Given the recent events in Ferguson and Cleveland, after hearing of a developing protest in the downtown area today, I had to get out there with my camera. It was literally happening at my doorstep, and I felt it was equal parts civil duty and a unique opportunity—something that I shouldn’t pass up.
Up until this point, I’ve photographed predictable things and situations that are generally under my control—I’ve never tried being a journalist. I quickly learned that I wasn’t going to get the photos I was looking for by hanging out at a comfortable distance. Instead, I had to throw myself into the mounting tension between the protestors and the Cleveland Police.
Situations quickly escalated and deflated as we moved throughout downtown Cleveland. Essentially, the Cleveland Police were shepherds herding protestors around the city, keeping them away from Quicken Loans Arena where a Cavs game was taking place. We eventually made our way there with the protesters, but only after the Cavs game started and fans were safely inside.
Thanks to today’s experience, I have a new found appreciation for photographers who do this for a living. It’s incredibly challenging to be constantly aware of your surroundings, staying safe, and being creative.