Long Beach School Overcrowding

Photojournalism

Working with the Long Beach Post has been a great experience. I admit that I should keep up on the blogging a little more, but we have been pretty busy with weddings as of late. Since we’re now approaching the end of October, wedding season is officially over, and there will be a strong shift into Portraits & Family work until Spring 2013. Hopefully I will also be working more often with the Long Beach Post during this time period.

This assignment was especially interesting; personify the overcrowding that’s happening in the Long Beach School District through photographs. I was able to meet with a family who moved here to Long Beach, specifically to the Longfellow Elementary neighborhood, only to find out that their daughter’s attendance was impacted. In fact, they had the choice to push hard, and with force could have probably displaced children who had transferred in from other schools within the district. The other option afforded by Long Beach School District was to attend another school, three plus miles away, that would not provide bus service. They chose, instead, to home school her for the time being.

I tread lightly into the details here, as there are many politics involved with their situation, naturally. However, any way you look at the situation, there was no easy decision for this family. Unfortunately, there is a real problem here, and seeing it brought to light in front of me for the first time opened my eyes to what the California budget cuts have done to our public school systems, regardless of how affluent the school’s neighborhood. Being a new dad puts a spin on the whole outlook too. Are we doing the right things for our son, and will he face similar obstacles by the time he’s ready for attending our local, public schools?

Food for thought I guess. Either way, I loved this assignment, and though story-boarding, was able to bring the story to life. There are only a handful of shots, again, because they were meticulously planned and boarded prior to shooting, but every time I see them they remind me of good stock photography. I’m excited to continue this type of work in the near future & have several other blogs lined-up at the moment from my work with the Long Beach Post.

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