Evidence of My Existence — 2007

By Jim Lo Scalzo

See Jim Lo Scalzo's photographs and schedule of appearances at evidenceofmyexistence.com

“Photojournalists tell stories with pictures, imparting a unique view of an event, a personality, a landscape. Lo Scalzo, veteran staff photographer for U.S. News & World Report, offers his own stories of the world in this compelling memoir.... What makes this memoir distinct is how it interweaves written snapshots detailing his personal journey, an insider’s look into the field of photojournalism, a study of the creative process, and a descriptive travelog....For all libraries.”

Library Journal

“This is not a picture book. Instead, it is a rare and meaningful look into the life of a photojournalist.”

Digital Journalist

“Set against a backdrop of the most stunning settings the world to offer—from India to Antarctica—Evidence of My Existence is an intimate and intricate exploration of ambition and the difficult decisions artists are forced to make in search of a balance between work, the love of work, and love itself. Jim Lo Scalzo serves as a brilliant guide—by turns hilarious and heart-torn— and has created a masterful memoir, an exquisite debut!”

Julianna Baggott — author of Which Brings Me to You and Compulsions of Silkworms and Bees

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From a leper colony in India to an American research station on the Antarctic Peninsula, from the back rooms of the White House to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, Evidence of My Existence tells a unique and riveting story of seventeen years spent racing from one photo assignment to the next. It is also a story of photojournalism and the consequences of obsessive wanderlust.

When the book opens, Jim Lo Scalzo is a blur to his wife, her remarkable tolerance wearing thin. She is heading to the hospital with her second miscarriage, and Jim is heading to Baghdad to cover the American invasion of Iraq. He hates himself for this—for not giving her a child, for deserting her when she so obviously needs him, for being consumed by his job—but how to stop moving? Sure, there have been some tough trips. He’s been spit on by Mennonites in Missouri, by heroin addicts in Pakistan, and by the KKK in South Carolina. He’s contracted hepatitis on the Navajo Nation, endured two bouts of amoebic dysentery in India and Burma and four cases of giardia in Nepal, Peru, Afghanistan, and Cuba. He’s been shot with rubber bullets in Seattle, knocked to the ground by a water cannon in Quebec, and sprayed with more teargas than he cares to recall. But photojournalism is his career, and travel is his compulsive craving.

We follow Lo Scalzo through the maze of airports and crowds and countries as he chases the career he has always wanted, struggles with his family problems, and reveals the pleasures of a life singularly focused. For him, as for so many photojournalists, it is always about the going.


Picture of Jim Lo Scalzo

Jim Lo Scalzo, a Washington DC native, has been a staff photographer with U.S. News & World Report since 1994. He has had assignments in more than sixty countries and won numerous awards in the Pictures of the Year International and White House News Photographers' Association photo competition.