From the Archives – First Shoot for the New York Times

Recently pulled from the archives of 2011, this is a portrait of a turkey farmer in Scranton, Arkansas, was taken on my first assignment for the New York Times. I remember being so excited to get the call from the editor because it was the NYT, and it reminded me of my grandfather and his love of reading that paper every day.

It was bittersweet the day my images published. I remember being so happy for the accomplishment and so sad that I didn’t get to show my grandfather since he passed earlier that year.

Over the last decade, I’ve taken on different assignments for the @nytimes and always enjoyed how it elevates my desire to capture beautiful images. I’m undecided if the push comes from the esteem held for the paper or my desire to make my grandfather proud. Either way, it’s always fun to be inspired. This image didn’t make the cut for publishing, but the photo below of this farmer with his sons is still one of my favorites.

I think I’ve always liked the awkwardness captured as they stood there waiting on the turkeys to get comfortable and gather at their feet. The barn was loud, and I was a fair distance away trying to talk over the turkeys and assure the farmers that I had a plan. As we waited, the side curtain began to raise and change the light, but everything worked out and I had just enough time to grab a few frames.