February got away from me. Although, March almost got away from me too. I left the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., in mid-February after more than five years. It was so hard to leave, harder than I would’ve expected or wanted to admit, but I’m back in Nebraska now. After a four-day drive, and only a few delays, we made it to Omaha so I could join the World-Herald as a photojournalist. The move was hectic and, yet, dragged. But that was nothing compared to the changes we’d experience just after arriving. The novel coronavirus pandemic has kept me busy, though not with the assignments I had expected. As I’m out and about photographing the impact of COVID-19 in Nebraska, I’m doing my best to stay healthy and prevent spreading anything to others. I don’t want to be that asshole who gets someone else sick.
Anyway, here is a ton of work from a crazy busy couple of months, including my last video with the SJ. It is a feature on a local pastry chef who runs a doughnut shop, so it’s like it was made for me. And a large collection from my first few weeks with my hometown paper.
Homelessness has been a huge topic and concern in Salem for the last year or so. A camping ban, combined with sidewalk cleanings and the annual Point-in-Time homeless count brought me to telling the story of the Salem homeless community a lot in January.
The In-N-Out opening in Keizer was a big deal. We covered the preparations for months and had six journalists on site at 6 a.m. on opening day. I didn’t shoot every clip in this video, but I put it all together for the Statesman Journal team.
Stacey Smith spends two months decorating her already black and orange Salem home for Halloween. She creates a haunted house experience for kids, complete with candy. You can see the Statesman Journal video here.
Here is the video on StatesmanJournal.com.
July was dominated by wildfire. First, I spent time in Riggins, Idaho to report on the risk of wildfire in the small community. It was part of a larger USA Today Network project. Then I covered the impact of the Milepost 97 Fire in southern Oregon.