That is the most recent in our One Photograph collection, the place photographers share their most significant picture and the story behind it.  

We requested freelance photographer Brett Carlsen to share the story behind this picture of a younger man from Flint, Michigan.  

What is that this a photograph of? What’s the topic and when did you are taking it?

It is a picture of a younger man from Flint, Michigan. His title is Marq Stephens. He was enjoying basketball in a well-liked sports activities facility on the town’s northside. This picture is a part of a collection on the world surrounding Berston Area Home after the water disaster was in full swing.

Marq Stephens 19, takes a break from a basketball recreation to point out off his tattoos that learn “Flint Made” on his forearms, the scar on his chest is from struggling a cardiac arrest in his teenage years.  by Brett Carlsen

Why does this one picture imply an incredible quantity to you?

I used to be on task for the Undefeated, which on the time was in its starting phases of existence. It meant rather a lot to be requested to contribute on one of many publication’s first assignments — the quantity of belief that confirmed was great and never one thing I took with no consideration.

I used to be on task and trying to make pictures in a neighborhood I knew very properly and spending a substantial time with these guys enjoying basketball. My aim is to make the images I intend to, however I at all times search for particulars that inform a narrative greater than phrases can.

On this present day, I began to have a look at their tattoos. A number of had Flint themed tattoos, however Marq had one a bit completely different. It mentioned, “Flint Made”. This speaks to a bigger story and questions. After such a disaster, the place does the town go from there?

I framed him in an exquisite mild and cleaned up the background so the main target is solely on his pores and skin. Nevertheless it’s his smile that basically makes the body. A cheerful coincidence I couldn’t have deliberate.

Tattoo on a person’s chest to signify his metropolis: Flint, Michigan. Scenes from Flint’s East Aspect.  by Brett Carlsen

Why does this picture nonetheless transfer you right now?

I really like the town of Flint. It’s the place I did my first internship out of faculty, and went on to make a whole e-book of labor there referred to as Welcome to Flint. I simply suppose it’s a tremendous place. To be trusted with telling a narrative from it’s infinite e-book was an honor, and this body nonetheless encapsulates what I feel the town stands for to me.

A seller pets the 6 week outdated pit bull he acquired 2 days prior between rounds of taking pictures cube.  by Brett Carlsen

What has this picture taught you about being a photographer?

You at all times need to look somewhat deeper. In so many roles, assignments or initiatives, you may get shut sufficient to a profitable if you’re considerably proficient. However staying locked in and digging deeper will at all times add extra.

That might be sticking with a play in a soccer recreation simply an additional couple of steps, or it might be one other journey on a private undertaking, or only one extra look throughout a industrial gig. It’s so straightforward to stroll away if you first suppose “I bought it!” however the additional effort nearly at all times pays off. I’ve discovered and utilized this throughout my profession. It’s uncomfortable and appears wasteful at instances, but it surely pays off huge if you least count on it.

Brett Carlsen has additionally been a PhotoShelter member since 2011. We requested Brett to share just a few ideas on what he loves most concerning the platform.