Sunday, May 31, 2009


Top: Ethel Mae prayed before a meal with her family to celebrate her 90th birthday. Middle: The lovely Katie Barnes spent the night. Bottom: Matt made a list.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Many years ago . . .

Once upon a time, before I went to graduate school, I wanted to be a photojournalist, but I didn't know how. I had a Yashica Mat my parents got me at a used camera store in Connecticut, and access to a darkroom, and so I made portraits. In high school, I photographed people I knew. In college, I got a little braver, venturing out on the weekends for long drives (still a favorite activity). I made portraits. Always portraits. I never got used to introducing myself to people, and yet they were always wonderful and accommodating. During the days I've been home, I've been furiously organizing things, to keep my mind off the great unknown that looms after my internship at the Dallas Morning News. Old prints, letters, books, scraps of paper. I've also been finding little notes to myself from years ago. "Danny Lyons-- 'go to where you really want to be'" & a note from a Eugene Richards talk-- "the thing you have to do is do it. do your muddling as you practice." With that said, I'm off to muddle and practice in the early evening light of Seattle.
Here are a few frames from long, long ago. The couple, below, I photographed when I was 17. The other two, above, are portraits from a summer spent in New York with my dear friend Mara when we were just 21, sharing a tiny apartment and a tiny bed. I am much more interested now in the work I do for newspapers, because I have a sense that work is about service to a community. In true Herald fashion, I have come to love moments and photographs that speak to little truths caught and saved. Still, portraits. That's where I started. How did you start?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Supper

Had to take some photographs today, just to breathe. At the Corson Building. Matt Dillon, picking greens for dinner.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good News

After two days of hot driving from Indiana to Dallas, one carton of strawberries, lots of ice, two killer sunsets and minor cuts and bruises, I'm moved out of Dubois County and I'm back in Seattle, trying to come to terms with free time. I'm not a huge fan. I'd much rather have some work to do. To that end, I'm printing portfolios, writing letters, and I'm going to pull out the old medium format and shoot some out-of-date film. If anyone has any other suggestions on how to vacation, give me a ring. I'd love the advice. The good news is that I'm featured in this year's PDN Photo Annual, along with a bunch of other super talented photographers. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Goodbye Dubois County. Goodbye bratwurst, feature hunts, goat butter, 4-H, Riverwalk, untold stories. Goodbye Justin, Krista, Joe & Lindsay & Isaac, Hak, Mike, and all the other wonderful people. The car is packed, I'm showered and ready. Goodbye Indiana. Hello Big D!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nursing Home Wedding

Evelyn Tucker's daughter Vickie McBride carefully smoothed some light green eyeshadow over her mother's eyelids, the shade chosen to compliment her hazel eyes. Tucker's two other daughters, Nancy Garland of Washington and Linda Satterfield of Saint Anthony, had helped their mother slip on her wedding dress, an ivory number with lace detail at the shoulders and pearl buttons running down the front, for her marriage to Ray Herron, another resident at the Scenic Hills Care Center in Ferdinand. The two met through a Christmas gift exchange, and had a first date of pizza and a movie just a few nights later. When the minister asked Evelyn why she wanted to marry Ray, she said simply, "because he has the time to sit and talk with me."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh, Light


I've been poring through my old notebooks for caption information on some stories I'm finishing off. I have a love/hate relationship with this story about the volunteers at a Methodist campground. These are lovely men giving their time to repair cabins, but it was sometimes a struggle to tell a compelling visual story during the winter, when most of the activity was indoor construction. Today, out of the blue, I came upon a page in my reporter's notebook with a quotation from Bill, the caretaker of the property who shepherds these men through their various tasks. Being the man in charge for the 80-acre campground is a spiritual calling for him. He says:
"If it is what you're meant to to, it's like Noah building the arc.
It's too big.
But because it is what you're meant to do, it's not too big."
I've been involved in some heated late-night conversations about the future of journalism with my friends Mara and Greg , and we haven't solved anything yet, except that there must be some greater exchange between programmers and journalists to create something completely new. What does that look like? Nobody knows. It's going to be a wild, sad, exciting, rich adventure, even if it seems impossibly big.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


The boxes are nearly packed. I leave out my coffee making equipment, a few pairs of jeans, some shampoo and some books. It's finally spring, and this season has meant transition for me for many years now. Seattle to Missouri, Missouri to Indiana, and now Indiana to Texas. In many ways, I'm ready to try on the new experience of a big city and a big paper. And yet. It's heartbreaking to leave a place, especially when I feel so at home here. To leave so many pictures untaken. To drive away from a place where I first became a photojournalist, and enter into the wide, scary world with a station wagon filled with boxes. I'm trying to think of it as another adventure, but that doesn't quell the sadness. I suppose that's just how it goes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Horse Camp

In reviewing some of my work over the past year, it was suggested that I work the meat, guns and horses beat. So be it. How strange and wonderful when people come to look like their pets.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Horse Camp

I grew up riding horses, and they remain one of the great loves of my life. As soon as I move somewhere for good, one of the first things I'm going to do is get a horse. It was wonderful to spend the weekend with the Dubois County Wranglers at horse camp. More to come.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Baby Bird

Found a baby bird at the 4-H Fairgrounds. Shot all day. Amazing. So much more to show. I love this job so, so much.