Our story begins on June 30, 2011 at a sunny morning press conference at the northernmost point of Rochester, New York where the Charlotte pier stretches out into Lake Ontario. I was there to photograph Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, and to hear the updates from the mayor and a Major Lewton from the Army Corp. of Engineers on the state of the pier.
Standing among a pack of the usual reporters, camera in hand, I was trying to think of some way to make someone standing there talking look interesting—always a challenge.
As the congresswoman took to the podium, a shirtless figure came into focus heading southbound from the lakeside end of the pier pushing a shopping cart.
Seeing the press conference blocking his path, he paused about 20 yards from the group, took a whiff of his armpits and began fishing around in his cart.
He then produced a stick of deodorant and begin putting it on directly behind the oblivious congresswoman. The reporters, struggling to control their laughter and move their cameras to keep him out of the shot, failed at both. I kept shooting and ran the shot on this day five years ago in my book, Work in Rochester.