When the pressroom goes quiet

(Given recent developments, I felt it was a good time to share some images I captured several years ago.)

My first day on the job, a fellow reporter gave me a walk-through of the paper. Where the bathroom was, where the break room was. The tour capped off with the cavernous pressroom, that she described to me as a good place to blow off steam now and then.

Over the next few years I would blow off a lot of steam in that room. Sometimes I'd wander back there mid-day when it was quiet. It was like a hushed, industrial cathedral, the only sound my steps and breaths, inhaling the incense of ink and paper, afternoon light pouring through the windows. Sometimes I'd stalk back there late in the evening, at the tail end of a tiresome shift, when the room was alive. The hulking old machine whirring whirring whirring and pressmen shouting their conversations.

I certainly believe that newspapers must adapt. The methods of news gathering don't really change all that much, but the methods of delivering it to the public certainly do.

But I couldn't help feel a pang of nostalgia and loss when I heard of the paper's recent decision to outsource its printing to another location.

Change can certainly be a good thing. Physical newspapers will probably continue to be phased out. And that will have certain benefits. But there is nothing quite like seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling a product through from start to finish — from the haggard reporter on the phone culling facts, to papers coming off the press to be prepped for delivery, all under one roof.

Public Service Announcement

I don't usually (actually, ever, to this point) blog about non-photography related stuff, but I wanted to give a quick plug for Alan and Jennifer at Night Owl Paper Goods, who've introduced some great new wedding invitations. Based in Owlabama, they do some fantastic work. If you're a couple in search of eye-catching invites, or you're simply looking for some great cards or journals with fun, Americana designs, check them out!

the style council

Recently, I had the pleasure of being commissioned by my friend Josh, to capture some images for his new website. Josh is a very talented hair stylist, and it was great to create some environmental portraits for him.
I usually like to do a straightforward headshot in my sessions, but for this first image I used a freelens technique to focus squarely on his eyes. After all, being a stylist is all about vision.

Like any effective environmental portrait, I wanted to use some of the tools of the trade as details.

Shooting in the salon lent a nice, soft light, but I wanted to also mix things up a bit and shoot a portrait that had more of an edge. That was as easy as going in a hallway of Josh's building and using some directed, off-camera flash. Again, I made sure to keep a comb and pair of scissors in there to give some clues as to his profession.

Josh, thanks again for having me shoot you!