Archive for the ‘Newspapers’ Category

Brian Urlacher Retires

Brian Urlacher's success as an All Pro linebacker who has made it to the Super Bowl provides a charge of pride and enthusiasm for the residents of his struggling hometown of Lovington. Nike paid for this mural, depicting Urlacher in his high school uniform, which covers the side of a vacated building on South Main Street in Lovington. (Steven St. John/The Albuquerque Tribune)

Brian Urlacher is retiring. I photographed the UNM Lobo and Chicago Bear great a few times, and I also made the picture above in his home town of Lovington in the days leading up to the Superbowl. The mural was created by Nike for a commercial, and before that big game the mural was photographed by a number of local and national publications, but I liked my picture the best. I was the only photographer willing to wait around for the golden hour. I recently drove through town, and I was dishearten to see that the mural had been covers over with plain white paint. Everything is temporary.

Lobo Journalism Bootcamp

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Kate Nash and Jim Montobano20130128-082743.jpgMark Holm20130128-082800.jpg

I had  a great time speaking on a panel about cooperation in the newsroom with Mark Holm, Kelly Brewer and Jakob Schiller last weekend as part of the Daily Lobo Bootcamp. Working with students is really rewarding. We didn’t have much time, there’s a lot to learn but at moments you feel like you can almost see the light bulbs on top the students heads going off when you make certain points. They have a lot of bad ideas about what newspapers are and how newspaper journalism should look. It’s can be a lot of work but I’m only here because of the kindness and generosity of numerous other photographers and journalist who shared their vast knowledge with me. But the truth is I think we speakers get as much inspiration from them as they get from us.

Mark, Kelly Jakob & I all worked together at the Albuquerque Tribune. Myself and many other people who knew of The Trib often speak of it is a magic place for photography, but it wasn’t just that the photography was making magic. Every year our goal was one particular award, Best Use of Photography from Pictures of the Year International. Here’s why. From the POYi site:

“Photo editing should demonstrate sensitivity for the selection and organization of documentary photojournalism and the appropriate use of photo illustrations. Page design should reflect consideration for the reader and respect for the vision of the photographer. Judges will consider the effectiveness of the captions, headlines and other display typography as well as photo content. Aggressive local coverage and imaginative editing of wire and syndicated photos are important. Layout of inside pages and section fronts will be evaluated.”

The communication and teamwork at the Tribune or what made the photography great. The Best Use award was presented to the photo staff, but really it was an award for the entire paper. Journalists were treated as equals regardless of what media they used to tell people’s stories, and man did we tell some stories well. The design and copy desks were the real unsung heroes, bringing it all together and making all of us look a whole lot smarter. Given how poorly most newspapers treat their design and copy editors these days, it is no surprise that the students aren’t familiar with good newspaper journalism, it’s harder to find than just a few years ago. I just hope that some of the good work the Tribune did can inspire the students to go further, do and be better. I know it did for me.

Instagram portrait for AARP


Recently I had my first assignment for AARP Bulletin, a publication I really respect because they have been working with some wonderful photographers and producing interesting and innovative journalism under the thoughtful direction of picture editor Michael Wichita. For this particular shoot, AARP was having one photographer in each state make a portrait of a subject and then ask them a few questions about the economy. The catch was it had to be done with my phone and processed using Instagram. Like I said, interesting and innovative. I was cool to be included along with a number of my photo friends and acquaintances, but I think my favorite photo from the series (so far) was composed by Ian C. Bates, a student at Ohio University. I can’t get a direct link to that picture, so you’ll just have to follow the whole project on Twitter  or on Instagram.

Finally, big thanks to my subject Daniel Espalin for taking the time to talk with me and allowing me to photograph him as a winter storm rolled into town.


Prom for The Communicator

 (Steven St John)

 (Steven St John)

 (Steven St John)

 (Steven St John)

 (Steven St. John)

At some point during the night, I realized that at 34 years-old I was twice the age of most of the kids in these photos.

Four years

The Albuquerque Tribune published it’s final edition on this day four years ago.

“The Albuquerque Tribune has been a provider of insight, an elbow in the ribs, and yes, a kick in the pants ever since it began as Magee’s Independent in 1922. Today, The Trib bids the city it loves a fond farewell – confident that in its rollicking, 86-year run, it made a difference.”

Hard to imagine it’s been four years. In some ways, it feels like many more years and in others if fells like just yesterday. Regardless, I miss it and the faces above more than I can possibly say here, so I’ll just leave it at that.