I was recently inspired to rework the look of the Kingsley Images website. While it will look a bit different, the new design will improve functionality, while maintaining the simple feel and look current site. The navigation will be similar, but we will offer more information on the subsequent pages (i.e. more detail on the plans and pricing) This will make the site more useful and give you the information you need at your fingertips. The picture is a mock-up I’m working on for the direction I want the site to take. It’s not finished yet, so if you’d like to pass along your thoughts on the concept feel free to let me know by commenting on the post. Thanks!
(Sorry for the old photo from 2004)
No I haven’t disappeared. I’ve just moved down the road a piece. A little over a month ago my lovely wife was hired at a residential treatment center to pursue her passion of social work. She just graduated with her Masters from UNO and it’s the perfect fit. She loves her job and the kids that she’s helping through both individual and group therapy.
The thing is, the center in is Albuquerque, and long time readers realize that we had to pack up and move. Jess came down in mid June and then I followed a couple of weeks ago after packing the apartment (with her help before she left) and finishing up my work at The Grand Island Independent. The best part about being down here has to be that we’ve both got family in the area. The low humidity is a close second though.
Now that I’m down here I’m focusing more than ever on finding a job. I worked on that before I left, but you can only do so much long distance. I’ve seen some good opportunities, but I haven’t gotten a call as of yet. I’ve got a few more lines in the water so we’ll have to wait and see what turns up.
Ironically though I’ll be back in Grand Island this coming week. I’ve got three senior portraits to work on, a possible family portrait and a wedding in Lincoln on Saturday. That will keep me busy for sure.
Here’s one of the first photos I shot for The Grand Island Independent, which was published Feb. 5, 2000.
As of this week, I’ve been at the Grand Island Independent for 10 years. I never thought that I’d be here this long. Ten years ago, fresh from several internships in Indiana and Michigan, I came out to Nebraska for my first full-time, benefit laden j-o-b. I had made it. I was an adult. I had a career. And this place was going to be a stepping stone. I’d be here 2-5 years and then I’d be off to a bigger better paper. And then from there off again to where I’d be for the rest of my career.
That plan never materialized. Life, the industry and the economy got in the way. Some things happened and others didn’t. Along the way I’ve learned a lot. Mostly I learned I can’t change the world. I can’t even budge it an inch if I really, really try and lift with my legs. What I did learn is I can have an impact in this little corner of it. I can show the good in people. That across color and culture lines we have more in common than not. That we have a shared sense of humanity and good in the world. That when asked we’ll come together to help anyone in need. And that’s a good thing, to quote Martha Stewart.
The paper is a lot different that ten years ago. When I came here, I had my trusty film bodies: a Nikon N90s and an FM2 as backup with three to four lenses. I took out a loan to buy a 300mm 2.8 manual focus lens and a used light kit. After a few years, I added an F4s to the mix. A couple of years later we transitioned into digital. My hands didn’t smell like developer, bleach and fixer when I go home. (I secretly miss that a little bit.) Digital has allowed me to stay at an assignment longer and turn the images around faster. I can post images to the web immediatly after something happened. That’s better for us as a paper and an industry as well as for readers. Going digital has improved aspects of my photography like portraiture because I can immediately see lighting effects and adjust accordingly.
Regardless of what tools I’ve got in my hand, what hasn’t changed is my commitment to telling the stories of people around me. And that is what really matters in photojournalism. Ultimately it’s not about me as a photographer, but the subject. I’m privileged to be able use my vision and skill to tell their story.
Robert Pore asked me today if I was going to be around in ten years. Well…. I just don’t know.
Thanks Independent. Thanks Grand Island.
Enough deep stuff. Here’s a couple of pictures from my first month back in February 2000.
This one really ticked off one of my bosses at the time. (It was published on the front page within a week of my start date.) He hated the photo because there was no face, it was a weird angle, and it was too close to being a silhouette. I thought it worked for capturing the story about the weather in February. It was really warm and this kid was playing basketball outside on a beautiful day in short sleeves.
And a last one. Well, I just like it. It was a couple of weeks after the last one.
As you can tell I’ve been tweaking the blog a bit. It’s coming together and will be live to the rest of the world soon. Aside from finishing this up and starting a new section called Lily’s Lessons, I’ve been busy redesigning the Kingsley Images website. The design is similar to the current version, but has improved navigation, slides shows, a video section and more. Stay tuned.
Working as a photojournalist can be tiring on the creative juices. You spend all day documenting everybody else’s life, joys and tragedies alike, and then you go home and you’re supposed to do the same. I’ve always been bad about photographing my own life and vacations, unlesss I’m doing landscapes without anyone in them. My wife documents us, but mostly gets pictures of my backside with whatever I’m shooting in the background.
It was with this in mind that I busted out my camera at my in-laws’ Fourth of July party. Yeah I worked all day, but I need to start focusing the camera on me and my life a bit more.
I’ve begun working on a video piece that I’m hoping to be able to edit and finish next week. It’s a piece about a local museum and some of the interpretors there in the living history village. All I’m doing is a little who are you and why do you love the museum. I’ll cut this with a bunch of cover video of the people doing their jobs and general shots of people on the grounds and such.
So is this a news piece? Advertorial? Propaganda?
I don’t know. I’m attempting to shed light on the people who work at the facility by attacking the story in a different way. I’m more interested in them than I am in visitors who have shown up and why they paid the admission. To many it’s a labor of love and a job that satisfies them in a way no other task could.
My intent is for news. Time to wait for the bread to come out of the oven. (So to speak.)