Found: Paul Gero on South Africa

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Paul Gero is one of my oldest friends in photography. We met in 1993 during the time I was interning at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix. Paul was a staffer and I was the guy doing cleanup but not in a baseball way. I was more of a janitorial assignment guy. Things that fell through the cracks, or stories that were so safe I couldn’t screw up. City worker in windowless room.(On Fujichrome 100 pushed to 320 with magenta filter.) Guy in front of lot where building will be. Those assignments so mundane and mind-numbing they scream “INTERN.”Eventually I left Arizona, did some traveling and then found myself looking for work once again. “If you move back to Phoenix I’ll give you all of our freelance work,” one of photo editors said. So I returned and ended up renting a room at Paul’s house.

Through all the trials, tribulations, changes in genre and the industry we have stayed friends. What he shoots, and what I shoot, have changed dramatically over the years but we are still there, still snapping. Paul has an archive that would look like ten different people shot it. Presidents, politics, Haitian unrest, editorial spreads, portraits, etc, so when I asked him to cull his archive I wasn’t sure what I was going to get.

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