Richard Palo’s “East Jax,” both Volume One and Volume two, are what I would call classic, Zine-based, community journalism. This is a deep publishing well, believe it or not, and anything that carries on the tradition is good by me. Palo also took the time to write me a handwritten note and included a business card. Remember these things people? It used to be called “professionalism.” Now, not so sure?
Richard mentions that in Volume One when he approaches the press conference the organizers mistake him for a press photographer and allow him to get close. Hey, happy accidents. But my mind raced to the idea of what this would have looked like had it actually been for a local paper or other media outlet. It would not have looked like this Zine, and that is a good thing. (Not knocking media, used to be one, but they have policies.)
Volume two covers a sculpture installation, not something you see everyday but also not something exotic that lives by the romance or drama of the actual event.
For me, the photogs who treat the two equally are the best photographers. These scenes aren’t easy. The photographer can’t control the light and you have widely varied shapes and sizes to deal with. Forget about clean backgrounds. Turning these moments into Zines makes the photographer think, and I mean really think. What do I have or not have? What sequence does the work require? Basic questions followed by critical thought.