Still Images Still Matter

With the onset of the digital age, are we moving so fast that we often forget to gather our thoughts, reflect on our lives, and critically asses, think and question before we act?  Before we hit the like or share buttons, before we double tap?

The thirst to be first has been augmented by the hunger for the latest devices, technological advances, and “coolest” perspectives, causing audiences to suffer from over-saturation of visual stimuli.
Yet most don’t realize this and continue to scroll faster and faster, getting their visual fix without reflecting on what they are looking at and often missing the nuance, the message or the story altogether.

We, as visual communicators, are forced to feed the beast,  moving as if the photographic process travels at the speed of light, but at what cost?

What would happen if we actually slowed down? If we stopped treating our subjects as just visual props?

The photographic process has been my passport to understanding, my method of engagement with the world.  In other words, “it has always been personal.” I work to tell stories, “catching them” in fractions of seconds.  Hopefully they move audiences for years. Hopefully they are a force for good in the world.

This is why I make images.

Photo: Carl Juste, 2018
Photo: Carl Juste, 2018

Caretakers in Miami Herald

The Iris Caretakers project was a collaboration with the Coral Gables Museum along with the Miami Herald, to tell the story of one of Lincoln Memorial Park.

As Miami’s main black cemetery during the era of Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, and the emergence of a black elite and leadership in Miami, Lincoln Memorial Park is the resting place not just of the laborers who gave shape to the segregated dream community of Coral Gables, but also Miami’s first black millionaire, Dana Albert Dorsey, and first black state legislator, Gwen Sawyer Cherry. The cemetery’s founding by Dr. Kelsey Pharr and its almost-100-year story, is an integral part of Miami’s history. But this story was being forgotten. Upon Pharr’s death, the cemetery passed to his niece, and upon her death to her niece, Jessica Williams, whose financial and personal circumstances have made it impossible to keep the cemetery from falling into disrepair.

The Miami Herald had written about the deteriorating conditions at the cemetery — in fact, we published a piece earlier in the year that detailed the ways in which the cemetery was being vandalized, including grave desecration — but had never tackled it as a visual storytelling project that more deeply delved into the historical significance of the cemetery and story of its caretakers.

The Herald published full coverage on the story including in-depth writing from Leonard Pitts, Jr., Andres Viglucci and Ellis Rua.

Read the full piece at MiamiHerald.com

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