relaxed atmosphere in which I could make candid photographs. When I went into a strange place, it was efficient to know what kind of photograph would be ideal for the newspaper. If it’s grief or shock, than a photograph of people comforting or hugging one another was required. The challenge was to keep everybody relaxed or preoccupied so I could get the photograph and leave.

But, since I “belonged” at Thunderbird House, I could take my time, watch, study, and learn something new. It felt much more comfortable to be working in a place where I’d spent time, as if I had more right to the knowledge. The ultimate justification for making newspaper photographs was the public’s right to know, the public good. On general assignments the connection to a paper was sufficient justification for my presence. People knew what to expect. Actually, for the longer projects I did on my own time for the newspaper, I often had to reassure people and explain why a newspaper photographer would want to spend days or weeks photographing them. Mostly they expected me to take a picture or two and leave quickly, like the old-time news photographers who routinely posed people for the photograph and blasted a flashbulb.


When Dave Albert and I made our tour of Pioneer Square, Father Talbot wasn’t at his mission. The Chief Seattle Club was locked up. I later found the number in the phone book and called him. When I finally reached him, I told him I had been working on a project about alcoholism at Thunderbird House and asked if I could come talk to him about it.

I met him at the Chief Seattle Club in the late spring of 1985. Talbot was an irritable old Jesuit, but he took to me immediately, especially after I made the mistake of telling him I was raised Catholic, after he asked, “Are you?”. I should have mentioned that I no longer was one, because the next question he asked was, “What church do you

Making a New Kind of Photograph