Rehearsal with choral conductor Maria Guinand

According to most marketing pundits, the very best choice an independent photojournalist [i.e. self-employed/full-time freelancer/small business owner and often former newspaper staffer] can make is to specialize. And, they say, the more specialized the better.

In this market, there isn’t supposed to be room for the well-rounded, experienced photojournalist. More than four years into my journey of self-employment/full-time freelancing/business ownership I continue to struggle with industry definitions, implementing standard marketing practices [like regular blogging!] and crafting a concise two-minute elevator speech. Yet, I’m fortunate to work with a growing number of organizations that place value on documentary photographs that capture real people in real time.

Here are a few more items of news to share.

> In early May, I spent three days photographing the Choral Music of the Americas, an international symposium, for North Dakota State University’s Division of Fine Arts at the main campus in Fargo, N.D. The photograph above was made during a Sunday morning rehearsal and features the delightful and expressive choral conductor Maria Guinand. It was a treat to soak in the music as well as the presentations of choral professionals who are clearly passionate about their work.

> A few weeks later, Fargo Public Schools invited me to photograph at one of its elementary schools and also during a city-wide middle school track meet. I worked with FPS’ communications team several years ago to create an updated image archive and enjoyed continuing the project. Several of my photographs are featured in the district’s strategic plan, which was recently published, and one of my images will appear in an upcoming advertisement.

> The most recent issue of “Concordia Magazine,” a semi-annual publication produced by Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., features 10 of my photographs taken at the newly renovated Grant Center. The center is home to the Offutt School of Business, which opened in early 2013. My assignment was to document daily life inside the building and the sense of community that exists there.

As an aside, it wasn’t until I was pulling this entry together that I realized all three of these assignments were for educational organizations. Maybe I should specialize in educational photography?!

Anyway, if you didn’t get a chance to read Part A of the ongoing update efforts, feel free to check it out here. Thanks for looking. – Ann

Feet in Fargo

This journal entry, which admittedly is overdue and abbreviated, serves as the final photographic installment of my recent adventures around North Dakota. Previous entries and more photos are available at: North Dakota Road Trip [Part I] and North Dakota Road Trip [Part II].

Ironically, I’m heading out on the road again today. This time my travels are of a personal nature. I’m headed to Iowa where I hope to connect with friends last seen 20 or so years ago. Wonder what I will discover along the way?

Dog in Grand Forks

RV along Interstate 94

Motel in Ragged Butte

Sweet Tracyi

Girl+Landmark

Place+Person

Women's Way

North Dakota is home to more than its share of beautiful women. Throughout the month of May I had the good fortune to meet and photograph 19 women who are participants in or advocates for a breast and cervical cancer early detection program called Women’s Way. The North Dakota program, which is under the auspices of the state’s Department of Health, has helped provide nearly 11,000 screening services since its inception in 1997. Nationally, there are more than 60 similar programs.

The portraits and accompanying stories – written by colleague Kimberly Cowden – are featured in a 19-month calendar, which has been distributed around the state in recent weeks. A total of 7,000 copies were printed.

In my view, the finished piece serves as a testament to the value of Women’s Way and its broad reach. I am grateful to Reach Partners, who skillfully managed the project and coordinated my travel schedule. I also remain inspired by the woman featured in the calendar. You are all uniquely beautiful.

To view a few photographs from my travels around the state, feel free to peruse previous journal entries North Dakota Road Trip [Part I] and North Dakota Road Trip [Part II]. I have one more batch of roadside attraction and related photos to share. North Dakota Road Trip [Part III] will be coming soon.

Meanwhile, enjoy a selection of photographs from the Women’s Way calendar project.

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

TwoTurtles Wellness Center

In recent weeks I’ve started working with Jen DeMaio and Steve Spader of Two Turtles Wellness Center in Moorhead, Minn. Our goal is to create an image collection of the center’s space and the healing work that takes place within its walls. The photographs will ultimately find their way to the center’s website and be used in printed materials.

Yes, we did the “traditional” head and shoulders portraits that every professional needs. But, I also felt it was important to photograph Jen and Steve with their boys. Being a family is a huge part of their lives. Townsite Park is conveniently located near the offices of Two Turtles so that’s where we went to play.

Two Turtles will host an open house on Tuesday, June 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. Therapies like acupuncture, massage, biofeedback and much more will be offered for a small fee. Oh, and yummy food created by Green Market Catering will also be on hand. Hope to see you there!

Two Turtles: Family