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When a subject passes away

November 10, 2005 by Herald Leader  
Filed under Behind the Photo, David Stephenson

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When you are in this business long enough, it’s inevitable that someone you have photographed in the past will die. Sometimes, though, and thankfully it is rare, someone you have photographed recently passes away.

When I was a young boy growing up in Lexington, I decided to take up raising pigeons and doves as a hobby. (In fact, I almost went to college to study ornithology, but chose photojournalism instead.) My first pair of pigeons were given to me by a man by the name of Loftus Green.

Some 25 years later, I checked in on him and decided to do a story on him and the local racing pigeon club. I worked on the story with reporter Mary Meehan for about a month, taking hundreds of photos, a couple of hours of audio, and travelling a couple of hundred miles to a race release. About two weeks after I stopped shooting, and about four days before our story was to run, Mr. Green passed away on Oct. 16.

After talking to his son, who said his father died doing what he loved best – caring for his birds – we decided to hold the story a bit.

During the few weeks that I became reaquainted with Mr. Green, I found myself going over to his house not because I had to shoot more photos, but because I enjoyed his company. I’m sure he thought I was a terrible photographer because I kept coming back.

I will miss him, and I’m sad that he didn’t get to see the photos I took of him and his birds. You can see the online show on the Herald-Leader photo staff’s website here
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Wrong Side of the Camera

November 9, 2005 by Herald Leader  
Filed under Snappers

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Sometimes reporters just like to be in pictures. Like Andy Mead, for example, shown here to the right of the subjects in my picture of tornado damage taken in Henderson last Sunday, ‘pretending’ to be talking on the phone and not noticing that he was in the camera’s view. Typical reporter attention hog!
Actually, Andy is one of the best reporters on our staff for a photographer to work with. He is good at thinking about a story visually and most of the time will stay on my side of the camera.

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