Backstory: Press Conference on the Pier

Clarke Condé - Pyragraph

Photo by Clarke Condé.

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.

Clarke Condé - Pyragraph

Photo by Clarke Condé.

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.

Clarke Condé - Pyragraph

Photo by Clarke Condé.

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.

Clarke Condé - Pyragraph

Photo by Clarke Condé.

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.

Clarke Condé - Pyragraph

Photo by Clarke Condé.

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.

Clarke Condé

About Clarke Condé

Clarke Condé is a photographer, New York expatriate, and Pyragraph’s Managing Editor (though not necessarily in that order). He has held high positions at lowly publications in New York, but has settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico to live the simple life of a food and folk photographer. His hobbies include washing dishes, rewashing dishes and throwing out perfectly good food. You can see more of his work at his website or in his latest book, Work in Rochester.

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