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Category: Albuquerque Journal (page 1 of 2)

New Chapter, New Country

This post is a bit overdue I’ll admit it. Back in January of this year I had my last day in the newsroom of the Albuquerque Journal. A newsroom that had come to feel like a second home. Journalists, we’re funny people. We know our city or our beat all too well, way better than our non-journalist friends. We become a second family when we spend such odd hours with our coworkers, sometimes on last minute road trips, sometimes just filing and editing late into the night racing to the final deadline. We eat (free) pizza on election nights together as the results come in. We celebrate when our coworkers have family milestones: marriages, births, and graduations. And also support each other when harder times hit.

I was only supposed to be in Albuquerque for six months. SIX MONTHS. I arrived in the summer of 2007 and almost immediately started counting down. Not that I didn’t love it. I did. However, I was in my “intern” part of life and expected to move on to another internship in six months and thus wanted to make the most of my short time there as most interns do. I had a blast. I took every opportunity that came my way. I climbed a crazy peak, flew in a hot air balloon, drove all over the state whenever asked, and tried my hardest to make some cool photos.

I ended up staying nine and half years. The Land of Enchantment really was the Land of Entrapment. I became a staff photographer, then the assistant photo editor, and then the photo editor. A lot changed in that window of time as well. A newspaper that was so focused on the print product, finally started paying attention to the web. (I feel like I can say this as a GenY-er who saw the writing on the wall from the day I walked in the door.) And with the push to web, the photo department had a chance like never before to be seen.

But, I’ve gotten off track…

About the same time as my maternity leave was starting with my son, my husband was offered a post-doc at the University of Montreal. So it was finally time to say goodbye to my Journal family and start a new chapter in Canada. So on a bittersweet Friday afternoon, I brought my 4-month-old son to work with me and said my goodbyes to the people and building that had welcomed me nine and a half years earlier. It’s been a few months now, and I still miss the journalism adrenaline rush, but mostly I miss my co-workers and comrades who made the daily battles worth it.

So, here I am, now in Montreal, missing New Mexico a little, but also enjoying this new wonderful city. If anyone needs a photographer, or a journalist, I’d still very much love to tell your story.

Albuquerque Prep Athletes of the Year – Portraits

New Mexico sunset + Sandia foothills + high school athletes = memorable portraits for this year’s Albuquerque Journal prep athletes of the year.

First of all, congratulations to these two, their accomplishments gained them this well deserved honor. The Albuquerque Journal named Brady Patterson the prep male athlete of the year and Natasha Bernal the prep female athlete of the year. In the fall, Patterson is headed to ENMU and Bernal is headed to UNM.

Each year we try to do some kind of portrait of the two athletes of the year together somewhere in the city. This year we decided we wanted to see the city behind them. We told them we wanted to do a shoot as the sun was setting in the foothills and then wait for the city to glow after sunset, which ended up being a little later in the day than I realized, but they were up for it. The wait was worth it. Thanks again to these two who kept smiling even after we stayed a little longer than we originally planned to get that final city glow photo. The very last frame of the night ended up being my favorite. I saw it on the back of the camera and knew we were done. It’s the first photo below.

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Game of Thrones Season 5 Premiere Santa Fe

In Santa Fe, the city different, at George R.R. Martin’s personal theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, HBO and GRRM hosted a Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere with a tiny red carpet on Saturday March 28, 2015. Now I just might be a Game of Thrones fan… so needless to say I was excited to shoot the event for the Albuquerque Journal. This also meant assistant arts editor and UpFront columnist Adrian Gomez and I were able to watch the first episode of the new season a few weeks early. High five!

George R.R. Martin is a very cool cat and extremely generous. I even overheard him tell some fans that were passing by and stopped for a photo with him to wait around to see if any seats opened up so they could come in and view the episode. I don’t know if they made it in or not, but for an invite-only event that was fully booked that was very kind of him. He and the theater also had earlier screenings in the morning for locals willing to wait in line. It was so popular they added an extra screening at the last minute.

Santa Fe is a great place for a celebrity of any caliber to live or visit. The city and state are so laid back that celebrities can really just be part of the community. During the after party a group of actors currently in Santa Fe filming “The Ridiculous Six” stopped by and mingled with party goers and of course took some time to pose on the red carpet, but more importantly, pet and pose with Flurry, an Arctic wolf that was visiting from the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary for the premiere. By the end of the night it honestly felt like the wolf was more sought after for a photo than any of the celebrities.

George R.R. Martin has lived in Santa Fe for many years, before the Game of Thrones empire took off. The theater he now owns, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, closed down in 2006, and he bought it, renovated it, and reopened it in 2013, much to the delight of many New Mexicans. It’s a neat little theater and he pretty much shows whatever tickles his fancy.

Overall the premiere was quite laid back, heck the red carpet was all of 10 feet long. Whereas the season 5 premiere in San Francisco appeared to be what you would expect from such a popular TV show, with a much longer red carpet that stretched past the piles of media waiting to interview and photograph the show’s celebrities. I watched the red carpet portion live on meerkat a few days before our own Santa Fe premiere. They were completely different experiences and I wouldn’t trade ours for anything.

Read more about the premiere in Adrian Gomez’s UpFront column: “Hollywood comes to the City Different.” See more photos on our Albuquerque Journal photo page: Game of Thrones Season 5 Premiere.

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SAGE Vintage Wedding – Albuquerque Journal Styled Shoot

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The Albuquerque Journal’s final edition (yes, final) of Sage magazine happened to be the annual wedding (celebrations) issue. Every year, we shoot a stylized wedding session for the main story of the wedding edition. And every year, the shoot day ends up being one of the coldest days in December. This time was no different. The models were troopers dealing with the cold. That fur stole she’s wearing in a few frames I brought from my personal vintage collection at the last minute because the temperature was dropping as the day progressed. I knew the inspiration was a vintage wedding so it worked and kept her warm, a win win. I’ve shot three of these wedding sessions over my years here at the paper and always loved working on them.


Location: Albuquerque Press Club
Gowns: Provided by Uptown Alfred Angelo
Tuxedo: Mr. Tux
Makeup: Noel Dalton, owner of The Vanity Makeup
Hair: Hannah Dalton of Stockton Hair Artists
Flowers: Peoples Flowers
Models: Mark Underwood & Marika Sayers
Car: Fiona, 1951 Ford owned by Bob Agnew of Old Car Garage

Read the Albuquerque Journal’s Sage article Ready to Dazzle.

Southwest Snow – Albuquerque



During Feb. 26-28, 2015 Albuquerque received the most significant amount of snow since 2006. My main concern throughout the two nights of snow was to make sure our photo staff at the Albuquerque Journal did a great job covering the storm in photos. So my days were filled with planning and anticipating what was going to happen across the city that needed to be documented. The only times I got a chance to take some photos myself were at night right before crawling into bed. Both Thursday night and Friday night, my fiancé and myself ventured out into the cold falling snow. We hiked from our house down to Central Avenue. Both times were really just excursions for myself to snap some photos. I grew up in Florida, so to some degree snow still excites me even though I’ve experienced it many times by now. And I love night time landscape or cityscape photography. Things just look different at night and I love that. Anyway, here are some photos from our excursions on both nights as the snow was still falling. I shot them with my Fuji X-E2 that I really wish was weather sealed. I may have to grab the X-T1 next, as my Fuji has become my camera of choice and I obviously don’t fear shooting in extreme weather conditions…

For more snow photos, check out: Southwest Snow. It’s my most recently edited Exposure piece for the Albuquerque Journal, featuring the collective hard work of Journal staff photographers.



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Rail Yards of Albuquerque

Any excuse to visit and photograph the Albuquerque rail yards sounds good to me. Actually I wasn’t even scheduled to shoot this on Friday, but due to more important breaking news I “unfortunately” had to scramble to get there on time. Gosh darn.

The city of Albuquerque has come out saying “Dangers abound at the city’s rail yards.” After shooting ASH I could help with this lecture. I won’t get into specifics, but yes, the rail yards are dangerous. While filming we were constantly reminding each other of this, even though it was so obvious. Despite its danger it’s a beautiful place. The light, the dirt, the space. Here’s a few of the photos from last week’s short tour.

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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2014 – Albuquerque Journal

For this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta I soared above the event with KOAT, covering the fiesta from the sky. I’ve done this now three separate years and each year is just as exciting. It might sound glamorous but each year it means getting up around 3:30 am to get some breakfast and get to the airport in time to catch my ride. That’s pretty darn early, but so worth it.

Our photo staff at the Albuquerque Journal covers every single day of the nine day event each year. Our staff photographers are out on the ground each morning, inside and outside of the park, photographing the balloons as they blanket our city. Everyone has their favorite spots to view the balloons from after covering the fiesta for years. It’s always interesting to see how everyone sees the fiesta through their lens, as each photographer documents it differently each year. To see more photos from the entire photo staff at the Albuquerque Journal check out our gallery: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2014.

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