The Associated Press – SAN FRANCISCO (AP) In the wake of a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., several high-profile photographers have said they feel compelled to take on the difficult task of dealing with the grief of the victims and their families.
Among the most prominent of these is Ben Affleck, who was the subject of a scathing profile in The New York Times magazine in May, calling Affleck “the only serious photographer who hasn’t been intimidated by his job.”
Affleck says he is now more determined than ever to use his skills to “do the right thing” and avoid what he calls “the kind of public shaming” that can befall a photojournalistic profession.
“You can’t just look at your job and think you’re going to get away with it,” Affleck said in a telephone interview from the set of “Fences,” a new film about the Aurora shooting.
“There are things that I’ve learned from this, and I’ve used them to my advantage.
I’ve tried to be a little more thoughtful about my work.”
The Associated Statesman reported that Affleck was among a group of more than 200 photographers who attended the memorial service for the victims of the shooting at the Century 16 theater in downtown Aurora on Saturday night.
The Associated News reported that he was among more than 100 people who attended a vigil for the families of victims in Aurora on Monday, and that he is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
The AP also reported that at least one other photographer, Robert Evans, will participate in a series of “crisis photography” events in the coming weeks, and will participate more frequently.
Evans was one of more 20 photographers invited to the White House for a White House Correspondents Dinner in June, a ceremony in which the President gave the award to his portrait photographer, Peter Segal.
The President said in an emailed statement that the award, which was given to Evans for his “tremendous commitment to journalism,” was given “without any recognition or consideration for his contribution to this great profession.”
He said that “the press corps of the United States owes it to the victims’ families and to the American people to continue to expose the most abhorrent and horrific acts of violence.”
Affckle said he has spoken with several of the other photographers who have been invited to attend the White Houses Correspondents’ Dinner.
He said he believes that the best way to address the trauma that was experienced in the Aurora theater shooting is to be respectful of all involved, including the people who shot the first shots.
“If you are going to be able to see the pain that people have and hear the pain of people who were killed, that’s a terrible thing to see,” Affcklesaid.
“We are all in this together, and the only way we can be able not to be is to acknowledge the pain.”
The AP obtained the AP photographer roster, along with his official portrait, for inclusion in the book “Behind the Mirror: The Making of a Photojournalist,” by Jeff Vassar, which is due out later this year.
Vassars book is expected to be published by HarperCollins and will include more than 500 photographs of photographers.
The list includes: Robert Evans: Affleck in “Faces” on Nov. 3, 2008.
Jameson H. Smith: “The Man from Mars” on Jan. 24, 2015.
Robert Evans and Robert Smith in “The Color of Magic” on Feb. 14, 2010.
Jason P. Sullivan: “Black Friday” on Oct. 31, 2010 in Los Angeles.
Jason T. Boggs: “Ventura” on Aug. 30, 2011 in Las Vegas.
Joe Lo Truglio: “Love Is Not a Weapon” on July 27, 2012 in Miami.
James R. Martin: “Mud” on June 11, 2016 in Miami and “Sugar” on May 20, 2018 in New York.
“The Big Lebowski” on April 22, 2019 in Los Angles.
“Shaun of the Dead” on Sept. 11, 2020 in New Orleans.
Jim Cooke: “Escape From the Citadel” on Dec. 15, 2017 in Los Alamos.
Ben Affcklee: “White House Correspondent” on March 21, 2018.
Robert De Niro: “Dancing With the Stars” on January 25, 2019.
“Wade in the Water” on Apr. 28, 2020.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” on Jun. 18, 2021.
“Penguin Book of Photography” on Mar. 1, 2021 in Venice.
Joe Piscopo: “Taken” on Sep. 22, 2021 on a plane to Los Angeles and “Black Swan” on February 17, 2022.
“Gone Girl” on November 20, 2022 in New Zealand.
Jeff Vastri: “Karen and I