jared soares photographer

2013: You were pretty nice.

I started writing this post with only about two hours remaining in 2013 and needless to say I almost didn’t finish it. The idea was to put off writing about last year with the hope that I would get frustrated with building a witty opening anecdote or just banish the text to a permanent life in the Save as Draft folder.

Writing about a year’s worth of work is painful, at least for me. My progression as a photographer is linked to my personal projects, which seem incoherent in yearly intervals and only sing in their final edits and forms. Often the question “Did I work hard enough?” darts around my mind more than I’d like to share. I always feel I could have done better.

Though my head is already in 2014, I wanted to share a couple highlights from 2013. I’m not going to bore you with a “best of” list laced with lengthy yarns. These are just the hits, babe.

2013 marked my first full year living in Washington, D.C. I was able to explore my new surroundings while working on a variety of stories for The Washington Post.

In order to get me through the slow winter, I taught myself how to saddle-stitch bind books and produced my first one about a group of rappers in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Education Week gave me the opportunity to experience life as an 8th grader again, while looking at how a D.C. middle school’s faculty and students were engaging with the newly implemented Common Core curriculum.

AARP Bulletin introduced me to six individuals who attended the 1963 March on Washington and heard Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech on the National Mall.

And finally, I spent a good portion of the summer at the Barry Farms Recreational Courts in Southeast D.C. to start a new body of work looking at the culture and community of the Goodman League, a summer outdoor basketball league.

Photography doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and I’m incredibly thankful for the working relationships and friendships that are a byproduct of collaboration.

Here’s to a busy and a productive 2014. I’ve got to find a framer and book a flight to the Pacific Northwest. More on that later…