January started the new year with challenging stories, strong girls and our first winter storm. One of my favorite stories of the month was photographing the young women who attend the Cambridge Police’s Youth Boxing class. I loved documenting a program that focuses on building the confidence of girls and teaching them both physical and emotional strength.
I also worked on several stories this month profiling children and young adults fighting disease. My worry in these situations is that my subject will feel like my presence is an intrusion, so I am grateful to have an editor who gives me the time just to sit with these families and let photos unfold naturally. I am also grateful to have met the families of Finn and Jake who have faced their challenges with such grace and strength.
Looking ahead to the upcoming year, I hope to grow as a photojournalist by strengthening my portrait photography, always looking for creative compositions, working on more long-form stories and perhaps even producing some videos.
October brought both challenges and opportunities to grow as a photographer. On one of my flat tire days (somehow I managed to get two different flats this month) I missed my morning assignments, but ended up stumbling across the filming of Little Women during a beautiful day in Minuteman National Park. The waning available light at high school sport events has only pushed me to search out moments of emotion instead of action. During a high school walkout, I was told by a principal that I could not photograph on school property. At the time, my words failed me, but now I will be prepared in the future to better articulate why it was important for the event to be documented. One of my favorite events to photograph this month was the NASCAR Whelen tour. I had never really even watched a race on television, let alone visited a speedway, so it was challenging to learn when and where to be to photograph the action. But I was also forced to think creatively while being out of my comfort zone and I look forward to photographing more races in the future.
Sports, sports, sports! I have spent most of my shifts at high school gymnasiums and football fields this month. Despite being determined to avoid these places when I was a high schooler, I have come to love the challenge of photographing new sports and trying to improve with each game. My favorite assignment this month was photographing the closing party at Paradise, a long-standing gay nightclub in Cambridge. It was challenging to make frames with the dark lighting and to also maintained the anonymity of the club's patrons, but I ended up finding a quiet moment during Rico's go-go dance.
I learn every day when I’m carrying my camera. How to be patient when waiting for a perfect moment. How to find new ways to capture light. How to listen to stories of loss and seek out moments of happiness.
I’ll be happy to put the 90 degree days behind us and I look forward to photographing Massachusetts in the fall weather.
July was my first month working full time as a photojournalist with the MetroWest Daily News. I feel privileged to have a job that allows me to meet new people and explore new places every day. I am so grateful to all of the people that have let me enter their lives so far. This month brought me to triathlons, playgrounds, protests, circus tents, arm wrestling arenas and, of course…puppies. I can’t wait to continue working and improving my photography with every assignment.