Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Vincent Laforet: Cross-Dissolve
Vincent Laforet’s visual life is in transition. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer has emerged as a standard-bearer for a new generation of still and motion digital storytellers.
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From the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Though Laforet has garnered awards and accolades in his career, including a Pulitzer Prize as a member of The New York Times staff covering the events following 9/11, it's his latest incarnation as a filmmaker that has not only increased his profile, but also has led him on a completely different path as a storyteller.
"The end of 2008 is one of the single biggest moments for me," Laforet says, referring to the release of his short film Reverie, which was the first video produced using the video capability of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. "People talk a lot about how it changed HDSLRs and video, and the impact it has had, but I generally focus on how it changed my life. I had always wanted to be a filmmaker and wanted to make the transition, but I never knew when or how. I was so established in the still photography world that the idea of making a career jump, especially in this economy, seemed a little suicidal. I had a life created behind 18 years of work and contacts, and now I was entering a completely different field, where I didn't know anyone. I knew the risks, but at that point in my life, I just didn't care."
9th Ward resident Louis Simmons, 51, returns to his home, New Orleans, La., December 1, 2006.
"Three big things were happening for me around that time," he says. "The first was that I was having my second child, and the cost of staying and living in New York was a big factor. The other was that the economy was having a big downturn, and the editorial market was being severely impacted. The third thing was getting the use of the 5D Mark II."
The prerelease camera wasn't meant for him and was intended for another photographer to evaluate and use. Laforet coincidentally had been at the Canon offices, and it was only through a tenacious persistence that he was permitted the use of the camera for less than 48 hours. Reverie was the result, and it changed everything.
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