Every week it’s my job to contact, schedule, and photograph various people, places, and events. Along with the predetermined articles our writers have on the docket for our weekly print issue, breaking news events also often come up on a regular basis that we need to cover from a visual standpoint in order to properly inform our readers and keep them up-to-date.
I run around almost seven days a week to all different neighborhoods and businesses. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of being a part of City Paper because it gets me out into various communities where I meet all kinds of people who I normally wouldn’t ever know. As a job, the camera allows you to have access to things most people don’t on a daily basis. Aside from opening up their doors to me, the greatest privilege is when the people we're covering open themselves up to being vulnerable in front of the lens. Conversation and trust being integral in that.
Recently, we lost a Pittsburgh native and photographer, Abby Kraftowitz. Abby was from Squirrel Hill and attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with me. She was an incredibly compassionate and thoughtful visual storyteller. Her subjects were more than that to her, though — they were friends. And with the often sensitive situations in which these people lived, like battling ALS or struggling to keep their family farm running, they trusted her, too. During her funeral, she was quoted as saying that her job as a photojournalist was a service to those she photographed. She couldn’t have been more right so I will be dedicating my 2020 to Abby, keeping her and her values in mind at every assignment of mine.
I’m incredibly lucky to do the job I have every day. 2019 was a special year and I have no doubts that the next will be even more fulfilling with the amazing people at the newspaper who I’m honored to call my coworkers.
Below, I’ve selected my favorite images from 2019 that also best represented the various things going on in our city during the past year, from portraits to protests, from politics to paddling. Thank you everyone for continuing to read Pittsburgh City Paper. We pour everything we have into the content we put out and love serving the people of Pittsburgh.