Shot at the Williamsburg hotel.
A few weeks ago, I drove to Nazareth PA to shoot driving legend Mario Andretti for WSJ around his beautiful house for the Mansion section.
It was a weird shoot because both him and I were faking it.
Just a few days prior, Mr Andretti’s wife of 57 years had died.
And although it can’t possibly be compared; that same morning, my dog Olive had to be put down. I was devastated.
We looked at the fancy cars, the trophies,the memorabilia etc… I did my usual shooting jokes, he did his usual smiling poses, we shot the photos for the Journal.
When we finished, he just sat on a chair near a big window, and let out a big sigh of relief.
I slipped a black background behind him, we didn’t say anything,I shot 5 more photos.
A few weeks ago, I was basically being carried around backstage by 2 union guys, minutes from the start of Hamilton’s matinee performance, to photograph lead violinist Jonathan Dinklage, whose brother you might incidentally know from a successful tv show.
shot at Seido Dojo in NY.
A few weeks ago, since i have been a good boy, The Wall Street journal organized me a short studio visit with design legend Milton Glaser, the man behind the ‘I ❤️ NY’ logo.
And since i have been a very good boy, they even ran it in Black and white.
Read the pice by Alex Wolfe here.
And here are a couple of other options we shot. Syndication is available through Redux Pictures
Last December, Laura Baer at New Jersey Monthly sent me on a 4 days road-trip through the entire garden state to photograph the new faces of New Jersey.
I met some wonderful people, all immigrants like me, chasing their piece of the American dream.
Letice Zunguze arrived in New Jersey from Mozambique on Dec 30th 2013, she celebrates the date as a second birthday.
She was 19 and only spoke her native Portuguese when she started the ESL program at Hudson Community College; one of the top student, she graduated 3 years later with an associate degree in business and is now majoring in Management at Rutgers.
Hanaa Farahat fled the war in Syria with her husband Walid, a prominent architect in Damascus, in 2014 to live with their son in New Jersey.
They’re now both studying English in the ESL program at Hudson County Community College.
Judge Esther Salas was born to a Cuban mom and a Mexican dad. In 2011, nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the senate, she became the 1st Latin-American woman to serve as a District court judge in NJ.
Salas still lives her life according to her mother’s mantra: you are not better than anyone, but no one is better than you. “It’s a profound way to live your life—to speak to the janitor with the same respect that you would show to Justice Roberts. It also means, in the end, you have to be respected too.”
Additionally she sent that awful housewife of NJ to jail, and for that, we should all be grateful.
Charlie Patel was six when he immigrated to the United States with his family from Dingucha, a farming village in Gujarat, India.
He spent his youth helping his family make ends meet with odd jobs. Today he’s used that entrepreneurial spirit to co-found a digital marketing agency 99Robots.
Charlie attributes much of his success to his family’s emphasis on education. “In Asian cultures,” Patel says, “if you get an A, your parents will ask why not an A plus.”
The Mustafa family warmly welcomed me in their Clifton home, with their daughters and their grand children.
Khaldiya Mustafa is the principal of Al-Ghazaly High School in Wayne, with her husband Mustafa, a environmental engineer, they imbued their children with pride in their Muslim heritage.
She says “You get that question, they ask where you’re from, and I say, ‘Jersey,’’ says Ali. “And then they’re like, ‘No, where are you from?’ And I’m like, ‘Jersey.’”
Childhood friends Sergio Diaz and Irving Lozada are leaders of the Dominican community of Perth Amboy. They’re pictured here next to the statue of Juan Pablo Duarte, the father of Dominican independence.
Mr Diaz was the first dominican of Perth Amboy to graduate from College, He is now the VP of the 1st constitution Bank, Mr Lozada is the assistant to Perth Amboy mayor.
There were also Fatiha from Algeria , Sunjoo who runs a Korean school, Venessa from Philippines and Melisa who had to pay off a drug cartel to escape from Cuba on a raft.
This assignment had a particular echo for me. I became a US citizen last june after a long and complicated path. I applied under the previous presidency, America was a very different country. Hearing these people, the story of their resilience, reconciled me with the reasons I wanted to become an american so bad.
Finally a massive thank you to Ryan Hickey for tagging along and assisting me. And being one of the few men who can drive a Subaru like a skateboard.
Yesterday I went to meet Shantel Walker near her house in Bedstuy. She is a Papa John’s worker and an activist of the Fast Food Justice organization.
My day had started a tad earlier, at 7.13am to be exact, when i received the following text from my beloved editor Leslie Dela Vega, one of the very few people in this industry who can wake me up without physically and/or emotionally endangering themselves.
A short while and a few cups of coffee later, I jumped in a cab with literally just a camera strapped to my neck.
At 11.20, I was done shooting, edited on my laptop on the bumpy ride back, had a quick fight with The New York Times’s Ftp server which i subsequently won.
Leslie had the photos on her desk at 12.25, and i was finally able to shower.
And this morning, I woke up with a picture in The New York Times.
Which always feels kinda good when you’re originally from Place de Clichy.