Stories and Projects from Tampa

Added on by Carolyn Van Houten.

While interning for the Tampa Bay Times, I have had the opportunity to work on a few smaller stories and one large story.  The first photo is just an outtake from a project I have been working on since the second week of my internship.  The last three months with that family have been truly amazing.  The other projects range in time from a day to two weeks.  Daily assignments have definitely been an integral part of my time here, too.  However, stories are what drive me to pursue photojournalism, so I decided to focus on the handful I have worked on recently. 

 Please follow the links for videos, galleries, and articles.

 

Nevaeh Watson, 5, covers her face during a tantrum in the backseat of her grandmother's car on the way to pick up her brother, Kyle Bradshaw, 14, from school in Tampa.  Nevaeh and Kyle's grandmother, Mary Harris, has taken custody of her two grandchildren, because her daughter, Nicole Harris, was incarcerated the week Nevaeh was born.  I have been following their story for about three months and will continue to document it through Nicole's release from prison in December.  This has been my biggest project and focus during my internship here, so I am greatly looking forward to seeing it come together in the next month.  

Nevaeh Watson, 5, covers her face during a tantrum in the backseat of her grandmother's car on the way to pick up her brother, Kyle Bradshaw, 14, from school in Tampa.  Nevaeh and Kyle's grandmother, Mary Harris, has taken custody of her two grandchildren, because her daughter, Nicole Harris, was incarcerated the week Nevaeh was born.  I have been following their story for about three months and will continue to document it through Nicole's release from prison in December.  This has been my biggest project and focus during my internship here, so I am greatly looking forward to seeing it come together in the next month.  

Deborah Barr, 56, sits for a portrait after service at the Israel Bethel P.B. Church in Tampa on Sunday, November 17, 2013.  Barr, who is unable to read, carries a bible in her purse and is hoping to one day be able to read it.  Her story is a part of the Holiday Hopes series in which the Tampa Bay Times features the stories of those in need during the holiday season.  Readers are encouraged to reach out to the subjects of these stories with support and assistance.

 

The video, gallery, and story can be found here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/woman-yearns-for-a-simple-holiday-wish-to-learn-to-read-her-bible/2154825

 

Rashida Strober poses for a portrait in the Tampa Bay Times studio in St. Petersburg.  Rashida had a rough past, including homelessness and rape, but always dreamed of becoming an actress.  Our story followed her as she tried to fill a 700 person theatre that she rented out with her own money in order to perform a play that she wrote herself.  Her play, "A Dark-Skinned Woman's Revenge," analyzes and criticizes the various relationships that black men have with black women--many of them modeled on her own relationships.  She played all five main characters herself, but the question remained: would she fill that theatre?

 

The gallery and story can be found here: http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/woman-acts-on-her-dream-but-can-she-fill-a-theater/2150126

 

Chris Ott stretches and massages her son JT Doody's  hand in their home in Riverview on Thursday, October 24, 2013.  JT was shot three times in the leg while serving as a Marine in Iraq in March of 2007.  During his recovery, he suffered a strep infection in his aorta, which led to brain damage.  Now a paraplegic, JT relies on his mother and caretakers to get through his days.  Because of JT's condition, he has difficulty controlling the way his hands clamp shut, so Chris tries to relieve the cramps and pain in his hands every night before JT goes to sleep.  

 

The video, gallery, and story can be found here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/military/veterans/with-mother-at-his-side-a-wounded-veteran-fights-to-stay-positive/2149205

Carlie Braglin, 8, left, looks back at her fellow competitors before heading out the door to compete in the 6-8 years division of the Harvest Pageant for Babies and Children at the 20th annual Hillsborough County Fair in Brandon on Sunday, October 20, 2013.  Meanwhile, Isabelle Murphy, 5, right, checks her make-up and straightens her dress in the mirror prior to competing in the 4-5 years division.  The children were divided into groups by age and gender for the competition.  Each child, often with the help of his or her mother or father, walked up on the stage to be judged.  Many of the girls shyly waved and blew kisses to the crowd.  The beauty pageant cost up to $70 to register for all of the events, which included "most photogenic," "prettiest eyes," "best smile," and "best attire."  The judging was based on facial beauty, overall appearance, and personality on stage, but every entrant received a participation award.    

Carlie Braglin, 8, left, looks back at her fellow competitors before heading out the door to compete in the 6-8 years division of the Harvest Pageant for Babies and Children at the 20th annual Hillsborough County Fair in Brandon on Sunday, October 20, 2013.  Meanwhile, Isabelle Murphy, 5, right, checks her make-up and straightens her dress in the mirror prior to competing in the 4-5 years division.  The children were divided into groups by age and gender for the competition.  Each child, often with the help of his or her mother or father, walked up on the stage to be judged.  Many of the girls shyly waved and blew kisses to the crowd.  The beauty pageant cost up to $70 to register for all of the events, which included "most photogenic," "prettiest eyes," "best smile," and "best attire."  The judging was based on facial beauty, overall appearance, and personality on stage, but every entrant received a participation award.