The Generation of Change

Today, thousands of high school students are participating in the national walkout to demand action on gun violence. 

My alma mater, Hialeah Gardens High School, showed their solidarity by creating a student group called "Generation Change" that planned several meaningful events to commemorate the 17 victims and support the remaining Parkland students at Stoneman Douglas High.

I was made aware of this initiative by my english teacher at HGHS and would really appreciate if you took the time to read more about what these amazing students did and how you can support.

Photo Credits: Michael Benitez and Megan Mederos

In their words:

"In response to the national walkout on February 21st, 2018, we built our movement on the ideology of being human doings rather than human beings. The group Generation Change was formed by passionate students that wanted to create and implement a viable plan to ensure a safer school environment for us and other local, state and national schools.

With the help and support from the administration and educators at Hialeah Gardens High School, this show of solidarity is intended to commemorate the 17 victims and support the remaining Parkland students at Stoneman Douglas High.

To prove that we are #FloridaStrong, we made and distributed orange ribbons for our students and staff to wear to raise awareness for Florida’s call to develop and implement strong gun control legislations.

1,500 members of our school community formed the number 17 as a tribute to those lost and the number of Acts that we proposed to effect positive change, commencing with a 17- second moment of silence in honor of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting.

The members of Generation Change shared the 17 Acts that the students and school staff have pledged to implement in our school to ensure the safety and well-being of every member in our school community.

Generation Change has launched a website titled 17Acts.com to demonstrate this group’s goals and call for change. In the website, students can pledge to participate and carry out this movement not only in the short term, but also for the long run.

Generation Change has also established social media accounts to show the progress of this movement and publicly spread this notion of Florida’s students taking the lead nationally, documenting our endeavor to inspire others to commit to the 17 Acts and modify them to meet other schools’ needs.

Instagram and Twitter: @17Acts using #17Acts"

 

Working Overtime

Now that the site is new and improved, I am excited to start sharing some of my daily work through the blog. 

First up, some of my favorite images from this past weekend from the men's Syracuse lacrosse game against Army. Shot #OnAssingment for Syracuse.Com

The Orangemen won the game in overtime, 11-10, after overcoming a 6-1 halftime deficit.

“Play Ball!”

It’s finally baseball season. America’s Pastime is back in full swing and I could not be more excited to finally start photographing baseball.

As the end-of-semester stress starts to build up, I hope the ballpark will serve as my place of peace while I try to make some cool frames. 

This past weekend I photographed all three games between the Syracuse Chiefs and the Rochester Red Wings. Here are some of my favorite photos:

Living the (American) Dream

I’m back to the ‘Cuse to finish my junior year and I’m excited for another semester of a lot of hard work and photographing. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected and I’m eager to see what these next few months bring.

That being said, I had an eventful “break” for which I am very thankful. I did get rest and a lot of quality family time but I also got to pick up my camera and shot a couple of assignments for The Miami Herald as I prepare to intern there this summer. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and everything they have already allowed me to do.

I’d like to share with y’all some of my favorite images from my time in Miami during winter break:

First, I was able to shadow Miami Herald photojournalist for a day. We covered a press conference right before New Years and you can find that story here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article123543304.html

I was also able to go to his studio and make this portrait:

Miami Herald photojournalist Carl Juste in his studio in Little Haiti, Miami, Florida.

That same weekend, I attended and photographed my first NFL alongside Miami Herald photojournalists Charles Trainor Jr. and Al Diaz. Here's my take:

and lastly, I photographed the professional boxing event at Hialeah Casino Park that feature many bouts including the main event of Cuban boxer Erislandy "The American Dream" Lara vs Yuri Foreman:

Grit

Often times in school we're told not to quote Wikipedia, but look at this amazing definition it has for the word "grit:"

"Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective."

I still don't know where this series is going, but I think I've found a preliminary name for it. Enjoy part two of this running set of images!

Friday Night Lights

About four years ago, I made my first frame with my first DSLR camera. The subject? Football. 

Four years and a few hundred thousand frames later, I'm on assignment shooting high school football once again. This time, however, with a lot more experience and a different perspective.

From the recent shoot, I selected some of my favorite frames. Really looking forward into turning these into a series.

 

 

3000 Miles to a Cure

As many of you may already know, I am currently on the road going from California to Maryland in 12 days. The whole trip is 3,000 miles and the most important part is that it's for an amazing cause. I'm photographing one of the toughest men I know, Marshall Reeves, as he cycles for 3000 Miles to a Cure.

This organization raises money for brain cancer research and every year they have at least one cyclist that takes on the "World's Toughest Race," Race Across America, in hopes of raising as much money as possible for the cause.

We are currently at about the halfway point of the race and really need help with the fundraising. This year we have two racers and each have a $20,000 goal. 

I'd really appreciate if you would donate at least towards Marshall's goal. Every penny counts, every penny goes to brain cancer research. You can DONATE here: https://www.3000milestoacure.com/event/raam-2016-marshall-reeves/

Furthermore, if you could like and share this post that would also be of tremendous help. The more people this reaches, the more money we can raise.

Here are my selects to this point. Enjoy!

Very Busy, Very Happy

This past weekend I was able to photograph three different events in two days. Though it was tiring and I spent much of my weekend editing, I could not be happier. I am grateful that I get to do what I love everyday...

Check out some of my favorite shots from this past weekend:

Back at it...!

For a while now, I've been wanting to update my blog with some of the work I've been doing. These are photos that I am doing for assignments or personal projects that I would like to constantly share. 

I'll start by posting the game I covered at Madison Square Garden that featured the Syracuse Orange vs St. John's.

You can find the whole shoot at The Newshouse: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenewshouse/albums/72157662210831402

Here are some of my favorite takes from the shoot: