This Sunday is a dreary one, and not just because there will be less snow and more rain in our forecast. It’s also the first Sunday that the Eagles won’t be dominating TV screens across the region. To fill the void, photographer David Maialetti has given us a peek behind the lens at his favorite photo from the past year, and it’s Eagles-related. In brighter news, tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and if you’re looking to lend a helping a hand in your community, we have a few ideas for you.
From the Cosby trial to the Super Bowl, the parade and beyond, you cover many of the city’s most critical events. What photo from the past year are you proudest of and why?
After the Eagles Super Bowl victory, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s front page was taped to the front windows of homes across the city with the photo I made of Nick Foles hoisting the Lombardi trophy. It was exciting to be a part of everything that went into making that edition of the newspaper a keepsake. From the photo editor selecting the image, to the page designer who gave it great display, to the headline writer who noted the historical context so many things had to happen before it got into the hands of our readers. It’s a great feeling to be able to share in moment that resonated with so many people.
Beyond your work for the Inquirer, how would you describe your personal photography style?
My approach to photography outside of the Inquirer depends on the platform. The images I share on Instagram (@maialetti) are definitely more about how I see light and shadow in a scene. From the beginning, I wanted to use only my phone for the Insta work. The limitations of the phone made me to think differently. It simplified things which allowed me to focus more on creativity.
How many photos would you estimate you take on a given assignment? What about something like an hours-long football game?
On the flight back from Chicago after the Eagles playoff win, I was scrolling through the images for a day-after edit. As I finished up, the passenger next to me asked: “Was that a video or still images?” You know you made way too many pictures when someone thinks it’s a video.
During an Eagles game the number of images could reach into the thousands. I have to be on every play and reaction because that might be the game defining moment.
On a normal assignment, it is a much more relaxed approach. I try to make enough images to tell the story. Ideally, I’m trying to make that one image that can tell the whole story.
Not everyone is used to being in front of a camera, or likes it. Do you have any special tips or tricks to getting others to warm up to taking a photo?
Know how your camera works so well that it becomes second nature. This takes a lot of practice. When you are not thinking about the camera it lets you connect with the subject. Talk with them and try to relate. Don’t let the camera be a barrier.
Sometimes the candid approach works best. Don’t pose the subject. Just let things happen naturally and be ready to capture the right moment.
For our photojournalists-in-training out there, what’s one thing every photographer should know before they head to an event they’re covering?
Photojournalists only get one chance to capture the moment. Always be ready.
Loving the composition of this photo, thank you for capturing it, @9thday_ofmarch!
Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!
Have you submitted a question to Curious Philly yet? Try us. We’re listening to our readers and doing our best to find answers to the things you’re curious about.
A reader’s question: When will construction on I-95 finally end?
The answer: By the time it’s complete, you might be too old to even drive.
During what would turn out to be the game winning drive in SB LII, Nick Foles famously told his teammates in the huddle, “I love you guys.” Yesterday, he showed his love when he (literally) picked up a despondent Alshon Jeffrey after what will likely be the QB’s last play in an Eagles' uniform. I have so much love and respect for #9 and all the Eagles. They truly are family. And we fans are, too. Thanks for a wonderful essay about this amazing team, Marcus. — Dpindc, on Brotherly Lovebirds: In defeat, as in victory, compassion and empathy reign.