It seemed liked it was time to update the blog layout.
Also, last Thursday was my one-year anniversary of moving to Martha’s Vineyard!
This has been, to put it mildly, a very good year.
So I went through the assignments I’ve shot in the past twelve months and found the ones that I liked best and that I thought best represented a year on Martha’s Vineyard (hence there are no town meeting photos in here, despite being VERY representational, because I didn’t like the images as much). And when I finished, I realized that, in spite of all the summer events I cover, none of the photos were of tourists—they’re all of the year-round Vineyarders. Which is fitting, because it’s this group of people that I like covering the most. The well-known people visit here in the summer, but they get written about all the time. The people who gut out the offseason, when half the island shuts down and the population goes from 100,000 to 16,000—I think they’re much more interesting.
In the true spirit of the Vineyard Gazette, I’m publishing these in black-and-white, just like they appeared in print. The gallery is here:
I also went through the articles I wrote last year and found my favorites. The Harry Potter story features tourists, but otherwise, same deal. Most of the pieces are sports-related, since that’s my beat (it basically fell into my lap. I am a lucky, lucky person). The Island Cup remains my favorite assignment ever–thirteen hours–most of them spent on Nantucket–shooting and reporting, all made worth it when the Vineyard football team won and I finally got to write a victory story. Usually, the high-stakes sports stories start out on a positive note, like the winter teams advancing to the postseason, only to then end on a brutal heartbreaker.* Sometimes I write about ex-Olympians recovering from hockey injuries; sometimes I spend the entire day at the hockey arena (PDF). I get to cover field hockey coaches (PDF) and get crash courses in high school sailing (PDF).
And sometimes I just go knock on random people’s doors and ask them about Halloween on William Street.
But I use the word ‘get,’ not ‘have’ in all these cases because I really do feel so fortunate that I can help cover this community and give it its due. There’s so much more to Martha’s Vineyard than presidential visits and summer homes.
At the Northern Short Course workshop I attended last weekend, photographers were constantly driving home the point that you don’t have to travel the world to find a good story. They’re everywhere. Small stories from the small towns still matter, because they do what journalism is supposed to do: give a voice to people who might not otherwise get one.
This is a fantastic island, and this has been a fantastic year.
*To be fair, this piece won first place in the sports division (for weekly papers) at the New England Press Association awards, so the story ended up being not-so-brutal for me. But I really hope that this season I get to write a “We are [finally] the champions” piece about the tennis team.