11 Dec. 2017
New York, UNITED STATES
Kandy Freeman takes part in a Black Lives Matter protest in front of Trump Tower in New York City, U.S. January 14, 2017. Stephanie Keith: "I took this photo across the street from Trump Tower in New York City just days before Trump's inauguration. All major news outlets were staking out the Tower both for protests and for high-profile visitors. That Saturday, there wasn't much news and by 3 p.m. most journalists had left. I stayed because there was a small Black Lives Matter march coming from Harlem. Just as the sun was setting, about 40 protesters arrived. The snow started falling with big heavy flakes. Almost immediately I saw this woman. I thought she was so beautiful. I noticed that there were snowflakes in her hair and they were not melting. I thought, what a perfect metaphor since the right wing has named liberals "snowflakes", saying they are weak and easily take offence. I loved the contrast of the black and white colours and the contrast of her strength and the fragility of the snowflakes. I asked if we could make a portrait. There was a store under construction with a black facade covering the building. I had this vision of taking a photo of people emerging from the blackness of the facade with snowflakes all around them. I lit the other side of her face with the warm incandescent glow of the upscale jewellery store next door. It was like creating a studio environment with available light, during a protest. There wasn't much time because the jewellery store owners were yelling at us to leave, thinking we were part of the now-boisterous Black Lives Matter protest. I literally had 2 minutes to set up this portrait and capture it until she rejoined the protest. I got her name afterwards and sent her the photos. She loved them too. "After walking over 6 miles my Afro was a winter wonderland," Freeman said. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File photo SEARCH "POY STORY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.