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.
Sikh Parade at StatesmanJournal.com
I tried something a little different for the Awesome 3000 this year. By my count, there are 342 individual kids in this video. I’m happy that it turned out so fun and light, even with all the people involved. For more from the Statesman Journal’s coverage of the Awesome 3000, go here.
Tents and other belongings are under water at a homeless camp as Wallace Marine Park floods near the Willamette River in West Salem on April 9, 2019. See it on the Statesman Journal.
This story is incredibly heartbreaking, but incredibly important. I cried during the interview and again while editing the video. Thank you Ginger for being so strong and open with us during your family’s tragedy.
“What I want the most is to raise awareness so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
You can read the whole story here.
This is a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. So glad we got the chance now. The Statesman Journal has the full story.
August brought a large installment of homeless stories from the Statesman Journal. I was able to shoot photos and video for all of the three main segments (here, here and here). I think as a newsroom we are gaining the trust of homeless advocates and those they help in Salem. It seems like we are getting a lot more open and vulnerable interviews and visuals the longer we work on stories of homelessness in our community. It is a wonderful feeling. August, of course, also means the fair and back-to-school. Also, I included a couple of shots from our vacation to Crater Lake National Park.