Captions only tell so much about a photograph. They give us necessary information such as who, what, when, and where, but often times we are unable as photographers to tell the story of what really happened while we were there. What we saw, felt, and understood as we took the picture. The following picture has a story a little deeper that i could put into the caption. It ran on the front page this morning, but without the following information.
The girl in the picture is Sabrina. The person who isnt in the picture is her father. To paint a picture for you, her father was wearing a cutoff t-shirt, jail tatoos, long greasy hair, acted like he was on coke, and talked like his brain had been damaged by too much LSD, he was trash. He was the standing next to the box that was projecting the light show, that Sabrina and a couple thousand other people gathered to watch last night. However, i could tell there was something different with her that set her apart from the children that she was standing next to. They were jumping and laughing with nothing greater on their minds than trying to catch the little beams of light that shot through the air. However, Sabrina stood perfectly still. I moved in and sat infront of her and snapped a few frames, and she didnt seem to notice or if she did she didnt care. I put my camera down and just watched for a minute. I watched her and the kids around her. Within a second or two, her fathers hand shot out from the corner of my eye and he grabbed her on the arm with far too much force. This immediately got my attention. She tried to brush him off, all the while not making a sound. He grabbed her again. This time he forced her to turn around and look at something behind her. He placed his hand on her neck to do this, hard enough to hurt her. She tried to brush him off. It worked this time, and she stood silent and still and tried her hardest not to cry. He continued to grab, squeeze, and yell at her for no reason over the next 10 minutes or so. No matter where she stood, it was wrong, no matter where she looked, it was wrong. He would grab her and move her. He couldnt keep his hands off of her. At one point she stood in front of a bigger boy, leaning back against him, close enough for him to be her big brother, as if he was guarding his little sister. But he wasn't, he was just another kid watching the show. And her father quickly grabbed her away, and held her infront of her. She continually tried to brush him off. I could tell she was terrified of him. The look on her face was not one of anger, like a child who has been punished. It was instead a look of pure disgust. She was trying to look away from her father so he wouldnt see her cry. She stood so still that i was able to shoot this picture at 1/6 of a second. So when i see this picture, i cant help but get the same feeling that i got when i shot it. I cant help but see this girl as anything but purely innocent, and helpless. I dont know if this story adds to the picture, or not. And my writing doesnt do it justice, but the whole night left me with a sick feeling in my stomach. Feel free to leave comments please.