©2010 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia
As a photographer shooting a religious procession or reenactment, it is not uncommon to find yourself in the sometimes paradoxical moment of “jostling for the sacred”. You’re running around, anticipating and preparing yourself for that sacred moment that you can’t miss. Everyone else seems calm and in the spiritual moment. But if you stay in such a moment, you’ve lost the ability to capture it. So you’re sweating up a storm, your back is aching, “Jesus” keeps moving faster than you would think, and at the last moment some other photographer steps in front of you. At a “stations of the cross” moment on Good Friday last year in Pilsen, the only one of these I’ve shot, it was a similar situation. Lots of photographers. With so many, I’ve seen moments like this turn ridiculous. I’m reminded of one religious pilgrimage in Cuba, there were so many photographers surrounding one person on his knees that the man dryly commented, “I hope one of you guys will give me a passport photo”. Since no one else spoke Spanish, photographers passed off the remark as a prayer or religious utterance. A few moments after the above picture, after the cross was upright, the hectic jostling ceased and you realized the moment had peaked. There was no looking back. You either got it, or didn’t. In the back of your mind, and with your ears, you hear the words, “It is finished.”
I remember shooting this the year we met, or perhaps the year before, Juan Blanco had all of his minions there and it was still reasonable. I shot one in Highwood, two years ago that was nice.