The 900 Attorney Journey

As a photographer I’ve had opportunities to meet many people who wouldn’t normally cross my path: world leaders, renowned athletes, super models, business titans, the chiefs of several small African villages, as well as a convicted terrorist in a Palestinian refugee camp. I’ve had dinner at Yasser Arafat’s home in Gaza, had Desmond Tutu sit for my lens, and drank from a coconut presented to me in a small Bangladesh farming village. My camera has also taken me to colleges, universities and independent schools all across America, documenting the bright eager minds of our future leaders. For all of this I am compensated, not only in the money that it takes to run a life and business, but also in the more spiritual remuneration of relationships.

This summer I embarked on yet another adventure, documenting a demographic about whom many jokes have been written, none of them particularly flattering. From now through December I will be traveling to eight cities, some twice, to photograph the over 900 attorneys who work with Alston & Bird, an international law firm based in Atlanta for over 100 years that has been named one of the best places to work for 17 consecutive years by Fortune Magazine.

So far I have been in four cities, Atlanta, Charlotte, Los Angeles and Washington, DC and photographed over 300 attorneys. In the short time I have had with each, they have been kind and sincere, some sharing a self-deprecating humor, others a certain gravitas that comes from the responsibility placed on them by clients who seek a depth of knowledge and skill not required in many other professions.

Some have been playful, stepping out of character to show me another side to their personalities, trusting me to add the context needed when they are used for in-house, humorous posts, a needed release from the uber-seriousness of their profession and sharing a peek at their humanity.

It is all slightly overwhelming but the staff in each office has welcomed me and my assistants, making sure we have everything we need from water to time and scheduling the attorneys for their photographs, a job akin to herding cats.

I’ll update you from time to time on my journey, perhaps sharing a new lawyer joke (they know them all) and giving you an introduction, to paraphrase a popular blogger, to the Humans of Law.