Wednesday, September 17

somehow amid the stress of finishing a long-term story i managed to volunteer for a portrait series of the new missour contemporary ballet company. our features editor came up with an idea that sounded too interesting to pass over for easy mug shots. the new home for the dancers is the raw workspace of the orr street studios. the series idea was to photograph each of the new dancers in a different part f of the new building.

i scouted locations and arranged the last-minute shoot with the dance company. i had a few hours to pull it together before deadline. oy. planning is not overrated. by some miracle the shoot went smoothly. dancers are beautiful and know how to move their bodies, the troupe's leader made a great art-director, and my co-worker parker helped me adjust lights and acted as a ballerino stand-in.

disaster averted. and even some good fun...

Wednesday, September 3

the end of summer caught me by surprise this year. technically, we have until september 22nd to enjoy summer by the astronomical definition. but around these parts, fall starts with the kiddos back in school. a quiet summer of light photo assignments and project work is t-boned by sports and education. can't say i didn't know it was coming.

MU cheerleaders (bottom left to right) Lauren Walker, Marnie Matthews, Bethany Nonnemaker, and Paige Pauley exchange phone numbers before the start of Missouri's first pep rally at Memorial Stadium.

Taylor Ruch, 7, rolls down the grass berm on the north end of Faurot Field.

Emma Mallett, 2, looks to her mother as Mike Wheeler, right, is tackled to the turf by (left to right) Mary-Rourke Boyd, 5, Gracie Boyd, 3, and Ellie Mallett, 4. Fans got the chance to roam Faurot Field during Wednesday's pep rally for the first game against Illinois.

Anthony Machetta, left, and Jason Proctor, right, both of Columbia, wait outside the Edward Jones Dome before the gates open on the 2008 Arch Rivalry in St. Louis.

Missouri running back Derrick Washington breaks through a tackle by Illinois Travon Bellamy on his way to a 40-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Washington finished with 130 yards.

Tommy Saunders, center is congratulated by teammates after his second touchdown in the third quarter.

Sean Weatherspoon runs back an interception for a touchdown during the fourth quarter that sealed Missouri's 52-42 win over Illinois.

Missouri is supposed to have a great team again this year. Barring the Sports Illustrated curse, it should be a great season to photograph.

belated august update.

balloon festival reprise. last year i was the tribune's balloon correspondent working all four days of this festival. i got just one evening shoot this year, which was just enough. those early days and long nights can get exhausting.

for a story on an educational farm getting ready to open to the public. this was one of those shoots i wish i had another chance to work on during a different time of day. 2pm isn't the most flattering for landscapes or people. there's a huge sunflower field that's just begging for a foggy morning or a golden sunset.

hanging dumbly from tight hinges


i can tell how important and close to deadline something is by the ever shortening of my fingernails. just a hair above bloody right now. much work yet to do.

i've been trying to use my days off to actually relax for a change. it's been a hard thing to do. after the first four hours, i get bored and anxious that my story is suffering and wish i was at work. if i work though, i feel burned out and wish i could just stare at a wall for four hours. a frustrating place to be. i'll figure out the balance eventually.

a bright spot this weekend was a long, lazy park stint with nick drake (the happier songs, i promise) and a tom robbins book. this man's metaphors always move me:

"There are times when we can feel destiny close around us like a fist around a doorknob. Sure, we can resist. But a knob that won't turn, a door that sticks and never budges, is a nuisance to the gods. The gods may kick in the jamb. Worse, they may walk away in disgust, leaving us to hang dumbly from our tight hinges, deprived of any other chance in life to swing open into unnecessary risk and thus into enchantment.''
- Tom Robbins, Fierce Invalids from Hot Climates