Photography was another one of those “Well, someone’s got to do it” things, like the live sound. I got into journalism as a writer, but the publications I started out at never had staff photographers – some of them barely had a staff! So I had to take my own photos. The first week I started at the Eden Daily News, the only camera I had was one of those free ones you got with a Time magazine subscription. It quickly became obvious that it wasn’t going to do the job, so I acquired a Nikon N60. I used that at the Peacemaker as well, including the photos I won a 2003 North Carolina Press Association Award for. I also used an Olympus OMPC rig I put together from pieces purchased at pawn shops and yard sales.
When the Peacemaker let me go in 2006, I decided to go to photography school at Randolph Community College. I figured I could write and do layout, and being a good photographer would make more attractive to small newspapers. I also wanted more control over the stories I was writing; often the photography wasn’t good enough to convey the message as strongly as the words. As it turns out, I became involved in some more esoteric endeavors when I got out of school and didn’t return to journalism fulltime, but I learned a lot at school, experimented with medium and large format and moved to digital. Immediately upon graduation I landed a job as a candid sports photographer for a yearbook company. I’ve never been a big sports nut, ironically enough, but I enjoy taking the pictures. Wrestling is best; the facial expressions are just insane.
Now I’ve got a Nikon D2x with a variety of lenses, and a primitive studio setup. A lot of the pictures I take these days are of bands. It allows me to blend two of my favorite things, music and visuals. But I’d like to expand into other areas as well.