The Photo Issue is one of the few times during the year when I get to tell my photographers to do what they want. Surprise me. And they do. In many cases, they break the rules. For editorial photographers, it's a rare opportunity. Often during the year, assignments come in late, not giving much time for creative people to do their most interesting work. It's more like "Grab the shot and get in here as fast as you can." Yet, the pictures manage to be powerful, thanks to a talented group of photographers who work hard for not much money.
This year, I put the photographers who contributed to this issue on a new assignment -- self-portraits. Some cringed. A few refused and took photos of each other. Some obscured themselves. Largely they created intense portraits. In turning the camera on themselves, they used an unsparing eye. So we kick off our sixth annual L.A. Weeklyphoto issue with the pictures of the people usually found on the other side of the camera.
And once again, this issue celebrates the joy of making pictures and pays compliment to a group of Angelenos who have contributed in various ways to our quality of life.