Yesterday marked my second full month at the Deseret News. In this last month, I have shot an ungodly amount of high school basketball, photographed a polygamist rally, and covered my first fatality. I’ve seen communities come together to support their undocumented population and tears of all kinds fall.
This month has had its ups and downs while I’ve been learning the art of balance. With five online classes, working six days a week, climbing/yoga and trying to have a social life, I have a lot up in the air. I’ve been focusing on how to turn a bland assignment into a creative challenge and pitching passion projects amongst the mass of sports.
Along with the jubilation of championship basketball games and flying with research scientists, I have learned a bit more about what this job truly means.
I got a call about breaking news at 11am and showed up to a scene of a car crash not far from my office. Two cars full of teenage boys were drag racing and one crossed the median hitting another car. The two boys in the backseat were killed on impact and the seven month pregnant woman in the other car was in critical condition. Yesterday, I learned her baby was brain dead. This incident really shaped my last month. Having never photographed something like this before, I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. I held it in and continued on to my next three assignments. The next morning while running errands, I stopped in Target and broke down in the candle aisle. It was the first moment of quiet I had since the accident. I am incredibly thankful for those in my life who are always there to offer advice and a shoulder to lean on, those who let me call them and ask the tough questions of how to handle something like this. I know this might seem naive to some, as they experience this regularly in their newsroom, but this one hit me hard.
Remember to keep your hearts open and your heads up.
Thanks for stopping by.
George Dewey, left, Nancy Dewey, back middle, and Allie Craford embrace while Raymond Crawford is reunited with EJ Hinerman, Medical Specialist for the Unified Fire Authority, after Raymond had a heart attack while driving on I-18 with his son William, 11, middle, was in the car at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017.
Well hey there.
It has officially been a month since I first set foot in the Deseret News, and one month and four days since I first set foot in Salt Lake City.
In this month, I’ve defied death on a snowmobile (okay maybe that’s a bit extreme), shot almost too many protests/marches and been pushed very far out of my comfort zone. The transition from video editing back into the lifestyle of a newspaper photographer took some time, but I’m finally feeling back into the swing of things.
My car is a mess again, covered in empty coffee cups and discarded snack wrappers, my dark circles have returned, but my brain is back in order. Though I miss my cushier deadlines at NPR (and all my music people and Soundbites), I didn’t realize how much I missed shooting every day. I’ve missed the high of a tight deadline. I’ve missed working in the field every day.
Here are some selects from my first month here. They range from countless marches and basketball games to portraits of inspiring women. Oh, and way too many photos from the Utah High School Drill Team Championships because that’s been my favorite assignment thus far.
As always thanks for stopping by.
Tulsa has meant a lot to me. At the end of the spring semester last year I didn’t think I wanted to be a photojournalist anymore. I was disillusioned. I was disheartened. I didn’t know how to fit my own style and voice into the journalism world that was so narrowly defined by my school.
I decided I would go to Tulsa and see if at the end of sixteen weeks I still felt this way. If I did I would become a florist or do something that didn’t make me cry in my car or be angry at my friends for their success.
Tulsa was just what I needed. It healed me. It was a time that allowed me to only focus on myself and my own work. While I had amazing and talented coworkers, I wouldn’t constantly look at their work and compare it to my own. I didn’t look at my classmates blog posts from their internships. I just created what I wanted to create.
The photo editor at the Tulsa World, John Clanton, is hands down the best editor I have ever had or even heard of. While I would hear about my friend’s bad bosses and the dread of being treated only as the intern and nothing else, I was a staff photographer. I had the same responsibilities and voice as the staff photographers. John would constantly check in on us, asking us every day how we were doing. He went above and beyond his duties as editor to ensure we were happy and listen to our complaints about how certain assignments were handled. I honestly believe he is what makes the Tulsa World so wonderful. As a photographer it was a joy to work with him everyday.
John is a cheerleader, a critic, a champion of photography. Where the professors and my school tore me down, he built me back up. His critiques were honest and heartfelt. He allowed me, and the rest of the staff, to be as creative as possible. He allowed me the freedom I had craved at school. Through that I felt myself grow.
For the first time in my time as a photojournalist I can look at my website and actually be proud of what I have made. I like what I create. I love the stories I have been able to tell. Most of what is in my portfolio now, especially video-wise, is from Tulsa. I may not be as great as the person to my left, but I know I am growing and I am patient with myself.
Above are some stills and videos from my last few weeks at the Tulsa World. From micro essays, football games, concerts and my time with Josh Butts and his family.
I could write another whole post about Josh alone. I am so honored to be able to experience some of his life; to be let into his dark moments and bask in the light of his beautiful little family. His story is the one that has impacted me the most this summer. I hope that his story has also been able to impact those in Tulsa and beyond.
Thanks for dealing with all these world. Thanks for stopping by.