Monday, March 9

end of an epoch

so much has changed in just one month.

the decline of the newspaper industry finally hit my inbox. in february, after a year and a half, i was laid-off from the tribune.

even though the decision wasn't personal, it's hard not to take it personally. it's just business. but for me, for so many of us, this job was never "just business."

we give so much of ourselves, physically, emotionally, creatively. there's so much that goes into a photo that you never see, but it's the reason the photo exists at all. the job is not a byline and a paycheck, but a relationship with a community.

the end of the paycheck hurts, sure. this is a scary enough economic climate, even with steady income. the thing that hurts more, though, is the end of that relationship. it gave me a sense of purpose, a symbiotic exchange that both inspires creation and demands it. it's how i make anyplace feel like home.

i also had to say goodbye to the tribe, the family i forged in missouri.

nick. parker. it's a rare gift to find inspiration and friendship like that. looking back i wish we had tag teamed more projects, gone down to the river more, taken a few road trips, talked less about work and more about life. this is what retrospect gives you; a few regrets, but mostly appreciation for the salad days. i learned so much from you both and laughed my ass off. a pitcher of beer is never too far off to catch up, so expect the invitation often.

with few freelance prospects in missouri, i moved back to my native central texas. i'm working on the dreaded plan B and grieving for the loss of plan A. i feel a bit adrift right now, a community journalist without a community.

life after newspapers. when i strip out all the blase assignments - the grip n' grins, the building mugs, the business profiles and last minute portraits, what am i left with? what are the things i love? the things that reward my interest and effort with photos that mean something? is it possible to build a life and career around these things?

the short answer is "yes." i'm working on the long answer. i have a hammock and a texas spring to help me figure it out.

this blog is, of course, sticking around. the columbian epoch is over, but i am not. i'm sure a clever new blog name will come to me soon. until then, peruse the new website - - and hug a journalist.


  1. :( That's awful Jules. I know its tough right now, but I hope you can hang in there. I love the pictures you post on your blog, I'd hate to see you stop taking photos. Persistence!

    The economy is bad everywhere, they papers in the Bay are dropping staff and furloughing the rest, which oddly generates more business for the freelancers like myself. But its still prohibitively expensive.

  2. I'm really sorry to hear about this Julia...

    Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

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  4. hey julia,
    we never spoke too much on assignments, but i always thought your stuff was da' shit. keep shooting and fighting the good fight.

  5. I'm really sorry to hear that, Jules. It sounds like you had some grand times there. If it's any consolation, the lone star state is thrilled to have you back, however fleeting.

  6. Hey cuz, it was great to see you even if for a brief evening and day, but I miss living in the same city as you, hell even the same state! Interesting commentary about your time in Colombia. I hope you settle in to something good soon. And July is still looking good for visiting out in Comfort, I'll let you know and plan with Katy.
    Cousin Love,
    P.S. the above term is only meant to be applied literally and in no figurative or appalachian way