Stealing from the master again


It’s who teaches us the most who we draw influence from over and over again. Today, while covering the Friends For Food community Thanksgiving dinner pick-up and give away provided through fundraising efforts sponsored by Community Services of Venango County and my newspaper, I saw this young boy volunteering and carrying sacks of potatoes two at a time and it reminded me of a famous photograph by one of my greatest influences, Henri Cartier-Bresson, of a young boy carrying two bottles of wine home for his family.


As I try to find authentic moments, I can’t help seeing comparisons to others’ work and it’s fun to pay homage when I can. Cartier-Bresson was famous for being associated with the concept of the decisive moment, that instance where an action is at its perfect peak and all the elements supporting that moment are in place.

It’s the main driving force to my work and the work of my many colleagues in the field. Capturing authentic moments, above all else, is the cornerstone to good modern photojournalism and newspapers, such as The Derrick and The News-Herald, who perpetuate this approach to visual story telling do their community a service by trying to document who they are honestly. It may sound like a no brainer, but many small papers treat photography as something they simply use to break up the gray and to just put people’s faces in the paper. The Derrick and News-Herald, with Jerry Sowden setting the bar during his tenure here, seeks to document the lives of the people of the community honestly and as real as possible.

Here are a few more photographs from today’s Friends For Food.









It is in showing us real that we can better understand ourselves and our neighbors. This community food drive and give-away has been going on for 26 years. Some of the volunteers have been here for all of them and others this was their first year.