Monday, March 8, 2010

Portraits of a Legend: Eli Reed, Magnum Photographer

"How far will human beings go before they find out what it means to be a human being?" - Eli Reed, a true inspiration.

There photos were taken to accompany a phenomenal story written by Gerald Rich.

Tyler Krasowski and Megan Chambers stand on their East Austin porch on a grim March morning.

At the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on Monday, the first day of the week of prayer for the healing of AIDS, Carlos Carter, an Austin resident and activist living with HIV listens to Tracy Jones discuss the impact of HIV/AIDS on the black community. “If I know one person who is suffering with HIV or AIDS, that means I’m suffering with HIV and AIDS,” Jones said. “We need to understand when one of us suffers, we all suffer.” The prayer group will meet at noon daily until Friday, March 12.

Mike Harris bows his head in prayer for victims of AIDS at the New Hope Baptist Church.

Five members of the Austin community came to the New Hope Baptist Church on Monday morning for what they hoped would be a community conversation.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Last December I had the pleasure of photographing one of Austin's most dynamic bands, Balmorhea. I shot portraits of one of the guitarists, Michael Muller, a month earlier. He liked my pictures enough to return to Red Bud Island for another round of photography.

Rob Lowe, Michael Muller, Aisha Burns, Travis Chapman and Nicole Kern. They are fantastic musicians and wonderful individuals.


An Israeli cadet greets her mother outside of Bahad Ehad military base before the graduation ceremony. Graduating from an officer’s training course is often more appreciated than finishing high school.

A soldier converses with a friend from her guard post on the second floor of army base Bahad Ehad.

750 cadets stand at attention during a graduation ceremony at the Bahad Ehad military base. Soldiers trained for three months to complete a preliminary officer’s course before graduating to another base where they will train in their specialized field.

Soldiers prepare for the graduation ceremony. They are disciplined to always look their best when not in combat uniform.

An Israeli soldier climbs the steps to the on base synagog an hour before the graduation ceremony.

An Israeli army soldier sits along the walls of the base prior to the ceremony.


Straight out of high school, American teenagers receive a diploma. Israelis receive a gun. To Israeli citizens, enlistment is not a matter of choice; it is a facet of their culture known since birth. The army is as familiar to them as college is to high school graduates.

On Jan. 20, hundreds of Israeli soldiers anxiously wait to march onto the ceremonial grounds of Bahad Ehad, a military base dedicated to training officers. The afternoon graduation is the culmination of three months of grueling training meant to prepare soldiers for positions of leadership.

Soldiers are ecstatic because they did not have to run today. Before the ceremony, one Navy cadet helps a friend straighten the collar of his wrinkled uniform. Another soldier fixes her boyfriend’s beret. A group of religious soldiers dance and chant in celebration.

Regardless of cultural and regional conflicts, the narrative of the Israeli army is a coming-of-age story similar to the American college experience.

Before a crowd of thousands, the soldiers stand proudly at attention, their lives forever shaped by the discipline, moral code and camaraderie they will carry into their future.

- Tamir Kalifa

Aaron Williams - Director of the Peace Corps

Peace Corps director Aaron Williams, center, speaks with former colleague Samuel Scott, right, and volunteer Ben Freelom, who served in Guatemala from 2007 to 2009, following a moderated interview at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center.

Bonnie Drenik, a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria from 2003 to 2005, listens to Corps director Aaron Williams at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center.

Neko Neko Photoshoot

Today I had the pleasure of photographing a talented group of young lads from Houston, TX. Jono Foley, Harrison Smith, Derek Beck and Trevor Smith. They are NEKO NEKO FILMS. I shot them on assignment for The Daily Texan; however, we happen to be best buds and I live with the ugly bastard on the left.

Check them out. They will make you laugh.