Sometimes when I’m in the middle of shooting a project, I become blind, unable to see what’s staring me right in my face. Part exhaustion and another part fear, I struggle with stories that don’t lend themselves to be a visual paradise.
As photographers, we’re usually drawn to stories that create visual pornography for us but what happens when an important story becomes even more difficult to capture? For the past week, I’ve been documenting the Tea Party Express as they cross through America and I’ve hit a funk. These are not rallies similar to those that we witnesses during presidential runs but more similar to a family backyard gathering, one that brings the same people together twice a day but in different locations.
There is no sex appeal to these rallies, no excitement and usually terrible light but there is an unusual sense of pride amongst the people who show up. These people were not the popular kids in school but the ones who always searched for a sense of meaning, many relying on the word of god to help direct them towards good family values and prosperity.
Though I’m only leaving for 2 days, I need to process the 55 rolls of film that are sitting next to me to see if there is any substance to the work I’ve been doing. As the world casts their eyes on Libya and the remnants of Hurricane Irene, I hope the last week has not been a waste but an exploration into the people of Middle America and the conservative right.