16th Annual National Arts Program Exhibition Featured Artist - Philadelphia Police Officer Edward Fidler, Crime Scene Unit
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Philadelphia Police Officer Edward Fidler not only takes photographs as a part of his day job as a crime scene investigator, but it is also one of his passions. His subjects have included his fellow Police Officers, football players, movie stars, to everyday people on the street that he comes by on his way to work. His photograph, Inner City Blues won 1st place in the Intermediate artist category of the 16th Annual National Arts Program exhibition currently on view in Philadelphia’s City Hall. Creative Philadelphia’s Special Projects Coordinator Pamela Yau spoke with Police Officer Edward Fidler about how photography has been an integral part of his work as a crime scene investigator, as well as a means of escape and expression.
Pamela Yau: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the Intermediate category of the 16th Annual National Arts Program exhibition! How does it feel to have won for your photography?
Edward Fidler: Very thankful for the opportunity to display my art publicly.
PY: What is the story behind Inner City Blues?
EF: I was driving into work and passed the older gentleman sitting on the steps at 29th and Albert Streets and it just jumped out at me. It looks staged but he was just sitting there and when he saw me walk up and start taking photos, I was in my police uniform and he immediately jumped up to move thinking I was there to “move him.” I reassured him that he could sit down and relax and I was just taking the photo because it “looked so cool.’ Sadly the building is gone now but how amazing was that architecture? Glad I got the photo.
PY: When did you first get into photography? What inspires your photography and how has it been a part of your life?
EF: Years back I loved to draw and paint so I think that helps me with my composure and composition but I still need to be a better technical photographer and not rely on digital playback and Photoshop fixes. When I get that down I’ll feel more like an expert and move up.
PY: As a crime scene investigator, how have you been able to incorporate your photography into your work?
EF: When I photograph a crime scene, I think of the person viewing the images of having no clue about what I’m photographing and try to tell a story the best I can. Most of the time my photographs are grim and you see how terrible one person can be to another. That’s why I think I started photographing other subjects for an escape from the terrible things I see daily.
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