RIP: Photojournalist Michael Justice

One of two victims of a Wednesday helicopter crash in Los Angeles.

MichaelJusticePhotographyAs with so many aviation tragedies, fate intervened to save an additional potential victim.

Per a report in The Daily Breeze, Casey J. Warren, the godson and employee of 61-year-old Michael Justice, was supposed to accompany the freelance photojournalist Wednesday on a 4:30 p.m. flying excursion over the Port of Los Angeles. The bodies of Justice and pilot Christopher Reed were recovered Thursday:

Warren, who worked with Justice on corporate freelance work, said Thursday he was not able to go as only a two-seat Robinson R22 helicopter was available.

“I was supposed to go up with him,” Warren wrote in a message to a reporter. “But the larger R44 helicopter was booked. We’re all heartbroken right now.”

Warren worked with Justice Wednesday morning, photographing crane extensions at the Port’s APM terminal and then lunching with his godfather at San Pedro restaurant the Sandwich Saloon. Justice’s focus Wednesday afternoon was the rare sight of three simultaneously departing cruise ships, part of ongoing recent work for the Port of Los Angeles.

The photographer’s website is full of spectacular shots of the harbor area. Justice’s earlier editorial clients included both Newsweek and Time, for whom he did respective covers in 1993 and 1995. He and Warren were due to go to Cuba in February for a separate photo-shoot excursion.

Justice was also working on a side project titled “Pilgrims of Faith.” From that project description:

Through the ages, people have been drawn to the mystical nature of life and what lies beyond. The ultimate test of faith across all major religions has been the pilgrimage, an arduous journey to a distant, holy place in search of redemption through trial and hardship. …

I am in the process of documenting this powerful global ritual, one that can send rural villagers who may have never ventured more than a day’s work from their homes on epic journeys of thousands of miles.


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