Monday, March 23

there's a family in Comfort that puts on mexican-style rodeos. it supplements their income and is a total blast. i'll be hanging out with them more in the future.

the gray navigation arrows underneath the photo to the left will click through the slide show. i'm still working out the kinks of embedding.

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.