Opening doors : how independent photojournalists gain access to sensitive stories
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The Working Family is a photographic project documenting a low income family sustaining themselves on their meager wages in Los Angeles, CA. The project shows how wages and jobs affect a family’s ability to care for one another. Minimum wage jobs are regularly characterized as jobs for teens or young adults working their first jobs and learning skills. Minimum wage is then categorized as something meant for these young workers, not adults trying to make a living. Those arguments are used politically as reasons why the federal minimum wage and state mandated minimum wages should not be raised. The text and photographs of this project were recorded to counter those stereotypes and to help explain why a large percentage of these jobs are filled by adults. SUMMARY OF PROFESSIONAL SKILLS COMPONENT: Three professional independent photojournalists who have worked extensively on photographic stories regarding sensitive subjects such as poverty and sexual assault were interviewed using in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Darcy Padilla, Tim Matsui, and Mary Calvert were questioned about the process of gaining access to the difficult stories they have pursued and whether as an independent photojournalist they felt they were given less trust or credibility than a photojournalist backed by a reputable publication such as The New York Times.