Kept meaning to do this but, alas, life gets busy. Here are a few of my favorite photos from 2013.
Despite the fact that I’m told my job is ‘glamorous’ pretty often (ha.) a lot of our daily assignments are pretty standard not-too-exciting type stories. As photographers we go out to assignments like these and aren’t quite sure if we’ll get anything we like, but once and a while we find a nice little moment anyway.
This assignment was the obligatory “day after Christmas shopping” story which resulted in mostly shots of people holding bags, looking through racks of clothing and the usual shopping shots. Then I came upon a family where the two daughters were buying laptops with their christmas/birthday/allowance money, I was glad to get a genuine reaction photo of her happily receiving her laptop.
Yesterday we went on a ‘back to school’ assignment where we were hanging out with a mom at her home when her kids came back from their first day at school after the holiday break. I was hanging out taking photos of them doing their homework and greeting their family after getting off the bus. Nothing earth shattering, but while we were hanging at the house this young lady was carrying around her dog in her sweatshirt when it decided to give her a little affection.
It’s always satisfying to come back with some unexpected genuine moment from an assignment where it was totally possible nothing would really happen. No matter how many times it occurs, I’m always pleasantly surprised.
Yesterday I went on a prairie chicken assignment. There were no chickens, but there were beautiful skies and endless vistas.
When I thought of Cuba before I visited, I thought of what I think most people think of. Vibrant music, passionate people, bright colors, decaying architecture. My week in Havana, Matanzas and Varadero exposed me to many facets of the country. The hectic city, the quiet of the countryside, the serenity of the ocean coast and the undeniable beauty of it all. In just a few days I went from exploring the dark alleyways of Havana to sitting on a serene sunset laden beach in Varadero. The landscape of each individual setting is so different. Havana is full of loud boisterous people, yelling, honking, singing, grabbing you on the street to talk or buy or engage. The countryside, from my limited exposure, was different. Unassuming, quiet, modest. And the beach, much like our beaches, full of vacationers and travelers, a place for relaxation and maybe even some contemplation.
I love visiting new countries and learning about the way people live because in the end, it only reinforces how much we are all similar. We’re all worrying about our families, our finances, our educations and our careers. We debate the rights and wrongs of our country, of history and of our futures. Some may love to live in the city with the nightlife, others prefer the seclusion and slower pace of the country. It always strikes me how much every country is linked by it’s similarities more than it’s foreignness. We may decorate our homes or buildings with styles unknown to each other, speak a different language, have varying traditions, but we’re all people. Hopefully someday we’ll be able to normalize relations with the Cuba. We’re missing out by not being able to connect with each other the way we can with so many other people all over the world. We could learn so much from each other, even if it’s only how alike we all truly are in our cores.
2011. I moved from Kansas to Texas last January (remember that Texas?) for an internship at The Victoria Advocate. There I was, in this place that was 70 degrees with humidity (in January!!) with as many tree roaches as pairs of cowboy boots. I wasn’t really sure what to expect (other than that the roaches would never leave us alone. they didn’t.) In the end, my time in Texas was pretty amazing. I met some people who I know I will have in my life forever and I got to take some great photos.
I was going through my blog posts last night to find some of my favorite photos of the year to share. It was pretty hard to do. I covered so many different things in the past year, from circus camp to the plane crash. I covered armadillo racing, kids swimming with baby alligators, a craftsman bootmaker (one of the last of his kind retiring), an entire church speaking in tongues, three days of soldiers being honored with Warriors Weekend, my four families for my Autism series, Confederate Decoration Day, Rodeos, Stock Shows (still a slightly surreal experience), soldiers coming home from war, a woman needing a new heart (she got it, btw), a nine-year-old who built hot rods with her dad, a guitar pickin police chief, ZOMBIES! lurching through the fog on an abandoned Texas ranch and so much more.
Also, TOUR DE DONUT, our crazy donut eating 5 am race, which wasn’t really work related, but hey, it was a lot of fun. Watching a million bats fly over Austin at Sunset and attending SXSW. And after all that, I got to drive halfway across the country with the dormouse, seeing New Orleans and other random/awesome parts of the US along the way.
Then in September, I got a job here in Utica and moved back to the east coast. I’ve seen people play sports in the snow, train for the paralympics and of course, spent the early morning hours at a structure fire in addition to many other fun experiences. I am looking forward to 2012 being full of unique and enthralling photo opportunities like 2011.
I spent last night with friends playing a game that was not Taboo (but should have been, because really, I haven’t a clue what that apples nonsense was) and drinking a glass of champagne to bring in 2012.
I ended 2011 feeling infinitely lucky that I get to do what I love everyday and that no matter where I’ve moved, whether it be the south, the midwest, or the east coast, I’ve always been able to find welcoming and wonderful people there to be a part of my life.