Evan Vucci: An Unfinished Photo

A profile of American photojournalist Evan Vucci.

 @EvanVucci/Twitter

@EvanVucci/Twitter

I woke up still groggy from the red-eye flight I had just taken from Seattle to DC. It was quiet this early in the morning, I could hear the soft sounds of hurrying passengers’ roller bags and clicking heels. I needed something to fill my time. I sipped my coffee and clicked over to The Daily Collegian, an independent newspaper published by Penn State students including myself. The front page dawned an editorial titled “FOX News was right in supporting CNN.” with an accompanying image of CNN journalist Jim Acosta entrenched in a verbal battle with Donald Trump and a physical battle over control of his microphone with a White House aide. It wasn’t a breathtaking image by any means, but it was perfectly timed and beautifully pictorialized the situation in one frame. I scroll down and read the photo credit, “Photo by: Evan Vucci/AP”. I couldn’t help but smirk.  

I had started to notice Evan’s work everywhere I went. This one man has captured so many important moments and most people don’t even know his name. I know if Evan were here right now, he would be cutting me off and telling me that recognition isn’t what this job is about. Maybe that’s true, but how many people’s images grace the pages of hundreds if not thousands of publications weekly.  

Evan Vucci grew up in Olney, Maryland, a town just 45 minutes outside of DC. His mother was a secretary and his father a police officer. “it was a pretty blue-collar upbringing.” Vucci explained. “[My] parents divorced when I was young, and my mom raised me. I had a pretty normal childhood.” I asked Evan if living close to DC growing up nudged his career path toward photojournalism in Washington. “I think the last place I thought I would end up is political photography,” Evan told me as he walked outside of the Associated Press building. “When I went to college, I knew I wanted to be a photographer, but I wanted to get into fashion and move to New York. Photojournalism wasn’t even on my radar.” Shortly after enrolling at Rochester Institute of Technology in 1995 on a path to commercial photography Evan attended a lecture given by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michael Williamson. In the lecture, Williamson showed his work and spoke of his travels all around the world while on staff with the Washington Post. “It had soul, it wasn’t just about making things look pretty. [And] every day is fresh and new, I thought what an amazing way to spend a life traveling the world and taking pictures.” Vucci was struck; right then he knew he had to change his major to focus on photojournalism.  

You could tell how influential Willaimson’s work was just by the passion in Evan’s voice. I completely understood. I didn’t tell him then, but Vucci’s work has the same effect on me. When I first started following him it wasn’t even a blip in my mind that I would want to be a political photographer. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it was interesting it just didn’t even cross my mind, I just always thought my path would take me to cover sports. Similar to Evan it’s what I enjoyed doing in high school, but hearing the stories and seeing the impact of his work has made me pause and look at what I thought I wanted.   

Vucci worked hard while still in college, finding work shooting sports for Reuters and an internship with the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. As his college career came to an end Vucci moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina and took a 30-hour-a-week position at the Fayetteville Observer. After about 3 months Evan began to grow tired of life at a small-town paper. Vucci headed off to Sydney, Australia to work for the International Olympic Committee as a photo manager during the 2000 Summer Olympics. “My job was to help photographers, I helped them mark spots and [did] whatever [else] they needed.” While working for the IOC at the aquatics venue Vucci was able to meet some of the world’s best photojournalists. “While I was there, I started showing my work to photographers I came in contact with.” One of those people was then Associated Press photographer Doug Mills. “He was like, ‘Hey when you get back to DC come to the office and show your portfolio maybe we can get you some freelance work.’” Once the closing ceremonies had commenced, Vucci headed to DC to meet with Doug Mills and the AP team and became a freelancer. This would be a launching point for the rest of his career.  

In 2003 the Iraq war started, Vucci was a freelancer working in DC for various clients at the time. He accepted a contract by the European Pressphoto Agency to cover the war from Baghdad. “I think everyone likes to hear war stories. It’s hard to explain, I kind of just looked at is as another assignment.” Vucci spoke through nervous laughter. “[I] approach[ed] it like anything else, be aware of what's happening, what the subject is and what’s at play here. There are safety issues involved but it’s always still about finding the truth, being accurate and making those storytelling images.” Vucci explained. I asked him what was going through his head while in such a dangerous place and Vucci shared with me the transition of emotions from excitement to caution. "Shit yeah, you’re scared. The only people who want to go to war are the ones who haven’t been before. When you first get there, you are excited, [that’s] because no one has ever tried to kill you before. Once you get older, grow up, and you have had [that] experience, it changes.”  

In late 2003 Vucci got a job offer from the Associated Press that would allow him to move back to Washington, DC. Vucci accepted the offer and has been working there ever since. One of Vucci’s most iconic shots came from Iraq while he was working for AP. On December 14th, 2008 Vucci was in a press conference with then-President Geroge W. Bush in Baghdad. The joint press conference was to announce the signing of a status of forces agreement, which allowed US troops to remain in Iraq. During the press conference, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw a shoe at then-President Bush. “[It] was out of nowhere, we heard this screaming. I caught something out of the corner of my eye, turned, and got one frame off. It was this guy throwing a shoe at the President of the United States and screaming at him.” The next day the photo would run in papers across the world under headlines like “Bush Dodges Shoe” and my personal favorite, “Bush Puts the ‘Duck” in Lame Duck.” Vucci laughed, “At the time we just looked at each other and went, jeez, what just happened there? [Then] you have to start thinking about, okay am I going to be able to get out of this room with these images or am I going to be stopped by the Iraqis.”  

 Vucci’s job is to cover the political landscape in the United States. His position led him to follow around the 2016 Trump campaign. I asked Vucci about how accurate our perceptions were about the glamor in the White House and Washington. “It’s not [glamorous], it’s a grind. Its long days and it's stressful.” Evan shared with me what a normal day looks like for him. “Before you go to bed at night the first thing you do is clean off your computer's hard drive, charge all your equipment, pack for the next day, lay out your clothes for the next day then go to bed. Then wake up early for a call time where you’re going to have to be swept by secret service which means going through security screenings. So, if the president is going to leave his hotel at 7 am you’re going to be up and ready to go by 5 am.” The workplace environment is extremely competitive and if Vucci doesn't perform well he will know about it immediately. Vucci expressed the slim margins for error and the high-stress environment in this line of work. “Listen, is traveling on Air Force One cool, yeah, but at the end of the day you still have the same worries of meeting your deadlines and not making any mistakes.”   

The struggle for a work-life balance is real for Vucci, “You’re going to have to find a partner that is going to be understanding of what your life is going to be like.” Missing large events in his family's life have been hard, “I found out we were pregnant with our second kid when I was in Afghanistan.” Vucci has two little girls and a wife; they are extremely supportive, but the traveling is taxing. “During 2016 I was gone probably 260 days,” Vucci explained that not everyone has a good track record of keeping families together. “I have been lucky, it’s been important to me to try to hold it together.” Vucci complimented his wife endlessly and shared how important she is and how much admiration he has for her. “It’s about being present when you are home, not just going through the motions, but actually being present and trying the best you possibly can.” Vucci loves his family, “That’s the shit in life that truly matters. My kids don’t care if I can take a picture; they care if dad is there to go to the dance recital”  

But it’s not to say that Evan doesn’t love what he does, “It’s wild.” Evan laughed “I have seen all kinds of crazy things, I was there when a guy threw a shoe at the President of the United States, I was on the Trump campaign, I was there when Trump met Kim Jong Un.” Vucci has a passion for his work and tries not to dwell on the hardships. At the end of the day, Vucci says, “This is the best job in the world.” I asked Vucci what his defining moment in his career has been, his answer didn’t surprise me. “Maybe I'll be able to look back one day and look at the events I have covered, but right now I'm in the middle of it and I don’t know what defines me.”    

There are few times in your life when you will meet someone so humble yet compelling with such a captivating body of work like Mr. Vucci. He is the head down hard worker that is never finished, and that’s how it should be. He respects his platform and understands the importance of not forgetting history. His work allows us to be closer to the powers that be, allows us to feel the pain that others feel and experience some of history’s most exciting moments. 

Altoona Men's Basketball Falls in Home Opener to Mount Aloysius

Penn State Altoona men’s basketball fall 79-67 against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

 Austin Krise (3) looks for a pass during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Austin Krise (3) looks for a pass during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Jalen Archie-Davis (12) shoots a free-throw during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Jalen Archie-Davis (12) shoots a free-throw during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Jalen Archie-Davis (12) defends during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Jalen Archie-Davis (12) defends during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Altoona Downs Mount Aloysius College in Come Back Win.

The Nittany Lions defeat Mount Aloysius College 68-60 at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

 Finnley Christine (13) shoots the ball during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Finnley Christine (13) shoots the ball during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Jessica Stevens (24) dribbles during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Jessica Stevens (24) dribbles during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Kaley Strittmatter (3) watches a free-throw during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Kaley Strittmatter (3) watches a free-throw during their game against Mount Aloysius College at Adler Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Women's Soccer downs Bowling Green in NCAA Tournament

Penn State women's soccer took on Bowling Green in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Jeffrey Field on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Bowling Green 4-1 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

 Forward Kerry Abello (2) get tackled during the NCAA tournament first round game against Bowling Green at Jeffrey Field on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Bowling Green 4-1 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Forward Kerry Abello (2) get tackled during the NCAA tournament first round game against Bowling Green at Jeffrey Field on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Bowling Green 4-1 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Penn State women's soccer celebrate scoring during the NCAA tournament first round game against Bowling Green at Jeffrey Field on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Bowling Green 4-1 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Penn State women's soccer celebrate scoring during the NCAA tournament first round game against Bowling Green at Jeffrey Field on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Bowling Green 4-1 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Midfielder Emily Ogle (10) dribbles the ball during the NCAA tournament first round game against Bowling Green at Jeffrey Field on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Bowling Green 4-1 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Midfielder Emily Ogle (10) dribbles the ball during the NCAA tournament first round game against Bowling Green at Jeffrey Field on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Bowling Green 4-1 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

No. 6 Penn State Men's Hockey Downed by Arizona State.

No. 6 Penn State men's hockey's falls to Arizona State 4-3 in overtime at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. This marks Penn State's first loss of the 2018 season.

 Penn State men's hockey celebrates with teammates during game against Arizona State at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. The Nittany Lions fall to Arizona State 4-3 in overtime. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Penn State men's hockey celebrates with teammates during game against Arizona State at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. The Nittany Lions fall to Arizona State 4-3 in overtime. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Forward Evan Barrett (17) battles for a puck during game against Arizona State at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. The Nittany Lions fall to Arizona State 4-3 in overtime. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Forward Evan Barrett (17) battles for a puck during game against Arizona State at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. The Nittany Lions fall to Arizona State 4-3 in overtime. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 A young fan plays with a puck during game against Arizona State at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. The Nittany Lions fall to Arizona State 4-3 in overtime. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

A young fan plays with a puck during game against Arizona State at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. The Nittany Lions fall to Arizona State 4-3 in overtime. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Crop Mobs at The Barn on Valley View Road

Penn State students attend a Crop Mob event where they help at The Barn on Valley View Road in Bellefonte, PA on Nov. 3, 2018.

 Deanna Homan (junior-plant science) pulls weeds during the Crop Mob event at The Barn on Valley View Road in Bellefonte on Nov. 3, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Deanna Homan (junior-plant science) pulls weeds during the Crop Mob event at The Barn on Valley View Road in Bellefonte on Nov. 3, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Sulaiman AlAghbari (junior-communication arts and science) feeds a goat during the Crop Mob event at The Barn on Valley View Road in Bellefonte on Nov. 3, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Sulaiman AlAghbari (junior-communication arts and science) feeds a goat during the Crop Mob event at The Barn on Valley View Road in Bellefonte on Nov. 3, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Renee Kredell, farm owner, jokes with students during the Crop Mob event at The Barn on Valley View Road in Bellefonte on Nov. 3, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Renee Kredell, farm owner, jokes with students during the Crop Mob event at The Barn on Valley View Road in Bellefonte on Nov. 3, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

No. 4 Penn State Women's Volleyball vs. Indiana

Penn State women's volleyball took on Indiana at Rec Hall for their annual pink out game on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Indiana in 3 sets to 0.

 Penn State women's volleyball team celebrates after scoring during the game against Indiana at Rec Hall on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Indiana in 3 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Penn State women's volleyball team celebrates after scoring during the game against Indiana at Rec Hall on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Indiana in 3 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Outside hitter Nia Reed (6) spikes the ball during the game against Indiana at Rec Hall on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Indiana in 3 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Outside hitter Nia Reed (6) spikes the ball during the game against Indiana at Rec Hall on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Indiana in 3 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Outside hitter Nia Reed (6) celebrates scoring during the game against Indiana at Rec Hall on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Indiana in 3 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Outside hitter Nia Reed (6) celebrates scoring during the game against Indiana at Rec Hall on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Indiana in 3 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

No. 16 Penn State Women's Soccer Defeats Michigan in Big Ten Quarterfinal

Penn State women's soccer took on Michigan in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinal on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018.  The Nittany Lions defeat Michigan 1-0 and advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.

 Forward Kristin Schnurr (8) heads the ball during the Big Ten tournament game against Michigan at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Michigan 1-0 and advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Forward Kristin Schnurr (8) heads the ball during the Big Ten tournament game against Michigan at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Michigan 1-0 and advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Midfielder Marissa Sheva (27) celebrates a goal during the Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game against Michigan at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Michigan 1-0 and advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Midfielder Marissa Sheva (27) celebrates a goal during the Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game against Michigan at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Michigan 1-0 and advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Forward Kerry Abello (2) faces off against the goalkeeper during the Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game against Michigan at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Michigan 1-0 and advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Forward Kerry Abello (2) faces off against the goalkeeper during the Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game against Michigan at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Michigan 1-0 and advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

#21 Penn State women's soccer defeats Minnesota 2-0

#21 Penn State defeated Minnesota 2-0 on Sunday, Oct. 21. With the victory, the Nittany Lions claim the 2018 Big 10 regular season title.

 Forward Kerry Abello (2) battles for the ball during the game against Minnesota at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. #21 Penn State defeats Minnesota 2-0. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Forward Kerry Abello (2) battles for the ball during the game against Minnesota at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. #21 Penn State defeats Minnesota 2-0. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Forward Kerry Abello (2) dribbles during the game against Minnesota at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. #21 Penn State defeats Minnesota 2-0. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Forward Kerry Abello (2) dribbles during the game against Minnesota at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. #21 Penn State defeats Minnesota 2-0. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri (19) shoot the ball during the game against Minnesota at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. #21 Penn State defeats Minnesota 2-0. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri (19) shoot the ball during the game against Minnesota at Jeffrey Field on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. #21 Penn State defeats Minnesota 2-0. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Portrait | Architect Pat Baechle

I photographed architect Pat Baechle at his office in Holidaysburg, PA for my photojournalism class, here are some of the shots from Thursday.

 Architect Pat Baechle reads at his office on Thursday, Oct. 18 2018 in Holidaysburg, PA. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Architect Pat Baechle reads at his office on Thursday, Oct. 18 2018 in Holidaysburg, PA. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Architect Pat Baechle works on his computer at his office on Thursday, Oct. 18 2018 in Holidaysburg, PA. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Architect Pat Baechle works on his computer at his office on Thursday, Oct. 18 2018 in Holidaysburg, PA. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Architect Pat Baechle reads with his dog at his office on Thursday, Oct. 18 2018 in Holidaysburg, PA. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Architect Pat Baechle reads with his dog at his office on Thursday, Oct. 18 2018 in Holidaysburg, PA. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Penn State Men's Basketball Media Day

Penn State men's basketball starts their season off during media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018.

 Head coach Patrick Chambers answers questions during Penn State men's basketball media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Head coach Patrick Chambers answers questions during Penn State men's basketball media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Guard Rasir Bolton (13) poses during Penn State men's basketball media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Guard Rasir Bolton (13) poses during Penn State men's basketball media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Forward Lamar Stevens (11) answers questions during Penn State men's basketball media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Forward Lamar Stevens (11) answers questions during Penn State men's basketball media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Forward Grant Hazle (22) dribbles during Penn State men's basketball media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Forward Grant Hazle (22) dribbles during Penn State men's basketball media day at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Penn State (9) vs. Nebraska (5) | Women's Volleyball

Penn State defeated Nebraska in 3-2 sets at Rec Hall on Saturday, October 13, 2018. | Photos for: The Daily Collegian

 Outside hitter Nia Reed (6) spikes the ball during the game against Nebraska at Rec Hall on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Nebraska in 3-2 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Outside hitter Nia Reed (6) spikes the ball during the game against Nebraska at Rec Hall on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Nebraska in 3-2 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Middle blocker Serena Gray (16) spikes the ball during the game against Nebraska at Rec Hall on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Nebraska in 3-2 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Middle blocker Serena Gray (16) spikes the ball during the game against Nebraska at Rec Hall on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Nebraska in 3-2 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

 Penn State Women's Volleyball team celebrates during the game against Nebraska at Rec Hall on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Nebraska in 3-2 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Penn State Women's Volleyball team celebrates during the game against Nebraska at Rec Hall on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The Nittany Lions defeat Nebraska in 3-2 sets. | Photo by: Noah Riffe

Mold Forces Student Relocation at Penn State Altoona

Boxes were passed around on Monday, October 1st as residents of Penn State Altoona’s Cedar Hall were forced to relocate when mold was found.

 Photo by: Noah Riffe (10/1/2018) - Boxes line the halls of the second floor of Penn State Altoona dorm Cedar Hall on Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018 as an outbreak of mold forces students to move out.

Photo by: Noah Riffe (10/1/2018) - Boxes line the halls of the second floor of Penn State Altoona dorm Cedar Hall on Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018 as an outbreak of mold forces students to move out.

The campus issued a release detailing that students will be moved into a hotel for seven to 10 days. A company has been hired to clean the mold.

 Photo by: Noah Riffe (10/1/2018) - Boxes line the halls of the second floor of Penn State Altoona dorm Cedar Hall on Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018 as an outbreak of mold forces students to move out.

Photo by: Noah Riffe (10/1/2018) - Boxes line the halls of the second floor of Penn State Altoona dorm Cedar Hall on Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018 as an outbreak of mold forces students to move out.

“Student health and safety are top priorities for Penn State Altoona,” the school explained in their release. PSU Altoona have also released resources for students affected by the mold.

 Photo by: Noah Riffe (10/1/2018) - Mellon Certified Restoration property damage repair truck outside Penn State Altoona dorm Cedar Hall on Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018 as an outbreak of mold forces students to move out.

Photo by: Noah Riffe (10/1/2018) - Mellon Certified Restoration property damage repair truck outside Penn State Altoona dorm Cedar Hall on Monday, Oct. 1st, 2018 as an outbreak of mold forces students to move out.

Mohsin Hamid at Penn State Altoona

Award winning author Mohsin Hamid spoke to students and community members at Penn State Altoona's Adler Arena on September 25th, 2018. Here are some photos I took of the event.

 Photo by: Noah Riffe - Author Mohsin Hamid speaks on stage at Penn State Altoona's Adler Arena on September 25th, 2018. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Photo by: Noah Riffe - Author Mohsin Hamid speaks on stage at Penn State Altoona's Adler Arena on September 25th, 2018. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

 Photo by: Noah Riffe - Author Mohsin Hamid speaks on stage at Penn State Altoona's Adler Arena on September 25th, 2018. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Photo by: Noah Riffe - Author Mohsin Hamid speaks on stage at Penn State Altoona's Adler Arena on September 25th, 2018. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

 Photo by: Noah Riffe - Author Mohsin Hamid speaks on stage at Penn State Altoona's Adler Arena on September 25th, 2018. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Photo by: Noah Riffe - Author Mohsin Hamid speaks on stage at Penn State Altoona's Adler Arena on September 25th, 2018. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Penn State Altoona vs. Juniata College | Women's Soccer

Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer faced up against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. Altoona secured a 4-1 win, here are some photos from the game.

 Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer player Haley Giedroc (#12) celebrates scoring with teammates Kierra Irwin (#27) and Mara Brackett (#4) in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer player Haley Giedroc (#12) celebrates scoring with teammates Kierra Irwin (#27) and Mara Brackett (#4) in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

 Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer player Kierra Irwin (#27) runs past Juniata College player Elizabeth Bentz (#6) and into Kristin Racis (#23) in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer player Kierra Irwin (#27) runs past Juniata College player Elizabeth Bentz (#6) and into Kristin Racis (#23) in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

 Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer player Sadie McConnell (#11) celebrates her goal with teammate Kierra Irwin (#27) in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer player Sadie McConnell (#11) celebrates her goal with teammate Kierra Irwin (#27) in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

 Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer player Sadie McConnell (#11) on a breakaway run as Juniata College player Kristin Racis (#23) follows close behind in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Penn State Altoona Women’s Soccer player Sadie McConnell (#11) on a breakaway run as Juniata College player Kristin Racis (#23) follows close behind in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

 Juniata College Women’s Soccer player Alexis Ulrich (#20) dribbles the ball past Penn State Altoona player Alana Masullo (#14) in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Juniata College Women’s Soccer player Alexis Ulrich (#20) dribbles the ball past Penn State Altoona player Alana Masullo (#14) in Altoona's 4-1 win against Juniata College on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at Spring Run Stadium. - Photo By: Noah Riffe

Penn State Altoona vs. Penn State Harrisburg | Women's Volleyball

The Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball team suffered a 3-0 defeat to Penn State Harrisburg at home on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018. Here are a few shots I took from the game.

 Penn State Harrisburg Women’s Volleyball players Brittany Wolf (#9) and Erin Smallwood (#17) block the ball into Penn State Altoona players Paige Burk (#4) and Kelsey Bristol (#10) in their 3-0 win against Penn State Altoona.

Penn State Harrisburg Women’s Volleyball players Brittany Wolf (#9) and Erin Smallwood (#17) block the ball into Penn State Altoona players Paige Burk (#4) and Kelsey Bristol (#10) in their 3-0 win against Penn State Altoona.

 Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball players Alexis Cannistraci (#9) and Eden Taddei (#14) celebrate scoring in their 3-0 loss to Penn State Harrisburg.

Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball players Alexis Cannistraci (#9) and Eden Taddei (#14) celebrate scoring in their 3-0 loss to Penn State Harrisburg.

 Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball player Emily Bryan (#5) serves the ball in their 3-0 loss to Penn State Harrisburg.

Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball player Emily Bryan (#5) serves the ball in their 3-0 loss to Penn State Harrisburg.

 Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball player Kelsey Bristol (#10) jokes with her team during a timeout in their 3-0 loss to Penn State Harrisburg.

Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball player Kelsey Bristol (#10) jokes with her team during a timeout in their 3-0 loss to Penn State Harrisburg.

 Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball player Alexis Cannistraci (#9) blocks a bump from Penn State Harrisburg player Kristin Waring (#5) in their 3-0 loss to Penn State Harrisburg.

Penn State Altoona Women’s Volleyball player Alexis Cannistraci (#9) blocks a bump from Penn State Harrisburg player Kristin Waring (#5) in their 3-0 loss to Penn State Harrisburg.

Italy 2018 | F.lli Di Malta Garage

Hey everyone, I am currently vacationing in Italy and visiting my exchange brother Valerio. I have been taking photos and over the weeks I will try and get as many out as I can. Here is the first one, a short photo story from the F.lli Di Malta garage in Rome owned by Valerio's father.

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Unpaid

Often I get messages asking me to shoot events, portraits or what not for them. More often than not they are friends or friends of friends or people I have networked with. I have always just trusted my clients to pay me, my rates aren't outrageous by anyone's standards (well maybe for the people who think "exposure" is sufficient payment, but that's for another post). I had heard of photographers saying, "everyone you work for should sign a contract, people will screw you." I even had a subject tell me the other day that "you're too nice, people will push you around man."

One thing I have always overlooked is contracts. They sound scary and to be quite honest for the small amounts I usually charge it didn't seem necessary. 

Flashback to November 19th, I get a message on Twitter from a basketball coach asking if I could come take some photos for his website. I'm always happy to meet new people and when money is offered Its hard to say no. 

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I head out the next day to go photograph his practice at a gym about 30 mins away from me. About halfway through the practice Aubrey comes over and introduces himself. He explains to me that he loves my work and found me through a friend of mine. "I'm going to be using you a ton, I want to get you gigs with pros and coming players as well." I was so excited, getting a chance to work directly with pro athletes at 18 years old, that's incredible.

But then the bomb hits. He tells me "Hey man, I have to pay my rent for my gym, I can pay you at the beginning of the next month." Maybe I was blinded by what he just said, or maybe I just trusted him.

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Imported, edited, posted! I send the files off to him with the idea that I would be paid very soon, it was the end of November already.  Well, I sit here 5 months later still unpaid and unsure what to do.

Left on delivered for months on end. No response or some kind of excuse. I know that $150 isn't much, and I'm sure I could have charged much more, but this is theft, this is stealing from me.

Not only did I take photos I also produced a video for him, my friend went out to go shoot the video and I promised him pay as well. Yet he is still stuck waiting here just like me!

And this brings us back to the contracts, something I wish I had right now. I'm stuck, I don't think I can take him to small claims and I doubt he's going to pay up anytime soon. That contract could have saved me and my friend from being screwed.

I wanted to provide a timeline of what happened, so here it is.

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 Proposal and 1st time going out shooting for him.

Proposal and 1st time going out shooting for him.

 1st time asked about getting paid for the first shoot.

1st time asked about getting paid for the first shoot.

 2nd time being asked to shoot.

2nd time being asked to shoot.

 2nd time being asked to shoot, but updating I can't make it and my friend will come out to shoot.

2nd time being asked to shoot, but updating I can't make it and my friend will come out to shoot.

 Being told i'm finally getting paid for the work the first and second time I shot for him.

Being told i'm finally getting paid for the work the first and second time I shot for him.

 At this point the Saturday had passed (like 2 months ago) and I was never told where to meet to get the payment. I had only sent him the video from the second session, he hadn't paid and I was starting to get suspicious. 

At this point the Saturday had passed (like 2 months ago) and I was never told where to meet to get the payment. I had only sent him the video from the second session, he hadn't paid and I was starting to get suspicious. 

 After a good amount of messages sent his way this is the last I have heard from him, I continue to try and contact him but he does not respond.

After a good amount of messages sent his way this is the last I have heard from him, I continue to try and contact him but he does not respond.

I hate getting taken advantage of, everyone does. At the end of the day, the lesson learned is to always have a contact, big or small it's worth it to protect yourself. I wouldn't even be in this uncertain position if I had asked him to sign something that day I shot. If anyone has any advice on what to do feel free to contact me through my about page or anywhere else.

Keep your images safe, and keep your money safer.