This semester, I am taking Advanced Photojournalism, a graduate level class that requires me to produce a new photo story each week. To help us start out, my teacher assigned us a project to go to the Boston Common and find a story. Although I may have previously been nervous to go to the park, completely unsure of what I was going to shoot, I did just that. I ended up photographing a henna tattoo artist who refers to himself at “The Great Da’oud.”
Speaking to Da’oud was surprisingly fun and interesting. He seemed so happy to have me there and asked me about myself as well. What I love most about Da’oud is his willingness to help the others struggling in the park around him. There are 4 balloon artists, but only 1 henna artist, he told me. They compete with one another, but he helps them by bringing them sandwiches and selling some of their balloons. Over the 3 days I spent shooting him in the park, I came to admire his optimism and generosity. Photojournalism is constantly giving me the opportunity to meet people, like Da’oud who I would not have encountered otherwise. It allows me to take a peek into people’s lives and share their stories.
Not to be forgotten, my new friends didn’t let me leave without a gift. One of the balloon artists, Marty, made me a flower balloon bracelet. I’m proud to say I showed up at work that day wearing it!
See the full story on my class blog here