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why i'm here

what is "why i'm here"?

"why i'm here" is essentially a photojournalistic blog. i'm taking portraits of people and having them answer the question "why i'm here". here are some people and here is their story. not their life story, but a snapshot of the day we talked and i took the photo. each picture is a conversation i've had and a connection i've made. the intent of it is to keep going to different places and talking with different people. this collection and my "voice" will continue to evolve over time.

so go visit the site and see the pictures and hear their stories.


how did this get started?

this project was born out of my attempt to better understand occupy wall street (and my more local occupy boston). as soon as this movement began, i knew it was potentially a big deal. as i read and heard about it, i wasn't getting the insight i wanted. people weren't just marching or protesting.. they were moving into a park. who can do that and why? who are these people? what is their story? i didn't really care about how many were marching or how many got arrested.. statistics are helpful, but they don't really tell the big picture. there was a huge story there.

i like to take pictures of people. why not go down there? why not take some pictures and talk with people and put their story with their picture? the process would give me a human connection to this whole "thing". maybe i would learn and grow? maybe others would be interested too? after all, not everyone can go down to an "occupy" site.

as soon as i came up with the idea, it became extremely important to me. the idea drove me more than me driving the idea. i felt that if i kept going back and documenting the occupation, the big (and probably confusing and contradictory) story would emerge. this was my way of telling and figuring out how to tell this story. my hope was that this approach might offer different insights that the traditional media wasn't providing. and on a more personal level, it would allow me to have the insights into the movement that i wasn't able to get by simply following the story. it was my first photojournalistic project. before this, i was just a person that liked to take pictures.

when i did this project for "occupy", my goal wasn't to get as many pictures/answers as possible. i didn't go with the intent of "covering" occupy. i simply kept going back and kept talking with people. some days, i only got a single picture and talked for hours.

forgive me if i misspelled names, misrepresent what people said or made other mistakes. i'm human after all. plus i have a bad memory for names and am not too good at taking notes. i realized early on that video taping the answers to the question didn't work as well for me as to have a conversation.. getting someone on video was awkward or even off-putting to some people.

so, i did my best..

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