Week 20 SOTW
This week’s SOTW is a real jobber’s work. I don’t know if this is a universal term but where I’m from a jobber is a photographer who gets sent out to all sorts of stories, sometimes five in a day, anything from auto accidents to community events like pie eating contests and Guess the Cow’s Weight – I mean c’mon — how do you photograph that?! Meanwhile the local vid crew shows up in their cable van, get out and aim a camera at ‘whatever’, dub it with a voice over and hit the road. The stills guy sticks around looking for the right angle, the right light, the right expression and if he’s lucky something will happen to boost the image from its banal form into something a bit more interesting to look at so it can get some real estate on the final run page. Personally I think this is one helluva tough job, and documentary photojournalism is built on a historic foundation of guys going out there to create picture stories of life in the everyday for those magazines of the pre-television era.
So this week it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you Si Bennett, a Fairfax Press photographer reigning in and uploading images from beautiful Australia. Visit his IG feed (@iamsibennett) and you’ll be treated to all shapes, sizes, moods and events that life fills us with. Si’s job is to professionally freeze it for press. When his ‘Talking Heads’ series came in I thought here is the body of work which is that personal stuff which we all search for. A theme or series of images that carves us out an edge from our usual path of sight and shows the light in the distance of the new destination we’re shaping. This image in particular I found mesmerising, even profound, and I hope you do too. The light, the everyday-ness of this everyday-type woman amidst the weight of the everyday yet in this moment, as the eyes close, Si shatters glass and heralds in something new. Take a few minutes to visit his feed and you’ll bump into these heads and they’ll certainly stick out. But don’t forget to look along the way through the eyes of a Fairfax ‘jobber’.