Sunday, November 28, 2010

Election Day

On November 2 the much-awaited midterm Senate and House elections took place across the country. I was blessed to be a part of a team of New York Times freelancers and staffers stationed around the U.S.

I spent election day photographing polling places in Bowling Green, Ky. (the hometown of Republican Senate Candidate Rand Paul.)

My first East Coast deadline was 8am (7am in Bowling Green.) With polls opening at 6am, I had a little under an hour to make some early photos for the web. After making deadline I hit other polling places across town, transmitting periodically to "feed the beast." Later in the morning I covered Rand Paul voting at a local elementary school, as well as some of his supporters demonstrating along main roads in Bowling Green.

As the day progressed I covered more ground in Bowling Green and marked a spot on the press riser at Paul's election night party at the Bowling Green convention center. It was a joy to shoot alongside my good friend Daniel Houghton as well as other WKU PJ's who were freelancing for area newspapers. Kentucky's polls were some of the earliest to close in the nation, so we didn't have to wait long before Paul appeared on stage with his family to declare victory. It was a17-hour work day, and I enjoyed every minute of it. What a privilege it is to take photographs for a living.

Warren County schools were closed on election day as gymnasiums and cafeterias were transformed into polling places for Western Kentucky voters in Bowling Green, Ky., November 2, 2010. (Luke Sharrett for The New York Times) 


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kentucky Machine Gun Shoot

According to FBI statistics, an all-time high of 14 million firearms were sold in the United States in 2009. Sales surged following the election of President Barack Obama as fears of an assault weapons ban mounted, bringing the per-capita number of civilian owned firearms to 90 for every 100 American citizens according to a study by the Graduate Institute of International Studies. While Americans have traditionally united around interests like religion, sport, or politics, social circles cemented by a common bond of firearm ownership are an increasingly reality. The Fall 2010 Knob Creek Machinegun Shoot in West Point, Ky. showcases privately-owned arsenals of restricted "Class III" fully automatic assault rifles, belt-fed machineguns, and large calibre rifles. The weekend is a trans-generational celebration of all things gun.


Participants in the 2010 Knob Creek Machinegun Shoot are seen on the firing line during a late afternoon session at the Knob Creek Range in West Point, Ky. Enthusiasts fired volleys downrange from belt-fed machineguns spanning the past century as well as large .50 calibre sniper rifles throughout the day on Saturday, October 9, 2010.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

World Equestrian Games

In September I had the privilege of covering the first two days of the World Equestrian Games for the New York Times. This year was the first ever that the WEG were held in the United States, and what state would be more appropriate to host than Kentucky?

Day two was the endurance competition, a rigorous 100 mile marathon for horses and their riders. At the end of each 20 mile segment the horses were doused with cold water to lower their heart rates, then were inspected by veterinarians before being allowed to return to the course.

Covering endurance was a logistical challenge. 30 photographers crammed into two 12-passenger vans and raced toward privately owned farms, hoping to catch the leading horses riding through the scenic Eastern Kentucky landscapes.

Being able to compete against so many experienced photographers from all over the world was a treat, as well as meeting photojournalists whose work I admire like Caren Firouz (Senior Photojournalist for Reuters in Iran) and Larry W. Smith (Contract photographer for European Pressphoto Agency in the Midwest United States)

An early morning Dressage work out for a member of the Italian Equestrian team on the opening day of the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, September 25, 2010. (Luke Sharrett for the New York Times)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Rosine Barn Jamboree

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Bluegrass on a fall Kentucky evening at the Rosine Barn Jamboree. Rosine, Ky.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Back to school

Here are some of my favorite photos I've taken since being back at school. I'm looking forward to posting a couple of essays in the coming days as well. Thanks for looking!

Indiana Hoosiers sophomore punter Adam Pines of Highland Park, Ill. looks on during the third quarter of the their away game against Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky., Saturday, September 18, 2010. Indiana beat Western 38-21. (Luke Sharrett/The College Heights Herald)


Monday, October 4, 2010

Eight days on a train

Last month I had a week and a half between the end of my internship and the beginning of school, so I decided to do what any normal person would: take an eight-day transcontinental train trip across the United States.

Day One: Amtrak's Southern Crescent at Kemper Street Station in Lynchburg, Va.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Morac re-edit

A year ago I spent two weeks working in North Africa and shooting on the side. I'm not sure I knew what photojournalism was at the time. Maybe I still don't. Maybe I never will. I felt drawn back to the photos to do another edit. Such a timeless culture full of incredible people.

The old medina, Casablanca.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Final Frames and Farewell

Here are a few final frames from D.C.
Shooting in Washington over the last year has been a blast, but the real treat has been working alongside my mentors Doug Mills and Stephen Crowley, as well as all the incredible shooters in the Washington Press Corp. I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who invested in me and helped me along the way. It will be hard not to see such a great group of folks every day.

United States Secret Service Agents keep watch as Marine One, with President Barack Obama aboard, lifts off from the Manhattan helipad in New York City, N.Y., Wednesday, July 28, 2010. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times)


Sunday, August 8, 2010


July was my last full month interning for the New York Times in Washington, D.C.
Every trip, every sweaty motorcade movement, and yes, every Pelosi press conference was cherished.
I hope these photos reflect my best work from the month, but I know deep down that the photos I will treasure most are those of my friends and colleagues in the travel pool. I have learned so much amongst this group of professionals, and am most grateful to have shared a few beers with them over the past few months.

Air Force One is seen on the tarmac at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday, July 8, 2010. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times)


Friday, July 9, 2010


June was a good month. I had the privilege of traveling to Canada for the G8 and G20 summits in the White House Travel Pool. A big shout-out is deserved for the AP's Charles Dharapak, Reuters' Jason Reed, and AFP's Saul Loeb for taking me under their wing and helping a rookie like me through the summits. There's hardly a better group of photojournalists to spend 3 exhausting days of shooting with. Truly an honor to be there.


A secret service agent removes an America flag from President Barack Obama's limousine after the President traveled to the Washington Hilton hotel to deliver remarks at a gathering of the American Nurses Association, Wednesday, June 16, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times)


Friday, June 11, 2010


Here are photos from the month of may. A bit overdue. Still trying to find who I am behind the camera.

President Barack Obama walks from Marine One to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C. before traveling to San Francisco, Calif. to appear at a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) Tuesday, May 25, 2010. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times)


Monday, May 24, 2010

To West Point...

On Saturday I had the privilege of accompanying the President of the United States to the commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Since coming to Washington in August, I have been inspired and influenced by the many talented photojournalists who call D.C. home. Specifically, one of my mentors, Stephen Crowley, has challenged me to think about how photographs relate to one another.

I hope each of these diptychs tell a story. How the commander in chief compares to those before him. How he reacts to hundreds of new young lives in his hands. What has changed? What stays the same?

Presidents embark upon their journey.


Sunday, May 2, 2010


Here are some photos from the month of April. I spent a lot of time at the White House this month, as well as a week in West Virginia covering the Montcoal Mine disaster. (You can see my photos from West Virginia in the previous post.)

President Barack Obama disembarks Air Fiorce One at Andrews Air Force Base following a trip to Charlotte, N.C. to speak on the economy, Friday, April 2, 2010. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times)


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Montcoal Mine Disaster

Before photos, a few words:

When news of an explosion in a coal mine in Montcoal, West Virginia broke last Monday afternoon, I sent an email to my editor in New York asking if I could go cover the story. Before I knew it I was cruising down Route 29 toward the coal fields of West Virginia.

I arrived in Montcoal, W. Va. early the next morning to begin an exhausting three days of shooting. Access to the mine itself was incredibly restrictive compared to past mine disasters, like the Sago explosion in 2006, so a lot of the media's focus was on the reaction of the local community. Pretty much every major news organization in the U.S. found its way to Montcoal, so as usual it was great shooting along friends and colleagues like Mark Wilson of Getty Images, Saul Loeb of AFP, and Haraz Ghanbari of the Associated Press. Also great to meet new friends like Andrew Spear, and Garrett Hubbard.

I learned a lot about myself, my shooting, and more importantly about the mining community in West Virginia. Mining is a way of life and a generational tradition for many West Virginians. Here are my images (all transmitted from the Dairy Queen in Whitesville)

Jo Ann Kuhn held a candle during a vigil in Whitesville, W. Va.for the coal miners who perished in the blast at the Upper Big Branch Coal mine in Montcoal, W. Va. Wednesday, April 7, 2010. "We are all miners," Kuhn said.(Luke Sharrett/The New York Times)


Friday, April 9, 2010


Here are some photos from the month of March.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on energy security to airmen with a new bio-fuel F-18 "Green Hornet" at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington, March 31, 2010. (Luke Sharrett/The New York Times)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New York Times: February

Its been six months since I came to Washington, and what an incredible six months it has been.

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel was embraced by President Barack Obama before being awarded the National Humanities Medal during an awards ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, February 25, 2010.(Luke Sharrett/The New York Times) 


Sunday, January 31, 2010

New York Times: January

First blog post of 2010! Below are some of my favorite shots from the beginning of the year, as well as a project I worked on to coincide with the 1-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's Inauguration. You can see the whole thing on the NYTimes Lens Blog: Showcase: Same Time, Last Year

Last year (Left) Union Station was so crowded on the day before the Inauguration that it was under the eye of the National Guard. This year (Right) not so much.