Off-Ramp

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Ted Soqui captures Time's 'Protester' image for 'Person of the Year'

by John Rabe | Off-Ramp

Highland's Sarah Mason, at Occupy LA's Bank of America protest November 17, 2011. Ted Soqui/Corbis

The image used to represent protesters for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” is of a local woman, Sarah Mason of Highland. It was captured by freelance photographer Ted Soqui and then posterized by Shepard Fairey for the magazine cover.

"I can't tell you how I took it but I can tell you how I felt," Soqui said. "It's one of those images that as soon as I clicked it, I knew it was special."

The photo was taken November 17, 2011, in front of Bank of America. Soqui was linking arms with other OccupyLA protesters, preparing themselves for arrest. Soqui says he saw Mason's eyes and how the sun was hitting them, so he grabbed a longer lens and captured her photo. There's only one shot where she looked at the camera, and that's the one that made the cover.

He says Time probably used a posterized version (fully licensed, this time, by Shepard Fairey) to make it fit with the idea of honoring all protesters, not an individual. And of all the millions of photos taken of protests, that they picked his? "Wow."

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