"I survived." That's what I told everyone once grades were finalized. The onslaught began while I finished my internship with the Skagit Valley Herald this past summer. It ran right up until school started where I began photo editing for The Western Front. Just like any college newspaper, nearly every breathing moment outside of classes were and are put into it. I'd like to think the photo gods were smiling on me, granting me an unreal staff which could hold up for a week while I trekked out to Kentucky for the Mountain Workshops.
Photo workshops always seemed like a magical fairytale land, and now that I've gotten to experience one first hand, my then exhausted body and mind agrees. It's a place where interested and interesting people join together to be passionate about what they do. For 95% of us, it was a chance to recharge our creative batteries and to rally around each other. As for the other 5%, well, 95 just seemed like a nice number. Those five days proved to be just enough time to get to know just a handful of people. More talent and passion filled the room than could be absorbed and lessons are slowly revealing themselves months later. It was much like that sweet taste pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, which only last a few bites. None of us wanted to return to the real world by the end, but we had to. People had told me workshops were exhausting but despite the sleep deprivation, my energy level went from exhausted to tired.
A year ago, I promised myself I'd never be sitting at the photo editor's computer and sucking hours away managing the photo desk. But now that I did, it I feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude. For what? The editorial staff and my photographers. (I like to call them my photographers because I felt like a parent watching them grow.) We had pushed each other to our limits too many times and our constant struggle formed bonds of which we compare to war. Stockholm Syndrome got the best of some, and they returned for another tour, while the rest of us stop in from day to day to vicarious living through the new staff but not so secretly glad that we could leave whenever.
The pictures and video below were produced during the last four months for The Western Front, for Mountain Workshops, for Western Washington University Athletics, for Journalism 370 and for myself. A few gallery were put together to keep projects and themes together.
Essay: A Strong Signal / Mountain Workshops
Gallery: Bellingham riot
Video: Into the Darkness
Slice of life