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Sean Proctor October 16, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Dairy Section Jedi, Midland, Mich., 2013.

Sean Proctor (b. 1989, USA)  is a 2011 graduate of Central Michigan University and currently a staff photographer at the Midland Daily News in Midland, Michigan. Before landing at the MDN he interned at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, Michigan and The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Virginia. While in college, he was a multimedia intern at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. His work has also been published in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Most recently he and some friends started an Instagram feed, @goes_ever_on, based on the interpretive vision of the paths we choose in our life and where they lead. Sean is the winner of the inaugural Bill Eppridge Memorial Award from the 2014 Eddie Adams Workshop.

About the Photograph:

“I made this picture while working on a feature about a group the Reformed Jedi Order (or RJO) who held lightsaber fights in Midland. They refer to it as Live Action War-play (LAW) as opposed to Live Action Role Play (LARP.) I’ve grown up on all things sci-fi, so when I heard about this group I was super excited to live out a major part of who I am with fellow geeks. While working on the essay, I spent about half the time photographing and half the time joining in on the action. This particular picture came when a couple of RJO members decided to duel in the middle of Wal-Mart. Cloaked and masked, they sheepishly walked through the aisles, afraid they were going to get into trouble before they even started. We made our way to the corner of the store, which provided them with ample room to fight while staying mostly out of the way. However, they were still timid. Small, controlled bursts of fighting, punctuated by quick glances to see if someone who looked in charge was heading their way.”

“At one point, a Wal-Mart employee walked by and Carl and Scott (the two fighting) and they thought they were done for. Slowly crossing their blades, preparing to explain themselves and leave the premises. A minute later, the employee came back with his phone out. He said something along the lines of ‘don’t mind me!’ and started recording them. Carl and Scott went full out, blades flying through the air, all care and worry out the window. Shortly after, a manager came up to me and told me I couldn’t take pictures inside due to company policy, but made little mention of the lightsaber battle. We all laughed and they continued to fight for a while longer.”