Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am thankful to get to shoot pictures in community centers. These two just got engaged and were so very happy. I am also thankful for Ross Taylor, the other new hire at the Pilot. He helped me edit my take, and he's always looking for pictures that surprise him, or make him feel something. Thinking about that more will make me a better photographer. I'm thankful to be here, with all these other great shooters.

Did some quick portraits for my friend Mara --check out her story-- of a woman who was a victim of identity theft and mortgage fraud in New Jersey. Is there some magic light there that makes even window-lit portrait look lovely?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Website Update

and finally, I updated my website, for those of you that might want to take a look. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Indeed, multimedia is a part of my job at the Virginian-Pilot, and I must say that I had a blast doing this piece, with the help of Final Cut savant Hyunsoo Leo Kim. And yes, one of these days my Dallas multimedia will get published, and I am excited to share that one too.

Hop the Fence

On Sunday night Matt & Melissa Eich and I had a group of local photographers over for a Hop-the-Fence Photo Night between our houses, ending with a show in my garage, projected onto an ancient screen salvaged from a back closet at the paper. By fortunate accident, the house I'm renting in Norfolk is right behind the Eichs', and when the water get too high, as it sometimes does, I just park my car in front of their house and hop the fence to get to my house. Norfolk has an unusually high concentration of talented photographers right now, and it was wonderful to get some of them in the same room to talk about their current projects, their challenges, and whatever else it is we talked about throughout that long night. Tim Gruber and Jenn Ackerman came up from their retreat on the Outer Banks, Ross Taylor showed work from a recent trip to Bangledesh, local photographer Jesse Hutcheson showed work from his senior project, and two students from ODU, Shane and Caroline, showed their recent projects. It was a kind of relief, to spend an evening just looking and listening, watching work that is being created for myriad reasons. Matt (who showed work on gator hunting) and I are hoping to make this a bi-monthly occurrence, so if you live nearby or are passing through, let me know if you'd like to join in.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Matt Eich and I had a great conversation on Thursday about our increasing interest in ambiguity in images. For me, it must have something to do with the traditional assignments I get as a newspaper photographer. Sometimes I just take the most boring, predictable pictures, and for my own heart I want to be making pictures that aren't that obvious. This is from a trip with FEMA around after our flood last week. And perhaps this one too.

Mom & Dad

Thinking of Mom and Dad, and I get to see them next weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I'm working on an edit for a slideshow for Veterans Day, and with the radio cranked up loud I'm furiously toning all the extras and forgotten frames for sequences that will find a home once the audio gets edited. It's a different kind of experience-- this is a story that I shot and wrote and am now doing multimedia for. I'm not sure if there's a role in that cast that I embody perfectly-- trying to report in the three different ways means that there are certain moments missed because you're interviewing, or certain conversations not listened to because you're shooting, and on and on. Someday I'll be able to share my Rural Health story from Dallas, one that I'm proud of because I got to separate those roles to different visits and as a consequence did much better reporting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saturday Football & Nostalgia

I remember this time last year, there was football to shoot every Friday. No exceptions. You had to learn which fields had the lights that dropped off by two stops in the end zone, and be prepared. You had to bundle up and bring all the rain gear possible, because it would either be bitterly cold or you'd be drenched. Dinner was a hot dog. There were cookies up in the newsroom in the sports/photography corner. My Nikon thermos was always full of coffee. Mike Morris would come over and eat my bolognese and teach me the nuances of the game during the week. I once had the misfortune of turning the 300 on a quarterback who got sacked (for the third consecutive time during a drive) and had his leg broken right in my frame in his final game as a senior. Nevertheless, I love the game. I was so happy this weekend to get a chance to photograph some college football during the day-- Norfolk State vs. Howard University. There is something I love about football, and it's tough to put my finger on it. It may be that it allows you to have complete focus for a full hour (or two), while at the same time requiring a whole lot of moving around. It may be the drama that doesn't involve intractable social problems. Whatever it is, I just want to shoot more and get better at it. If you're a student and not getting any sports assignments, go out and make some for yourself. You'll struggle a little a the beginning, but be a much better shooter for it. Do any other newspaper photographers out there have a secret or not-so-secret love of sports shooting?