Behind the Frame: Project New Orleans 2013 in collaboration with Leica Camera
Our blog is intended to inspire and educate others about documentary photography. In our Behind the Frame series, we’ve asked staff and students to go back to their favorite images over the years and tell us, “Why does this stand out to you as an exceptional documentary moment?” We hope you enjoy what they have to say!
Student: Frederico Gama
Workshop: Project New Orleans 2013
Nonprofit: Louisiana SPCA
Instructor: Eva Russo
“Students assigned to photograph the Louisiana SPCA during the Project NOLA workshops aren’t always quick to embrace documenting the work of this particular nonprofit. When thinking of New Orleans-based nonprofit work, the students usually expect to be photographing people helping other people.
However, over the course of the Project NOLA workshops I have taught, I have seen students realize just how human the coverage of LA-SPCA can be. This photograph speaks to the heart of that realization.
True documentary photography captures life as it is happening. It can be raw and difficult to view. This image is a perfect example of an intensely human situation, where the fact that the subject is a dog almost increases the viewer’s emotional reaction to the image.
That reaction comes straight from the gut and the effect is immediate.
The photographer, Frederico, is invisible in the image, letting the content speak for itself. Through his patience, he gained access to this situation and the trust of the workers in the room. He guides our eye through his composition and exposes a set of realities to us. He shows us the cruelty this nonprofit confronts and the job they tackle daily, all in one image.
Nonprofit photography strives to compel viewers to want to get involved and make a difference. Frederico achieved exactly that and it is one of my favorite images from this workshop.“
About the author…
Three time Pulitzer Prize nominee Eva Russo is the professional documentary photographer based in Virginia. She was born in Chicago, raised in Italy, moved to France and then settled back in the United States. A graduate in photojournalism from the prestigious Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Eva uses still photography, video and audio in her photographic storytelling on both short and long-term projects. Eva received two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize for her two-year-long project documenting living and working conditions in the Richmond City Jail. Her third Pulitzer Prize nomination came from her work documenting a Vietnamese community in New Orleans East as it recovered from Hurricane Katrina during a Momenta Workshop. Eva is one of our most popular instructors for her easy laugh and supportive mentorship.