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Northern Ontario nostalgia

June 28, 2011

I miss being in Canada.  I am half Canadian and have spent every summer of my life but two growing up on the rocks and woods and in the waters of the North Channel of Georgian Bay.  I miss it more than anything.  Here are some images from 2009 because I just re-found them on my computer, and I would like to share them.  Hope your summers are going well…  Get outside!


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more Single Speed USA madness

June 15, 2011

The photographer who graciously afforded me the opportunity to help photograph the Single Speed USA race outside of Nederland, CO, two weeks ago, Barry Reese, put a ton of work into this awesome video compiling the video and images from the weekend.  All of the video and many of the photos are his, but some of my images are scattered throughout.  It was a wicked, out of control weekend, and I can only hope I’ll have more opportunities to photograph similar awesomeness in the near future.  So great.  Enjoy!


Single Speed weekend in Colorado


June 12, 2011

Life keeps happening, and it’s all I can do to try and live fully in the moment.  Six weeks ago, I up and moved to Denver, CO.  Somehow, I made it happen, and it has so far been a super scary and totally amazing decision.  Besides the daily awesomeness that is Denver, I have also had a number of different opportunities (already!) to photograph events I never would have seen in Chicago.  Professional lacrosse at Invesco Field; burritos for my friend starting a burrito business; downtown eccentricities; and an awesome weekend of single speed mountain biking ridiculousness.  Here, below, are a sampling of images from these events.  More to come, and if you’re in Denver and are looking for a portrait, sports or event photographer, I am your girl!  e-mail me:

Thanks, and enjoy!

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Exciting news…!

April 27, 2011

Well, sort of.  Basically, I have updated my portfolio, the links to which can be found on the right sidebar.  Lots of new photos; check them out!  I’ve put a few teasers below…  Peace.

Snooki on Wall Street

Not forgotten; never forgotten

April 22, 2011

I have been sadly remiss in maintaining this blog recently.  I hadn’t been on too many photo adventures, and there has just been lots going on in my world lately.  In the world at large, as well, there has been lots going on.  This past week has seen two amazing photographers killed covering the conflict in Libya, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros.  I guess I’ve been sorting through a lot of thoughts about the whole thing…  Is covering war worth risking your life?  I think I would say yes, but I’m not sure if I have the strength to do it myself.  Although if someone offered me the chance right now to go to the Middle East or Africa to shoot, I would say yes.

And then I recently came across the work of photographer Ben Horton, who has shot for National Geographic and has just done some seriously cool work.  One of his older blog posts talks about what separates a National Geographic photographer from anyone else, and one of the points he made is the ability of your images to tell a cohesive story.  This is a pretty fundamental starting point for photojournalists, and one that I had pretty much completely lost track of since graduating two years ago.  Reading his post made me realize that even though I have shot a lot of photos over the past two years, I have not consciously tried to tell a story with any of them.

Perhaps this is an embarrassing admission; maybe this is another reason why I’m not really a “photojournalist,” and it is unfair to consider myself as such.  Yet deep down, I like to think that storytelling remains at the heart of what I do.  Even if I am not doing so consciously, and so probably missing something important, I try to illuminate a person or event with my images.  Everyone has a story to tell; everyone gives off their own light, and it is my goal to be able to capture those essences with my camera.

So: moving forward, I am once again focused on the story telling, of finding the reason behind the images and conveying that to viewers.  Two weeks ago I spent a glorious week photographing, once again, in Moab, Utah at the first climbing camp of the season for First Descents, an organization that provides outdoor adventure trips for young adult cancer survivors.  I am (honestly) not satisfied with how well my images tell the story of these amazing people and the out-of-control-awesome week we shared together in Utah.  But they are still great photos.  We all still had such a great time.  Some of that definitely shines through.  Thanks for bearing through my long post, and now, enjoy some photos!!  Thanks.

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What makes a photojournalist?

February 7, 2011

I spent roughly three years in college being taught that the definition of photojournalism is essentially telling a story through images.  Fairly straightforward: does one single image tell the story?  Does a sequence of images fully encapsulate, honor, and relay to viewers the reality of a situation?  Furthermore, can you, the photographer, find a story that is both visually appealing and worth a viewer’s time?

Photojournalism is storytelling, and I don’t think I am a very good storyteller.  I just watched a multimedia piece on The New York Times about drug addicts and a safe injection site in Vancouver, Canada. It’s powerful stuff, great images, a worthwhile story.  But then, it’s been done before. And surely we’ve all seen the stories about cancer patients, terminal and otherwise.  I guess this is considered “documentary photojournalism,” a mini, still-life documentary about a person or event or idea.  But I don’t know: I don’t want to follow a cancer patient because I’ve been that patient and, while I know it’s not exploitative and can truly be a good thing, I also know that no matter how many images and emotions a photographer captures, he or she can’t possibly honestly convey what the patient is experiencing and will go through.

I get the idea of universal truths and that photojournalists want to find and capture a story that a general readership will relate to or at least sympathize with.  When I was in Washington DC, right at the beginning and roughest part of the recession, one of the photographers told me that the stories weren’t on Capitol Hill; they were in the small towns with the local business owners losing their livelihoods.  Families’ homes being foreclosed; auto industry workers’ lay offs.  They were the stories that would last, the images people would still be referencing years down the line.  Be the Dorothea Lange of the 21st Century.  Yet I still loved and preferred being shuttled into a room with Timothy Geithner four feet away addressing the Senate Banking Committee.  Or getting a shot of Barney Frank mid-gesture following Obama’s very first address to Congress.

I don’t want to spend days and weeks with drug addicts.  Not because I have anything against the idea, but it has been done.  You can’t possibly get a bad story or bad images if you are honest and put in the effort.  So does that disqualify me from the ranks of “photojournalist?”  Because I would prefer to go to a scene or an event and capture the feelings and emotions and light of the Right Now?  Because I love capturing the single images over the overall story?  A few years ago, I spent a few hours on a bench on a street corner in downtown Chicago and just took photos of the random people walking home from work or to work or to the bar or wherever.  The images do not tell any cohesive story, but each single shot is a glimpse of something.  Every person’s face has its own story to tell.

Perhaps this is why I am not employed as a photojournalist.  I love photography; I can’t really do anything else.  But I don’t think I have the temperament (and skill, probably) to follow in-depth and emotionally draining stories.  Or maybe I’m just trying to justify my current existence…  Or maybe this is all just very open-ended.  Anyone from the Internets want to weigh in?  Either way, thanks for stopping by!

Snow! Hey oh

February 2, 2011

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Everyone loves a snow day.  We received lots of snow, courtesy of the sky, here in Chicago.  Today was dedicated to clearing it all away and sledding, in that order.  Enjoy!


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