Friday, February 26, 2010

Cute Warning

How can you not make cute pictures at preschool? It's like some terrible Herald instinct I'll never lose. I hope I never do.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I had about a day to work on this story about a reading intervention program in Portsmouth, and I can already tell that to do it real justice, I'll need a few more trips back. Caption for second from top, which will be the lead for Sunday: With no homework to do, Dae'Sha Brown, 10, spends her time after school in her neighborhood in Portsmouth. In a city with the second-highest high school dropout rate in Virginia, Brown is enrolled in a fourth-grade reading intervention class, designed to give struggling students a better chance in their academic careers by strengthening the fundamental skill of reading. One in five Portsmouth students will not graduate from high-school, and this program is designed to target students early, before they fall too far behind.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


And sometimes, though you're shooting for the paper, you also get to spend some time shooting for yourself-- which, ultimately, makes you a better shooter for the paper. And you can do some heavy toning, which I shy away from, mostly. This was my first swim meet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cynicism Can Suck It: Installment 2

Yes, cynicism can suck it, once again. The Father-Daughter Ball at a Norfolk middle school brought out all the heartwarming cuteness one photographer can handle. Time and again, people kept coming up to me and thanking me for covering something as positive as a father-daughter dance in their predominantly minority school. Well, thanks! I love covering that stuff. Perhaps it's the Indiana still in me, but it sure felt like being a part of a community, if for only one night. I believe in the importance of newspapers in democracies, and I also think that community-building is a part of functioning democracy. Who are we? What do we value? What do our neighborhoods look like? What are our challenges? What are we succeeding at? Examining our communities and, by extention, ourselves-- that's what I love about being a newspaper photographer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Within an Hour

It's been a long couple of weeks of freezing weather and furtive portfolio editing with my friend from across the fence. It is remarkable how many different ways there are to shoot, and not just across months, but within a day, or even, within an hour. As frustrating as it can be to be a newspaper photographer sometimes, there comes with each day an opportunity to be completely different, to be better, to try harder, to wait longer, to care more, to leave open the opportunity to colossal failure and sometimes monumental achievement, even if that achievement is known only to you. I brought the lights. Sometimes I used them, sometimes I didn't. It feels good to be learning something and, finally, just to be taking pictures. These are outtakes from today.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lucky 300

This is blog post #300. I started blogging in the spring of 2007, my second semester as a graduate student at the University of Missouri. Before grad school, I had never really used a digital camera, never shot a story, and never imagined that journalism could be a career. Pretty crazy what happens in just 300 blog posts.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


There is no better day than a feature hunting day, where you get to drive around the city and find beautiful scenarios and interesting people to photograph. I love it. Such was Sunday, the second day of record snow accumulation in Norfolk. I had a feature hunt and an afternoon curing ham. Hardly gets better.

Found Feature

I stumble on this picture in the basement of the Capitol Building in Richmond yesterday. I was up there for an assignment on deer antler legislation (yes, the perfect assignment for me) and decided to roam around and explore a bit before driving back to Norfolk. Youth and democracy. Just for fun.