April 15th 2013 has forever been embedded in our heads as the day of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing. To pay tribute to the city and honor those caught in the chaotic event, Boston Magazine hired Mitch Feinberg to create the photograph above. Yes, those are the shoes in the heart shape that belonged to some of the people that ran the traditional yearly (117th) event when the bombing occurred. The magazine reached out to the runners and asked if they could donate their shoes to tell the story for the cover above and consequently, the back of the magazine. Receiving about 120 pairs in total, the project for this important photograph began…
You can read about how Mitch created both masterpieces at American Photo Mag. The interview reveals how he went about the creation process in such a short time and what he had to do to fill in the corners because he didn’t have enough shoes to fill the frame. You will also find out why he chose to put the Vibram toe shoes on the top center of the heart. Once you are done there, head over to Boston Magazine to read real accounts from some of the runners that experienced this haphazard event and see the shoes they wore to run in that day.
What makes everything so heartbreaking is that it’s such a happy day. It’s like 26.2 miles of the best people-watching ever. There are hilarious signs, people cheering for you like you’re a rock star, music. There’s such a sense of community. I made it all the way to Kenmore Square and my friend Louie came to run the last mile with me. I could see it—I knew it was so close. Louie told me he’d just heard that two bombs went off. “Your sense of humor sucks,” I said. But he wasn’t joking. Louie and I walked together out of the Back Bay, and through the Fenway. Our friend Jamie always gives Louie crap for wearing long-sleeve shirts under short-sleeve shirts. I was freezing in a tank top and Louie was wearing, obviously, a short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve shirt. He literally gave me the shirt off his back—it saved my life a little bit
Like most that saw this event through TV and social media, I’m more than shocked to say the least. It’s scary to know that this country is silently at war 24/7 and that events like this can happen anywhere. Boston would have been the last place on anyones mind for something like this to occur. But it happened and now it’s a memory and emotion we all share. So, when you see a magazine put this together in such a short notice and even boot their AD sponsor from the back of the magazine to replace it with the second image, you know this was a moment that had to have an immediate commendation. My heart and prayers go out to all Bostonians. Stay strong and finish the race.
30, South Boston
I told all my friends and my family to go to the finish line, that’s the best place to go. There is just a roar of emotion. It’s the best feeling, it’s a charge. After the explosions, I was so upset not being able to reach anyone because I led all these people to—maybe—their death. It was the worst feeling. It was heartbreaking for everyone. In the days after, I have never felt so proud to be from Boston. Sometimes I freak out about street cleaning and car towing. And don’t get me started on the MBTA. But hearing that people ran to Mass General and to area hospitals to give blood after finishing the marathon—I think it’s amazing. I wish I had the presence of mind to do the same.