Full disclosure, I know her personally.

Sara put herself in harm's way to document something that is barely ever seen in the media these days. Her pictures will live forever and do much more good then trying to step in against him and then try to somehow stop it physically. The pictures help Maggie's fight for years to come.

She took the appropriate steps to find a phone and get the other residents to call, she then continued her job (which I'm sure a large percent of us wouldn't or couldn't even have done in that position) taking pictures and documenting the abuse, and got one of the largest and well distributed publications to put it out there so everyone can see this at a crucial time in politics.

More power to her.

Chip
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Chip Litherland, Photographer
Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 11:00 PM on 02.27.13
->> ...all that being said, could you imagine what would have happened if she were not there?
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Chip Litherland, Photographer
Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 11:14 PM on 02.27.13
->> Here's some more backstory from Sara: http://www.fotovisura.com/user/Saranaomiphoto/view/shane-and-maggie-3
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:15 PM on 02.27.13
->> I love Sportsshooter. It's one of many places people with no experience or knowledge of photojournalism can just spout out nonsense.....but I digress....let me search through the message board and find a subject I know nothing about and impart my wisdom. Come on, just because you wander up and down the sidelines during a couple of NFL games a year doesn't make you a photojournalist. Sara, however, IS a photojournalist. A damn fine one. And getting access to a story like that is a damn bit harder than obtaining a sideline pass for a football game. Read the story. Do some research. Then if you have a sensible question ask it. Cripes...........
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:16 PM on 02.27.13
->> Thanks Chip, I couldn't remember where that link was....I read it several weeks ago....
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Joe Ahlquist, Student/Intern
Winona | mn | USA | Posted: 11:33 PM on 02.27.13
->> I saw this a little bit ago, and it is an amazing example of photojournalism at its best. Great access and courage.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 10:22 AM on 02.28.13
->> For those of you that found the story unsettling and had issues with it - that's what a really good piece of photojournalism work does - it MAKES you squirm and MAKES you uncomfortable. In this case VERY uncomfortable. (Between this and Brian Blanco's story from the other day, it's obvious Wall Street hasn't killed photojournalism.)

Damn fine work. Powerful. Thanks for starting the link, Paul.
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Troy Taormina, Photographer
Richmond | Tx | USA | Posted: 10:52 AM on 02.28.13
->> Powerful images indeed.
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Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 2:29 PM on 02.28.13
->> Seeing work like this gives me hope that our profession of photojournalism is not yet done... It shows depth and commitment to the story. Not just a quick Instagram shot of something and transmit... Or am I stepping on toes?
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 3:05 PM on 02.28.13
->> Stan, as a friend who has worked in DV commented when I posted the work on my FB page, telling women who are in these situations to get out often doesn't sink in, but these photos will.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 7:33 PM on 02.28.13
->> Stan C. wrote:

"Yet to read story, but..."

This is where you lost me.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 10:46 PM on 02.28.13
->> Wow ... only took a dozen posts before someone said something douchey. As my mother was fond of saying, "This is why we can't have nice things."
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 3:19 AM on 03.01.13
->> Did Stan pull his SS membership? Wow. I guess he got enough "replies" via email to let him know he was out of line.
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Logan Mock-Bunting, Photographer
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 1:52 PM on 03.01.13
->> "But why confront our discomfort about images when we can instead confront the photographer? Why challenge the perpetrators who commit, and the structures that underpin, this violence when we can blame its victims – and, when the evidence of violence is still too powerful, its witnesses?"

Thank you Salon for pointing out what many folks seem to be missing:
http://www.salon.com/2013/03/01/dont_blame_the_victim_or_the_photographer/
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Corey Perrine, Photographer
Naples | FL | USA | Posted: 2:16 PM on 03.01.13
->> https://nppa.org/node/40738
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:12 PM on 03.02.13
->> Scott, sure looks like it. I happen to think the comments and reactions were among SS.com's best. I really don't understand why you would pull your membership when people were trying to educate you.

Guess it reinforces what the Solon thread that Logan posted was saying: a lot easier to blame the victim and Sara instead of the one responsible for committing the violence in the first place.

My wife is correct: the biggest problem with common sense is that it isn't very common.

Take care, Stan.
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 8:49 PM on 03.08.13
->> Very powerful story. Having just gone through an ordeal where I was forced to file a restraining order against a former boyfriend, this really hit home for me.

Kudos to Sara. I think she handled the situation the best and only way she could. During my tenure as a photographer, I have often been in a position to photograph spectacular crashes. I've learned that there's nothing you can do until everything stops. You can't step in and become part of the crash, so you might as well stand back and keep shooting. This sitation is a little different in that Sara had the opportunity to make sure 911 was called (which she did), and then she kept shooting (which she should have). I believe it was the right choice and I commend her for her actions.
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Thread Title: Photographer Documents Domestic Violence
Thread Started By: Paul Hayes
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