The Columbia Missourian is a daily community newspaper, founded in 1908, with a circulation of 39,000. As part of my responsibilities, first as a photo editor and later as the assistant director of photography, I selected, arranged, and edited visuals for the print product, its website and its social media applications. In addition to general news/assignment work, I also oversaw the sports photography staff and its coverage of NCAA Division I sports in the Southeastern Conference.
The front page of the June 7-8, 2015, edition of the Columbia Missourian. I brainstormed with staff photojournalist Adam Vogler about this shoot and urged him to take a long lens—we decided on a 300mm—so that we could make this shot. Once I edited the images, I pitched this story as the centerpiece and convinced the print desk to give it a full-width treatment. The resulting package won first place in the "Best Front Page" category in the Missouri Press Association's 2016 Better Newspaper Contest.
The front page of the Nov. 14-15, 2014, edition of the Columbia Missourian. We used Loren Reid's 109th birthday celebration as a jumping-off point for our coverage of his life and work. Reporter Annie Rees and I combed through thousands of Loren Reid's letters, journals, and personal documents that he donated to the State Historical Society of Missouri. These informed our understanding of the man and what was important to him. We used our findings when we visited him three times over three months in 2014.
The front page of the March 27-28, 2015, edition of the Columbia Missourian. I worked with the sports desk to find an appropriate image for the Sophie Cunningham tease and also worked closely with the 1A designer, Brendan Wray, about which photos would work best for the front. We whittled down the selection to four images, and I suggested the vertical as the dominant, paired with three detail shots on the side. I then toned each image and prepared it for web and print production.
The front page of the Dec. 28-29, 2014, edition of the Columbia Missourian. Yuting Jiang found a woman with synesthesia, a condition where she can hear colors. She documented the woman's life and work, including visits at her home, studio, and meetings at the local art league. In print, the wide shot played large plays well next to the detail of the artist's sketch. In addition to editing this package for print, I also worked with her on a video edit that accompanied the piece when it ran online.
Page 1A of the March 1-2, 2015, edition of the Columbia Missourian. I had the day off, but still decided to spend the day shooting weather features. I found a great spot near east campus where I camped out with a 400mm lens and waited for someone to make their way down the sidewalk. After getting a photo after about 20 minutes, I then headed to north Columbia where I found the photo of Fleischmann shoveling. Fellow assistant director of photography Kylee Gregg and I then worked on selecting the photos for our print product.
The front page of the Dec. 31, 2014, edition of the Columbia Missourian. Tim Tai, ever the newshound, caught wind on social media about plans for a "Black Lives Matter" student protest happening late on the night of Dec. 13, 2014. After working the scene from the ground, he climbed up a nearby parking garage to provide a more expansive vantage point. I prominently featured Tai's work in the Missourian's "Year in Pictures" feature that I put together.
The front page of the Feb. 12, 2015, edition of the Columbia Missourian. The University of Missouri commissioned a giant 27x33-foot flag for its 175th anniversary celebration, which began in 2014 and continued into 2015. After flying from Jesse Hall for a time, it was taken down and students signed it. I coordinated with the MU Department of Student Life and assigned a staffer to shoot it, suggesting that he try photograph underneath the flag and "play with the repition between the columns printed on the flag and the actual columns."
The front page of the Oct. 12-13, 2014, edition of the Columbia Missourian. The Missouri Tigers football team experienced its first shutdown loss in more than a decade on Oct. 11 2014, largely due to fumbles and interceptions. The front page reflected that, and although the frame was shot a bit tight, it still documents these errors and is contextually significant. I edited from the stadium and shipped images back to the newsroom for colleagues to sequence and publish.
The sports section front of the Sept. 7-8, 2014, edition of the Columbia Missourian. As usual, I accompanied two staff photojournalists to Memorial Stadium for the eight-plus-hour experience as Missouri took on Toledo. I set up in the field-level media workroom and then collected cards from the photographers after every quarter. After ingesting the images, I'd pick selects from the thousands of outtakes, caption them, and ship them to the newsroom for publication.
The sports section front of the Aug. 31-Sept. 1 edition of the Columbia Missourian. Tim’s tight, clean shot of tailback Russell Hansbrough also led the sports section front. It’s a simple, easy read that is an appropriate action shot for the section. I was tempted to crop off more of the photo’s right side, but thought that the designers would crop in with a more square image frame. It didn't happened, though, so I learned to be more aggressive in cropping so that my photographic vision isn’t lost further down the production process.
Page 3B of the Oct. 19-20, 2014, edition of the Columbia Missourian. This is the first time that I’ve seen the Missourian pull out a bleed design on a page other than the front page or a section front. This was my first photo page constructed exclusively from wire content, and, because it was an away game for the Tigers, and the wire shooters were presumably local Florida photographers, there was a small number of Missouri photos available, even though the Tigers dominated the game.
Page 6A of the June 21-22, 2015, edition of the Columbia Missourian. One of our staff photojournalists, Yuting Jiang, had finished all her assignments for the day and was looking for a feature hunt idea, so I suggested the upcoming Ramadan celebration. She visited the Islamic Center of Central Missouri at 5:30 a.m. on the second day of Ramadan for its sunrise prayer, returned later that day for the noon prayer, and then wrote a text piece about two Muslim teenagers. I designed the layout and then sent it to the design desk for finalization.
Page 4A of the June 23, 2015, edition of the Columbia Missourian. On a whim, staff photojournalist Stephanie Sidoti came back to the office with a set of images from the 63 Diner, an iconic restaurant in north Columbia. We quickly picked up on the repeated use of red throughout the building and its decorations, so we decided to focus this story through these crimson hues. After editing and toning the images, I then designed a layout and sent it to the print desk for finalization.
Page 3A of the June 24, 2015, edition of the Columbia Missourian. A Missouri Department of Conservation retiree called gave our managing editor a call after viewing a photo spread on the wet and rainy summer we've had this year. He loved the photos and thought his property would make a nice feature, too. I called him, coordinated a time for one of our photographers, Cody Lohse, to visit, and edited the subsequent outtakes with colleague Kylee Gregg. I then designed a layout and sent it to the print desk for finalization.
Page 4A of the July 17-18, 2015, edition of the Columbia Missourian. Whenever we cover Muslims or Islam in Columbia, we had over to the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. Staff photojournalist Yuting Jiang and I brainstormed about how we could cover this community differently and more effectively. I suggested she try and find a family she could embed with for the holiday. She found one who was willing—no small task—and I edited, toned, and designed an inside page highlighting her work.
Page 5A in the July 19-20 edition of the Columbia Missourian. I provided staff photojournalist Cody Lohse with a list of a dozen or so sporting events at the 2015 Show-Me State Games that we hadn't yet covered. He selected powerlifting from the list and delivered a bevy of simple detail shots that made this page work. We paired them with a dominant overall, a portrait, and then I toned the photos and designed the inside photo page.
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