I recently photographed a statewide campaign in Montana which aims to bring public awareness to renew The Land and Water Conservation Fund. Created by Congress in 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. National parks like Rocky Mountain, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as national wildlife refuges, national forests, rivers and lakes, community parks, trails, and ball fields in every one of our 50 states were set aside for Americans to enjoy thanks to federal funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It’s up for reauthorization this fall and has provided Montanans with lots of open space like Peet’s hill here in town. As a fly fisherman, I support good public river access. Public land access is what makes this state so great. I’m proud to be apart of this cause. Sign this petition to let our Senators know how you feel about access to outdoor spaces.
Some favorite editorial photographs of mine from February 2014 at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Thanks for stopping by. -M
A collection of my favorite editorial photographs in and around Bozeman Montana January 2014. Thanks for looking. -M
Here we go. Another year in the bag. I feel thankful. The year 2013 was another year of positive growth though at times I fought it kicking and screaming. The evolution of my photography continues and my love for Montana continues to grow. I’ve really been enjoying life here in Bozeman, Montana. Here are some favorite images from 2013. Looking forward to the new adventures of 2014. Happy New Year everyone! -M
A big marathon portrait session I just completed published today in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. I had little time to come up with a concept so, in a pinch, I opted for color and a homemade ring flash. These were a lot of fun to make. There are a lot of awesome talented folks living around these parts. Be sure to check out the stories on the Business Journal website. Color! Boom! -M
I’m playing catch up. Here are some more favorite photos from my time at the newspaper during November 2013. -M
The final hours are counting down for 2011. What a year. For me it was a rebuilding year both professionally and physically. I started out the year with being hit by a car while out on assignment for my newspaper and the result has been an intensive year of doctors visits, pain management and rehabilitation. I’m finally starting to feel better but my recovery is far from over. The car accident was a pretty derailing experience for my year and it has taken me a while to get back on the tracks. My priorities this year have been to heal my body and continue to form the foundation for my future in the business of photography. Right around the time of my accident, I had a series of pretty intense/ego bruising photo edits from some very talented and respected editors in the journalism industry. It’s always good to have that reality check to put you in your place and make you re-evaluate what you are doing with your craft. It forced me to do a lot of soul searching with how I approach my photography and my maneuvering through the rapidly changing journalism industry. It was good for me to hear and I think down the road I will be a stronger photographer for it. I still haven’t quite figured it all out but I can say confidently that I made some progress this past year and that I have high hopes for 2012. I’m looking forward to it. Happy New Year everyone! -M
Well, better late than never. I’ve finally edited through all of my photos that I shot over the course of 2010 and have selected out my best of the year plus a couple favorites. Looking back on 2010, I realize it has been a big year of growth for me at the Daily Republic newspaper. I have been gathering up my images for submission to all of the end-of-the-year photo contests. I find the process to be a good time for reflection on the development of my photography and a chance to figure out my goals for the new year. I have no doubts big things are coming my way in 2011. I want to thank all of my friends and family that have supported me during 2010. I’m so glad you are in my corner. It was a great year. I’m looking forward to what 2011 brings. Happy New Year everybody. -M
Friends of an unidentified shooting victim escort each other away as Fairfield police officers perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him Monday night in the parking lot of Armijo High School.
Fairfield police search individuals who were in a home where a shooting took place Tuesday night on the 200 block of Hamilton Drive. No arrests were made and police continued their investigation into the night.
I’ll say it right off the bat. I hate these types of assignments. There are times in my journalism profession when I am forced to confront difficult situations and circumstances. Every day in our photo department we listen to the police scanner traffic. Most of the time it is fire engine crews headed out to a medical emergency. Other times it’s another call about a car accident on I-80 Interstate. But every once in a while, it is a call about shots fired. I’ve come to learn that violent crime is a very real problem in the community my newspaper serves. My job as a photojournalist is to tell a story through my images that can help our readers stay informed and also to keep them aware of events happening throughout their community. Thankfully these situations don’t come around often. But when they do I am forced to make a big decision…Do I make that photograph?
Earlier in the month of October, I was working the night shift at the newspaper when the call came across the scanner that their were a group of people fighting on the parking lot of a nearby high school just down the street. Immediately after that, I heard the dispatcher say “shots fired.” Boom! I was out the door with my camera in hand. My reporter and I arrived at the scene not four minutes after the call. Most of the police were coming in behind us. I arrived at the scene (shown in the first two photographs. The third is a separate incident) of people screaming and upon further examination a lone police officer giving CPR to a young man on the ground. It was a horrible sight. It is rare to respond to a scene and be one of the first people there. Most of the time the incident has already ended. This time was very different. I knew a wave of police would be arriving soon and would very quickly put me and my camera as far away from the scene as possible. I knew I had to work fast to make a picture. Times like this your training and instincts just kick in. Your own emotions are shielded by the camera in front of your face. A young man is fighting for his life. You just react.
In journalism school my instructors described it as “Passing the Cheerio Test” as in if the controversial photo doesn’t make the reader spit out his morning breakfast while also telling the story, the photo was considered “safe” to publish. It is this balance newspapers constantly battle with and the topic has been addressed and discussed relentlessly by my colleagues in the profession. Where is the line drawn? What is our duty to our readers? Really tough call. It was times like this when we had such a powerful photograph, a decision was made and my editors knew that the line must be approached.
My editors decided to run the two top photos on the front page. Their basis was that the victim could not be identified in the photo and the images told the story that no words could quite describe. It got a lot of reaction. I returned to work the next morning expecting to hear of all the subscriptions that were canceled because of the photos. I was surprised to find a very different response. There were tons of comments on the story online and as expected, the photos drew some criticism. But for every negative comment there were two or three comments from readers that expressed how important thought it was to show these photos. These events were happening in their community and they didn’t want to ignore it anymore. The decision to run the images had started an important conversation throughout the community. I consider that a success and those comments tell me that I am doing my job well. Regardless, it doesn’t make it any easier to make the photographs but I feel it is very important that I do. What do you think? -M