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Referred to as the “Wall of Shame,” the mug shots here serve as a reminder to staff of the kids that have been killed on the street. Miami-Dade Regional Youth Detention Center, Miami, FL. © Richard Ross

These days, I contend that if photographers are to progress with their craft, they must be both excellent image-makers and energetic self-marketers.

I’ve known Richard Ross‘ work for a long time now so the former has never been in any doubt. Having seen the way his project Juvenile-In-Justice has been rolled out, it is clear he’s in full control of the latter too.

Ross has been featured on NPR and The TakeAway. The edit of his work in Harper’s Magazine is a finalist in the News and Documentary Photography category at the National Magazine Awards.

I wrote an article Uncompromising Photos Expose Juvenile Detention in America, published on last week about Ross’ 5 years of photographing in juvenile detention facilities. (The article was well received and has led to a follow-up piece about the issue. Stay tuned). Ross was also a PPOTR interviewee.

Furthermore, the project will be presented as a traveling exhibition that will premiere at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV in August 2012. A photobook is also in the works with essays from Ira Glass and Bart Lubow.

After 40 years of photographing, one presumes that Ross has contacts and allies to help him “market” Juvenile-In-Justice and get it in front of the maximum number of eyeballs. The distribution of this work has been robust and effective – and it could hold some lessons for younger photographers.

I’m just thinking out loud here. My main purpose of this post was to share this five-minute feature on Ross’ juvenile detention work put together by PBS.


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