Tough decisions last night – join my sons for the Blind Boy Paxton concert; view the screening of Fresh, about sustainable agriculture; catch the lecture by Timothy Ivy, photojournalist. Everyone who has spent any time around me knows I’m the one to snap a photo or two (dozen) at just about any gathering. My goal is to preserve the moments. There are key people who never seem to want their picture taken. But later on, those photos become special – they tell the story of where we were and what we were doing. They remind us of things we’d forget in the hustle bustle of daily life.
Since I spent the afternoon at an agriculture panel, I narrowed my choices to music or photography. When I thanked Timothy Ivy for his presentation, and let him know I passed on Paxton, he thought it was a financial decision. His lecture was free. He was genuinely surprised that two of us in attendance had actively chosen his presentation over the musical evening.
Who is Timothy Ivy? Photojournalist for the NY Times before returning to Mississippi, he’s an Ole Miss graduate, class of 2001. Have you ever seen his work? This man tells a story, capturing vivid, raw emotion, regardless of the subject. He said we all have a story, “Write it. Shoot it. Design it.” Sounds like tips for success to me.
He has an uncanny way of adding an “artistic look at a mundane topic”. He encouraged us to take initiative, to shoot story ideas, and pitch them to editors. Ivy said editors may not be able to visualize ideas, so create the whole package. He gave a practical example of this – how he recognized a story within a simple chat with a friend, decided to “collaborate with a subject, on a subject”, then sent it in to Ebony magazine, who grabbed the story.
Timothy Ivy is back in Mississippi now, “to capture a slower pace of life”. He always wanted to be a documentary photojournalist. Every shot he takes adds to his story. His presentation has become part of my story. I hope to upgrade my camera for telling more of my story, and others’. He’s right… we all have a story. He has a story of success in telling a story with a single photograph. Powerful images.