ST. PETERSBURG — As mass protests spread through the Tampa Bay area, Martha Asencio-Rhine strapped on her camera, determined to capture the historic scenes unfolding throughout the region.
Ascencio-Rhine has covered sporting events, political rallies and music festivals for the Tampa Bay Times over the last two years, but has never seen intensity and sadness like she experienced since the protests began.
We talked with Asencio-Rhine, who graduated from USF St. Petersburg in 2019, to learn more about how she prepares to cover the protests, what she looks for when documenting such a historic moment and her passion for photojournalism and images “that spark conversations.”
The first protest I covered was in St. Petersburg and it seemed like a regular rally to me.
When I go into a situation, I always keep three things in mind: establish a sense of place that shows where we are and what is happening; then get closer to make out people’s faces; and then I capture the details, a close up of a hand for example, or eyes.