Say cheese!


11-year-old Jazelle Flores of Stockton rides a mechanical bull at the Boys and Girls Club sponsored Souza Park Communty Celebration in Stockton.

I shot this girl riding a mechanical bull at a neighborhood carnival in Stockton. She watched me shoot some other kids as they played on the ride while she waited for her turn. When she got on she looked at me and smiled for the camera. I guess it’s a natural response, after all when we take pictures of our loved ones we say: “look at the camera”, “smile” or “say cheese”. But in a situation like this, the last thing I want is someone mugging for me. I’m looking for someone having a real moment doing what they’re doing. I waited for the ride to start. Controlled by a human operator, it turned slowly. She swung around, with her eyes still on me and smile on her face. The bull then sped up a bit, twisting and spinning as it did. The smile turned to terror as she hung on for dear life. I got my “real” moment and shot the picture as she twirled around. It was just a little more real than what she was expecting.

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