On Friday I was let go from Politico, where I had worked for the last two years. It was unexpected, to say the least. They are undergoing changes and eliminated my position. I was the most recent hire in the department and, in turn, the first to be let go.
As I wrote in a letter to management, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I learned a lot and felt I was able to contribute to the team not only with photographs, but with reporting and storytelling. I have always considered myself a photojournalist; a reporter with a camera. I was able to flex my reporting skills, work sources, and chase leads. I was never prouder to represent an employer than I was at Politico.
I understand that Politico’s future is evolving and going in new directions. I’m excited to see the future of journalism continue to shift away from stories that publish in a print edition the next day to stories that publish immediately on the web and on tablets. I believe that the possibilities are limitless and the future is bright, especially for photography. The new media landscape will be more visual than ever before. I think where the folks at Politico and I differ is in the importance of original, staff-generated visual storytelling that goes beyond a simple collection of wire photos. Going forward, I will continue to produce compelling images and storytelling multimedia features.
So, what’s next? I’m going to keep doing what I do best: photograph politics and portraits. I know how to cover Capitol Hill. I have sources, I have connections, and I know who to know. I have access. I have a style that is different from other photographers; I know how to separate myself from the pack. I think I make some pretty compelling images of politics.
I also love to shoot portraits. I like interacting with people during a portrait session and making a connection. In my opinion, that’s the key to making a good portrait. At the end of the day, the portrait is just a sliver of time like any other picture. What is represented in that portrait is the connection that is made. If given the opportunity, I will make an engaging, insightful portrait.
Here is a collection of some of my favorite photographs from my time at Politico. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed making them: http://jaywestcott.photoshelter.com/gallery/Best-of-Politico/G0000I0xD4UmS.mM/2/C0000LcoC_MonpWE