Walker Pickering Studio
Joe K. at Home from Joe K, 2005, 16x20 in. Silver Gelatin Print
I spent a year getting to know Joe, from October 2004 to October 2005, when I was a photographer for the Texas House of Representatives. Joe had worked at the State Capitol for 25 years as a runner, and we quickly built a friendship. Joe loved comics, joking around, and our boss, whom he adored.
I spent more and more time with Joe, often outside work at his home, which was one side of a duplex shared with his mother. Because Joe had developed Alzheimer's disease, he was forced into retirement. My job at the Capitol ended around the same time, and I eventually moved out of state. Joe and I lost contact over the following years, and though I had always intended to shoot more with him, I received a call in September 2009 that I had missed my chance: Joe had passed away.
Joe K. was one of the most photographed people I've ever known, mostly in test shots or photographs around the office, so my approach was always intended to get at something not normally seen in the thousands of photos in the state archive. Even incomplete, this remains one of my favorite bodies of work, and my personal tribute to someone with more character than most people I know.
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