Sad Labor Day Weekend in Boston

I worked this Labor Day weekend (September 2011) as a favor for another photographer. I thought I’d spent these days looking for pretty end-of-the summer images such as barbeques and alike. Instead I covered the shooting death of a college-bound, 18-year old from a tough part of Boston.

Today I had to hightail it to Lawrence, a suburb north of Boston whose population is heavily comprised of hispanics, to the aftermath of a triple homicide. The live-in-boyfriend of a 39-year old woman shot her and her two teenage children and then wandered around the neighborhood until he confessed to a passerby.

This was one of the most bizarre crime scenes I’ve ever covered. There were about 300 hundred people just standing around looking toward the address where the homicides where committed.

Finally, after twelve hours the police removed the bodies and the crowd reacted by crying and wailing. The third body fell from the gurney as it was being transported to the forensic vehicle. The crowd was not too happy about that.

Behind the Scenes:

Whenever I go to a situation like this, I’m very aware to be respectful of those around me. I try to put myself in their shoes and think how would I like members of the media to treat me if these were my friends or relatives who were murdered.

I try to make eye contact with my subjects right after I make the photos. In this way I feel as if I am letting know that I am there, and doing my job. Based upon their reaction I might keep making more photos or might simply nod my head as an apology and move on.

This was a very mellow and helpful crowd. It wasn’t until the very end when they were removing the bodies that I felt tension running through the crowd.

The Lawrence police officers behaved quite smartly by not antagonizing the crowd for most of the time.

Tech Stuff: two cameras, MARK IV/ MARK III, two lenses: 70-200mm 2.8 with a 1.4TC/ 16-35mm 2.8. ISO 200-400, Speed 1/640th to 1/125oth of a second. WB: sunny.