It’s hard to believe that it’s been over ten years since the massacre. I have been told that I will be remembered for this photo. I hope that’s not true…

All Photos © Matt Weber

38 thoughts on “September 11th 2001

  1. All right, so you were obviously standing there. The mom had to be aware of what had happened. Did she just not want to rile up the kids, get them worried, spoil their outing? Was she looking over her shoulder every couple seconds? The questions this image raises are just overwhelming. It is an amazing, amazing image

  2. Strange and creepy thoughts come to mind when looking at this, the girl seems so relaxed just sitting there I wonder what’s really going on before and after this photo. I’m in L.A., CA and remember still everything I did that day and the hushed silence that seemed to fill the air for some time after that. Very emotional and terrifying image.

  3. The kids are just playing and I doubt the mother wanted to give her daughter nightmares by trying to explain the horrible situation. The boy was way too young to comprehend, which is why people respond to this picture. It’s just a very ordinary day in the park, till you notice the fire…

  4. This photo sticks in mind and brings me back to that day like it was yesterday. I was a block away when it happened and my first vision was from Terminator and Mad Max, where the characters were having dreams.

  5. You know, I’ve always expected that this photo existed somewhere, but have just never seen it.

    By ‘this photo’ I don’t mean this particular one, but just a scene of every day ordinariness with the towers burning in the background. I think everyone one I’ve ever seen all the focus was on the fire, and people being focused on the fire.

    It is a powerful image. One that will probably be on the front of my mind for a long time to come.

  6. K.P.,
    Thank you for your comment. I was in a rush to get as close to the fire as possible, when all of sudden I saw the boy and jumped off my bike to take two quick snaps. This was the better one…

  7. This photo should be called hope. The world is comming to an end in the background, but the life continues with the next generation. Strong strong picture.

  8. Matt, your 9/11 shot is on the spot. I was a First Responder that was under the second tower. who knew from tagging my name in the 1970’s, to being down there, 2001 would put us in a full circle of Life.

  9. Mike I tip my hat to you for the work you did at ground zero! I was also a fan of you and SJK when I was a little toy tagging the Broadway locals in 1973.
    Whatever happened to Frank-207 ?

  10. Hello Matt Weber!

    I am editor of the newspaper “Notícias do Dia” (Daily news), from Florianopolis, Brazil (
    I am working on coverage of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack of 9/11.
    I would like to buy some of your pictures to publish in our newspaper.
    Attached are the images I selected from your portfolio for publication.
    Please, advise what conditions to use yours images.

    Apologies for my English.

    Victor Carlson

  11. Matt – I just visited your blog for the very first time today. And bumped into this one, a few days ahead of the sad day. This image – well it does impact in ways it hasnt done before. Am afraid to say, but this will go down in history. What an epic shot – just so apparently shows the agnst and trauma to a otherwise peaceful life of people.

  12. I call FAKE. By the looks of the base of this tower, the first one had already fallen based on the plume of smoke. For anyone to believe you were on your way to capture “the fire” is total BS. Shame on you to try and gain notoriety off of such a horrific day. Perhaps one day you’ll capture a real moment that somehow makes up for such a stunt.

  13. Derek you are the biggest ass I’ve ever encountered…Please don’t tell anyone else about this secret as I’ll be crushed.
    Meanwhile, I’ll take a course in photoshop so I can make it more realistic for you!

  14. I’m an ass because I challenge the validity of such a compelling image? Considering the amount of pictures I’ve seen in the ten whole years since 9/11, and how the most sensational ones are typically seen repeatedly from one news organization to another, for your rather interesting contrast- a sort of before and after snapshot of the world as we know it- to have never once been picked up by the Times or Newsweek or anywhere, really is suspicious. It’s also bizarre that in the ten years since, you’ve recieved only 26 comments in the face of this being “the image you’ll be known for.” I have a feeling you’re pretty familiar with photoshop. Perhaps you should send your work to DPmag. You might win an award for your digital compositing. I wonder what people would think of you if they found out this image is a hoax. Wait, did you take the one of the guy standing on the roof of the tower as the plane enters, too?!

  15. Derek, in all seriousness, you’ve paid me an unintentional compliment and I thank you for that. Many people would have tried to push an image like this around the internet and into Reuters or
    other news sources. I didn’t. I’m not a photojournalist and I guess I would have felt weird doing that. So instead, I just posted it on my website and have only sold it once to a non-profit magazine
    in the past ten years. I feel very strongly about fake photos and hate the thought of photoshopping any image in a way that is not truthful. I don’t mind burning and dodging as I have done for many
    years in the darkroom. A straight scan of the image would be much lighter and blander…There was some fuss a few days ago about Nachtwey’s amazing 9/11 pictures and how he had darkened
    them too much. It seemed like sour grapes to me. I shot the image at F9.5 and 1,000thof a second…I wish I had set the aperture to F-11 because it would be easier to print in the darkroom but I
    tend to overexpose my images for fear of underexposure, which is much harder to print from…I apologize for calling you an ass, as you have every right to question anything you see in this age
    of digitally manipulated images. Now, if you can get me on a few talk shows, I’ll happily bring the original TRI-X negative with me for forensic inspection by the experts and I can finally get the fame
    and recognition for this image which I failed to seek…

  16. Hey Matt, pretty funny, that Derek guy. He probably thinks your original negative is fake too. I wonder, what is his exalted background in photography? The shot is spectacular, and almost beyond comprehension that both things were happening in the frame at the same time, and that you managed to even have the composure to operate a camera. I suppose if you had been a hard nosed photo journalist you’d have found a way to cash in, big time, with this image. But knowing you as the deeply emotional person that you are, I’m sure you were dumbstruck by the horror of the day, and as overwhelmed as the rest of NY and NJ that day. Also, good on you for the measured response.

  17. Thanks Mike…Joe, you have had feedback from Derek before? I am very sensitive about making money off of that image, as it always feels strange, but people do want to buy it…

  18. That’s a quite striking image Matt, it raises a lot of questions in the viewer’s mind. I’m surprised it hasn’t gone viral

  19. Extraordinary image! Amazing you got such an excellent composition and clarity when you must have been shaking with emotion! moving and tragic very poignant..did you talk to the mother? Neatly sums up the relatively carefree ‘before’ and the dark and sombre ‘after’.

  20. Katherine, I was in a weird state because my wife was pregnant and ready to give birth and there were no cell phones working that morning.
    I was on a bicycle and just stopped and laid down the bike and shot two frames of the boy. It didn’t seem like much of anything till the next day when I saw the negatives…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s