If the first two months on the job were a little quiet, things definitely picked up in the spring.
It’s finally sinking in that I’m not an intern and I get to stay here. I’ve had long-term internships in the past, and I haven’t yet been at the Statesman as long as I worked at those places. I’ve had internships where I worked 60 hours a week and might as well have been a staff member, save for what was basically an unseen asterisk by my name. Molly J. Smith, Photographer*.
I’d say there’s a certain weight that comes with that, but upon further thought I don’t think there is. As an intern I tried to work like a staffer, and as a staffer nothing is good enough for me. There is always room to shoot better. I was dissatisfied with a lot of work from March. I saved the few frames I liked to combine with April images for a longer post, but then I got to the end of that month and wanted to go back and re-shoot most of those, too. I guess that’s a good thing – better to feel this way than content, which I find can lead to laziness.
We’re heading into summer now, and it’ll be my first summer in three years working for a newspaper and not off traveling for Rustic Pathways. I’m missing the idea of being abroad, but I’m really looking forward to spending a summer as part of the community I live and work in. The people in this area were really good to me in March and April, and I continue to feel fortunate to be welcomed into their private moments.
Quick shout out here to Salem hip-hop artist Matty – I did a shoot with Matty for the release of his upcoming album, but after reviewing the images I thought I could do better. He was great to oblige me in coming back for a quick 15 minute re-shoot later in the week. I really wanted to experiment in the industrial space attached to the paper’s building (where they used to house the printing press), and Matty was a great sport about trying out a few locations around the warehouse. There’s a lot of interesting textures, including this wall splashed with castoff ink. This second round, with an assist from Michael holding some LED lights, looked much more dramatic and interesting.