GimmeAPound

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Donald Sanchez

Donald Sanchez was born and raised in the Bronx. He attended the High School of Art & Design, where he majored in advertising design and illustration. While there, his art studies included oil painting, watercolor painting, photography, packaging design, life drawing, and illustration.

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Through My Lens 529

Deciding to pursue other areas, Donald graduated from The King’s College in Briarcliff Manor, NY with a B.A. in Psychology.

 

In 1982, he took the test to become a New York City Police Officer and was sworn into the NYPD in July 1982.

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Shortly after, he returned to his first love of art and began to pursue photography.

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He embarked on a personal project to document the Latin-Jazz scene in NYC and photographed some of the great Latin Jazz musicians such as Mongo Santamaria, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, and Poncho Sanchez to name a few.

Donald photographed the inside jacket cover of Johnny Almendra y Los Jóvenes Del Barrio’s first CD, “Evolucionando” (1996). Other jazz photos were published in several jazz magazines.

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Documenting Latin Musicians

Donald was married to his wife, Awilda, in 1988 and soon began to combine his love for Latin music with his passion for photography.

Debate

Police Photography

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Processing

Special Projects

From 1993 to 2001, Donald was assigned to work in the Special Projects Photo Unit at One Police Plaza, where he worked in a photography lab, processing and printing photos from covert investigations.

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Capturing

Evidence

His responsibilities included photographing evidence seized at search warrants, covert photographic surveillance cases, press conferences, promotions, aerial photographs, as well as teaching basic surveillance photography to investigators.

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Learning

From Police to Fashion

He completed both the FBI’s Basic School of Photography and the Nikon School of Law Enforcement Photography courses. While largely self-taught, Donald took several non-credited courses in studio photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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Transition

Donald was a first responder in the tragic event on September 11th, 2001, and was himself a subject in two photography books, “Faces of Ground Zero” by Joe McNally and “Aftermath” by John Botte.

The last several years of Donald’s law enforcement career was completed in the Bronx Detective Bureau where he retired in January 2005.

Donald relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and two children, Jeremy and Briana, and recently graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Evangelical Seminary.

From 2001 until 2017, Donald’s pursuit of photography was fairly dormant.

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Street Photography

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However, in January 2018 with his graduate studies behind him, Donald discovered “street photography” and returned once again to his passion of taking pictures. Since then, he has posted over 850 images on his Instagram account.

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Beauty in Decay

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Last year, he started a new project, photographing old, rusted, abandoned classic vehicles, derelict houses, dilapidated barns, and the ruins of old structures.

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He travels deep into southern country backroads, finding many of these items in small towns, open fields, and in the front yards of private properties. Donald’s creative attention has been captured by documenting beauty in decay.

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Mentoring

Finally, Donald also currently is working on a project called Behind the Ink with the Charlotte based non-profit organization Creating Exposure for the Arts.

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Onlookers

Volunteering his time teaching young teens the art of photography, Donald and other artists are mentoring and guiding the teens as they photograph people from diverse backgrounds who have tattoos and record, in their own words, the stories behind the ink.

A local photography gallery recently displayed the images the teens created in a show and several media outlets have covered the project.

Behind the Ink is evolving into a film documentary and will be released when the series is completed.

And Now ....

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For the last several years, Donald endeavors to sharpen his ability to “notice.” Donald shoots his street photographs predominately with the Fuji X100 and X100F mirrorless cameras, and shoots events and concerts with a Nikon D810 and D3.

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All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.

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Elliot Erwitt,

one of the great American documentary photographers

- Donald Sanchez

To see more of his work . . .

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For the last several years, Donald endeavors to sharpen his ability to “notice.” Donald shoots his street photographs predominately with the Fuji X100 and X100F mirrorless cameras, and shoots events and concerts with a Nikon D810 and D3.

Elliot Erwitt, one of the great American documentary photographers once said of photography,

2 (17)

“All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.”

1 (7)

- Donald Sanchez

To see more of his work . . .

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