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Archive for July, 2010

Careful what you eat — your first bite might just be your last!

One fellow found that out the hard way. He started to take a bite of his Which Wich ‘wich… and then couldn’t close his jaw for 14 hours.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to read the relevant article on ajc.com.) Chad Ettmueller of Cumming takes a bite out of the double meat wicked sandwich at the Which Wich sandwich shop in Cumming on Monday, July 12, 2010. Ettmueller ordered that sandwich in March, dislocated both joints of his jaw while taking the first bite and paid about $4,000 out of pocket for the medical services needed to correct his jaw.

And then his best friend ended up eating the ‘wich.

Read the story. It’s just fun.

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I’ve lived 18 of my 22 years in Houston, Texas — so it’s odd that the first time I worked on any aspect of an illegal immigration story was this summer.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image to read one of several relevent articles on ajc.com.) Jessica Colotl stands behind Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights president Teodoro Maus during a press conference in Plaza Fiesta on July 15, 2010. Colotl has become the poster child of illegal immigration conflict after her illegal alien status came to light in March.

I’ll be updating this blog steadily over the next few days. The past almost-two-weeks have been abnormally busy, so I’m now finally getting around to keeping my blog current and updating my portfolio.

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If you were reading/following/occasionally checking my blog this spring, you would’ve noticed quite a bit of food photography.

This is because the photojournalism department chair, David Rees, had our capstone class do two one-photo-a-day-for-30-days blog challenges — and eventually, I resorted to photographing the food that Jeff and I were making. Because everything else was getting boring.

But I’d like to thank David, as I am now a legitimately prolific food photographer: Half of my assignments this week for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution have been of food.

Here’s what’s been published so far:

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to read the relevant article on ajc.com.) A slice of frozen mocha toffee-crunch terrine. Shot with one light.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to read the relevant article on ajc.com.) Hummus made with sprouted chickpeas and a little jalapeno. Shot in natural light, in the shade.

(more…)

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I’ve already alluded in this blog to the fact that I’m not the girliest girl. That said, I absolutely love weddings — and wedding dresses.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to view the full photo gallery on ajc.com.) Bridal consultant Amanda Bauer helps Katy Kennedy of Savannah into a dress in Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique in Roswell on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. Kennedy's wedding will be in Charleston next summer.

Yesterday, I followed four soon-to-be military brides as they tried on wedding dresses that they would receive for free, thanks to the Brides Across America program. Each girl was completely thrilled about her dress, and photographing that excitement was a real pleasure.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Leah Owens (center) looks at a dress brought to her by bridal consultant Amanda Bauer (right) as Owens' 3-year-old daughter Alissa and soon-to-be mother-in-law Rebecca Wood (left) observe, in Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique in Roswell on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. Owens, who is six months pregnant with her and her fiance's second daughter, had to make sure her dress could be altered to fit after she gives birth in November.

A side note. I’m finding myself increasingly attracted — as a photographer — to “girl culture” with every “girly” assignment I complete. (Bra-fitting, makeup session, hair salon and now this.) Having pored through her books during downtime when I did work-study at the journalism library, I know photographer Lauren Greenfield has covered this area extensively. But the culture of femininity is very much a fascinating thing to me, especially since I don’t understand it very well — and I hope I can develop something out of it.

If you have any suggestions or feedback or anything, I’d love to hear what you’d like to share!

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Last week, I was assigned to go to a hair salon and make pictures. Could’ve been boring. But I had fun.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to read the related article at ajc.com.) Roswell resident Cheryl Jones gets her roots colored by Fantastic Sams franchisee Helen Nguyen at Fantastic Sams in Roswell on Friday, July 2, 2010. The Roswell location opened at the end of Aug. 2009 and already has a regular customer base.

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On Saturday, I got muddied at the Redneck Games.

On Friday — the day before — I got soaked to the skin at the Atlanta Motor Speedway while photographing Fastlife Friday.

I photographed some of the performers and a few of the vehicles in queue on the track… and then it began to rain. By the time I made it to a concession stand — the closest shelter — I was thoroughly wet and my hair was dripping buckets.

But I kept making pictures.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to view the full photo gallery at ajc.com.) R&B artist Justin Crowder, who performs as part of Swagg Team, lifts his 4-year-old niece Zoe Tolbert into the air and waits with others under a concession stand while a thunderstorm soaks the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, July 9, 2010. The storm canceled the remainder of Fastlife Friday activities that night, including all the races that were scheduled.

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Saturday was a little messy

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to view the full photo gallery at ajc.com.) A girl batters around inflatable boxing gloves in the mud pit in the Summer Redneck Games in East Dublin on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Saved for last, the mud pit is the most popular and anticipated event in the Redneck Games.

…which is a given when you photograph the Summer Redneck Games.

It’s a one-day event in East Dublin, Ga., that began in 1996 after Atlanta hosted the summer Olympics. The self-proclaimed rednecks put their own spin on competitive sports and just have a good time.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to view the full photo gallery on ajc.com.) Becca Bostwick of Thomaston throws a toilet seat as part of the Redneck Horsehoe event during the Summer Redneck Games in East Dublin on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Each year, the event features competitive events including watermelon seed-spitting and toilet seat-throwing.

It was definitely a cultural experience. After the ceremonial torch — consisting of a six-pack of Budweiser cans — was lit, I asked the torchbearer a few questions. When another reporter asked if he considers himself a redneck, the man responded, “Of course I am! Anyone born in Georgia, Alabama — any of the southern states — is a redneck.”

The day was hot and sunny, and I sustained severe tan lines, muddied clothes and camera, physical threats and a few come-ons. By far one of the more memorable and exciting assignments I’ve done so far for this internship!

Be sure to check out the full photo gallery!

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This is what happened:

I have a lot of cleaning to do.

And yes, it had to happen.

And yes, this happened while my face was getting muddied up, too.

My white rainjacket is also pretty splotched over.

Full details once the powers-that-be publish the photo gallery.

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Last week, on the Fourth of July, I was one of three AJC photographers to cover the 2010 Peachtree Road Race. Bob would spend the day in the helicopter to get aerial photos, and Jason would be along the 10K race itself and in the media truck.

This meant I had finish-line and post-race duty.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to view the full photo gallery at ajc.com.) Duane Morrow of Hoschton, Ga., is cheered on by volunteers after completing the AJC Peachtree Road Race on Tuesday, July 4, 2010.

My editors gave me a few warnings:

  1. It’s 55,000 participants. That’s a lot of people.
  2. The wheelchair racers are super fast. (They were.)
  3. It’s 55,000 participants. That was definitely a lot of people.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Masses of participants continue to cross the AJC Peachtree Road Race finish line as finishers (in the foreground) make their way toward the exit and the nearest MARTA station on Sunday, July 4, 2010.

But it was a lot of fun. And waking up at 3:30 a.m. to be at work at 5:30 a.m. meant I was done for the day at 1 p.m. Which was kinda nice, in a weird way.

Be sure to check out the full staff photo gallery!

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Today on assignment — I got mud on my face. Big disgrace.

Photo courtesy of Lewis M. Levine.

How and why did this happen? Well, I’ll wait for the powers that be to publish the photo gallery — and then I shall disclose more in a proper blog post.

But hang in there, folks.

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Having attended Mizzou, where football reigns supreme as a time-honored tradition, I was immediately intrigued when I learned that Georgia State has its inaugural football season this fall.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Click on the image above to read the related article on ajc.com.) Members of Georgia State's new football team run short sprints during weight and conditioning training in the athletic department's workout room on Thursday, July 1, 2010. The team will play its first game against Shorter University on Sept. 2.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Georgia State junior center Ben Jacoby lifts free weights as junior running back Malcolm Smith spots, in the Georgia State workout room on Thursday, July 1, 2010. The university started recruiting players two years ago in anticipation of its inaugural football season this year.

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Surely every kid has played some version of “cops and robbers” at some point in his/her childhood.

I remember my elementary school classmates and I modified the classic game of “tag” to include teams (of boys versus girls, of course — boys had cooties!) and jailtime. It was a playground classic that we played every day after lunch until the recess ladies told us to stop because we were getting too rowdy.

The next year, we weren’t allowed to play soccer. That was too rowdy, too.

Anyway. For one week this summer, some kids got to learn more about the cops’ side of things, and I got to photograph them.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constutition. (Click on the image above to view the full photo gallery at ajc.com.) Max Waterhouse, 15 of Decatur, leads fellow junior police academy students, Captain W.S. Richards (in black) and Sgt. Christopher Clark (in red) up the stairs in the Decatur City Police Department station on Tuesday, June 19, 2010. The Decatur police department offered its first-ever junior police academy, for which Decatur students of middle-school age could apply.

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Confession: I never wore makeup until January 2008.

Yeah. Somehow, I lived more than 20 years without lipstick, eyeliner, blush, foundation and other powders, liquids and other goops with which I am still unfamiliar. And yeah, I know many women have survived longer than that without applying makeup.

My point is, I’m still a novice to the very complicated world of cosmetics. I haven’t worn makeup for a few weeks now — no point if I’m going to be a hot mess at the end of an outdoor assignment — and even when I do, it’s no more than a quick application of eyeliner and a swipe of lipstick.

So I learned a lot one night, when I photographed a makeup session attended by the Atlanta hockey team’s spirit squad.

© 2010 by The Atlanta Journal Constitution. (Click on the image above to view the full photo gallery on ajc.com.) Atlanta Thrashers Blue Crew member Allison Dekle applies bronzer at the Pur Minerals headquarters on Monday, June 28, 2010.

For example: There are at least four different things you can do to your eyes. And like three different things to do to your lips. And different brushes are used for different things.

Okay, I really didn’t learn that much — at least, nothing that I would ever be able or care to do for myself. But at the very least, I was intrigued. And bewildered.

I’ll stick to being a bit of a tomboy.

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