callou callay


the last month has been full of all kinds of celebrations. in that time, i've attended and shot six weddings of friends and strangers gracious enough to bring me in on their momentous days. additionally, several of my friends have found themselves recently engaged. even birth and pregnancy announcements have come along!

so i hope this post serves as a toast to these celebrations. i drink to your health and future years.

it's been an important month for several friends and family, but i've got some big news, too. a week and a half ago, a door i thought closed reopened.

i'm back in the newspaper industry!

i accepted a job at the omaha world-herald. i'm confident that the paper will offer great opportunities. it's been an interesting (and educational) glimpse into the other side of photography, but i found myself missing newspaper work something fierce.

i'll be the first to admit that i've had moments of self-doubt in which i thought perhaps my life as a journalist wasn't meant to be. alternative professions, photographic and otherwise, have appeared at times to be more practical, to be safer bets, but i've never thought much of safer bets.

i ran in the opposite direction of what the four years of a journalism degree and four newspaper internships had shown me because i knew that i needed to see the world outside of newspapers if i were really meant to be a journalist.

and run i did. for a month last year, i woke up at dawn every day on a thin, foam mattress in the middle of nowhere, ecuador to feed chickens, shovel pig excrement and carry buckets of water up steep hills to irrigate crops. i spent the two months previous living like a latin american kerouac, sleeping where my head lay, making friends in empty buses and living with the funds of my dwindling bank account held close to my vest like a hand of poker.

by temporarily leaving an industry that has claimed to have sung its swan song for decades, i've returned an optimist. these months away struck me in an unexpected manner. they cleared the muddled cloud of journalism theory to reveal the importance of journalism in practice. i ran as far as south america only to find myself pining to return to the newspaper industry to invest myself in a community, like omaha, that is full of stories.

we as journalists must tell the stories of our community if we want to survive. i believe that readers are still more invested in their own community than they are in paris hilton and american idols if the stories from their communities are compelling. i see potential in the midst of our current chaos because i believe that stories of depth and substance are the backbone of successful journalism.

obviously, i'm excited, but no doubt i am equally bummed at the idea of leaving my people at malone and co. i owe a huge thank you to patty malone, mike malone, geoff johnson, andrew marinkovitch and kate heller (who just got engaged! congrats!) who have taught me more than they'll know. turning in my resignation was extremely difficult, but i know it is the right decision.

i feel immensely enthusiastic about the coming months. no doubt i am lucky to be back in the field of journalism with which i first fell in love as a freshman at the university.

i've got a week left at the studio, though that time will be spent on location in mitchell, sodak. my official start date as a world-herald employee is sept. 22. hooray!