Ask A Pro
Examples of Work
Mount Ranier climbers take a break
Carousel spinning near the Eiffel Tower
Frog hides in duckweed on The Bloedel Reserve
The News Tribune
How did you get interested in photojournalism?
I got interested in photography in high school but not photojournalism until junior college when a desperate classmate talked me into working for the college paper. "Our photographer just quit," she pleaded. I thought I would hate it but I loved it.
Whose work do you admire?
Amongst living photographers: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastio Salgado, Eugene Richards, Mary Ellen Mark, William Albert Allard... I could go on and on.
How do you keep up with the technological changes in your craft?
I'm not much of a tech person. It's a fault, I know. But, I surround myself with people who are very interested in technology and look to them to keep me up to date on any changes or new technology we need. The question I ask to evaluate any technology is "Does this benefit the reader?"
Do you prefer film or digital photography?
They both have their strengths and weaknesses. Digital saves us time and yes, money. But, the reader is served by pushed-back deadlines and transmission from remote locations. There has been some resistance to digital from our staff because there can be a loss of quality in some situations. But, this is not the first time in photography's 150-year history where sacrifices have been made. The photos that were made 100 years ago were actually sharper and crisper than the ones made today. Of course, those were made on 8 x 10 view cameras that could shoot about two photos a minute. Try hanging that around your neck and covering a Seattle Mariners game!
Can you describe a favorite story that you've worked on?
There isn't any one story that stands out. My favorite subjects to cover are big news and stories where my reporting helped someone, advanced a cause or shed light on a problem. I've covered the AIDS pandemic, homelessness, kids fighting cancer -- they might sound depressing but they're quite the opposite. I've been amazed and gratified through my career at the number of people willing to share their lives with complete strangers. Their stories are testimonies to the courage of the human spirit. And of course there's the exciting stuff: forest fires, airplane racing, The White House.
Do you crop your own photos or does someone else in the newsroom?
Only photographers or photo editors are allowed to crop photos at The News Tribune. But, we'll work out solutions when page designers run into problems.
How do you keep caption information straight?
We do have a flaw in our system: copy editors have to type in the information from our proofs. Sometimes names are misspelled. The biggest complaint I get from photographers is when information is left out of their captions. Our shooters are great journalists and sometimes they write epic captions that end up edited down to one line. We're realistic about the space crunch we all face but it's still frustrating. One basic rule for getting names right: Always ask people to spell their names to matter how common they sound.
When you're not working, do you still love photography?
I have some property on the Washington coast that I've been documenting with nature photos. I find it a nice break from the people intensive world of photojournalism. I also like to shoot on foreign trips. Photography is a great way to meet people and share their stories. It can be a passport to other worlds, other lives.
What advice do you have for aspiring photojournalists?
You've got to love photography, love meeting people and love getting into new situations. A nose for news doesn't hurt either. You need to have a creative side and strong people skills. There are a lot of very talented photographers out there. The only way to rise to the top is to be extraordinarily talented or spend a lot of time perfecting your craft. It's a very competitive field.