Untitled Document

Archive for June, 2010

“Don’t get arrested”

Saturday, June 26th, 2010


That’s exactly what you want to hear from your editor when you’re en route to photograph a murder trial. My duty: settle the storm between the Missourian and Judge Oxenhandler. My approach: Enter early, be polite, ask questions, and—most importantly—make friends with the bailiff.

Aside from the “if-you-so-much-as-point-your-camera-at-the-jury-we’ll-arrest-you” challenge, they also turned off the lights. Oh yes, my friends, 2.5 hours in a dark room watching interrogation videos. Talk about searching for a moment in the abyss. I did find this nice shot, more graphic than anything. Officer Weber is in the center flanked by the defense and prosecution with Judge Oxenhandler in the background framed by the lighted doorway. Everyone is watching the interrogation videos from July 2008 when Tausha tells detectives where she thinks Kemp’s body is located.

Inspiration through comrade struggle

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

A former student of mine, Max Gersh (pay close attention to his website — I taught him how to do that), is a staff photographer at The Courier Times in Indiana. Recently, he was asked to shoot a series of environmental portraits for a project called 20 Under 40 (a common theme for metropolitan areas). Forget about my bias for a minute (he is responsible for getting me back into photography) and take a look at what he’s done. Not only are they exceptional frames, but he also talks about his challenges and triumphs. Great use of a blog.

Welcome to the family.

Monday, June 21st, 2010

On Saturday, I bought my 1D MkII a 7D buddy. Welcome home, little buddy.

I have an Erin Schwartz component to my photo subconscious…

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

…and that component turns moments like this:


into moments like this:

In all seriousness, shooting side-by-side with a photographer you respect (yes, Erin, that’s you) has an amazing impact on your own work: a new perspective, a new way to conceptualize a situation, a new way to think. The assignment here was to shoot a poetry group for Vox, a potentially underwhelming situation. But, I credit the Erin-Schwartz-voice in the back of my brain for reminding me to shoot the whole story and find new angles.

Found hanging on the wall in a 4th grade classroom.

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Please note: “A drug is a substance (not a food)….” I don’t mean to sound old, but, “When I was their age, we didn’t talk about drugs in school.”

Lessons learned

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

I’m not overly attached to this shot of  Virtuosi String Trio guitarist, Craig Ventresco, but there’s something about it that I’m drawn to, although I can’t put my finger on what. Perhaps the framing. Maybe the repeated geometry. I’m not sure. Whatever it is, it reminds me of a valuable lesson:

Crawl on the floor. Get on the roof. Whatever it takes, search for a different angle. This one happened to be flash-less, starring up from the base of the stage, crammed between two amplifiers, delicately wrapped around cords, ducking beneath a microphone and firing only during fortissimo moments or applause.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk to people. At one point the’Blind’ Boone Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival’s art director practically dragged me into the concert, demanded I enjoy the music and insisted I snap a few frames. Why thank you. Don’t mind if I do.

In another scene, I stumbled into a thirteen-year-old piano playing prodigy who made his third appearance this year at the festival. His substantial progress over the years landed him a promotion to an “official performer” title this year. Jackpot.

You never know who you’ll run into.

Hi. My name is Kristen and I’m a foodie.

Monday, June 7th, 2010

If Michelle is the Missourian’s dog and kid photog, I must be the food photog.

Those of you who know me know I haven’t eaten sugar in almost 9 weeks. Watching the folks at Cafe Berlin make this strawberry, banana whipped cream coated, chocolate peanut buttery goodness for Food Not Bombs nearly killed me, until they started making more familiar faire:

They offered me a bite of both. I politely declined not wanting to steal food from the less fortunate.

Caution: Airborne Mud.

Sunday, June 6th, 2010


Loud motors. Smashing steal. Burning rubber. Flying mud. Smoke. Dust. Destruction. In a demolition derby, the last man running wins. For months, Erin Schwartz and I have been planning to cover the Columbia circuit as a multimedia piece. This weekend, we headed to the Auxvasse derby to do reconnaissance work.

Frozen deliciousness

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Thank you, Vox, for having such delicious assignments (not that I was able to drink this one, but it looked tasty). Even though this frame wasn’t fit for publication (too graphic, not contextual enough), substitute editor Erin Schwartz and I thought it was certainly blog worthy. Yay blog for helping this shot see the light of day.