The Purbalite

Crawley pictures publishing project

Rachel Stofanak, Staff Writer

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Junior Paige Crawley saw Pittsburgh through a new lens over the summer as she took photos for a book by Pittsburgh writer and scholar Sam Hazo, which was released on Sept. 28 and can be bought on Amazon.
The book, which is called The Pittsburgh That Stays Within You, was originally published in 1986, Hazo said. Each edition after the first has a new chapter added on. The current book is the fifth edition, he said.
Crawley, who also is a Purbalite photo editor, captured the little things that Hazo was looking for, he said.
“Everyone has glimpses of seams in passing in the city, and Paige captured those,” he said.
Crawley has been taking pictures almost her whole life, she said. When she was 4, her grandfather gave her a point-and shoot-camera, and her lifelong love of photography began.
“I’ve always taken pictures of things that meant a lot to me,” she said. “When I was a kid, it meant taking pictures of things like Barbies and shoes, but now I take pictures of people. I like being able to capture someone’s personality in a single picture.”
Though she mostly takes pictures of people, Crawley enjoyed taking pictures of the city for the book.
“I got a chance to explore the city a lot, and I have more of an appreciation for Pittsburgh now,” she said.
Her photos were of places such as the Strip District, Kennywood, the Cathedral of Learning, and the outdoor art project called Randyland on the North Side.
However, Hazo said the pictures of little details captured the city best.
He cited one picture of a bicycle leaning against a telephone pole. At first glance, it looks like a regular bicycle, but when he looked closer he realized that it’s a memorial of a car accident involving a biker. Little things like the bike capture the spirit of Pittsburgh, Hazo said.
Crawley was hired to provide photos for the book through Jason Price, the designer for the book. She knows Price because she had previously taken pictures of his sister’s family.
The company had hired someone else before Crawley, but they decided not to use his pictures because Hazo thought they were too clichéd.
Crawley connected with Hazo soon after getting the job. She remembers meeting him for the first time and admiring him.
“He looked at a few of my pictures and said that it was an ‘honor to be bookended with me,’ which seemed ironic given the fact that he’s such an amazing author. It was more of an honor for me,” she said.
Hazo also admired Crawley’s ability.
“Paige’s pictures are original. She has an eye for what she’s shooting, and she has no preoccupation,” he said.
Memories of this project will stay with her a long time, Crawley said.
“I’ve gained more experience and a deeper love for this city than I had at the beginning of June,” she said.

About the Writer
Rachel Stofanak, Features Editor

Rachel is a senior Features Editor for the Purbalite. She spends her summers living in the woods and going by the nickname Echo and her school years doing homework and going by Barb.

 

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