As the U.S. loses two local newspapers per week, it is impressive to see Moonshine's continued high quality journalism without the financial support (and control!) of some large media corporate owner.
Truly independent media.
As the staff photographer of The Ink, I get to see the creativity, talent & commitment to solid journalism that goes into this publication, from the inside.
Working with Publisher/Owner Mayumi Peacock & the rest of the staff has been pleasantly impressive.
Whenever I bring up to locals that I'm working for Moonshine Ink, the adoring admiration and respect they show for Mayumi, our team and the publication is impressive and touching. I'm working with a true community asset.
In my first year with The Ink, my assignments have ranged from the fun & creativity in our community, to real tragedy.
Celebrating this first year, I'm sharing a few of my images & stories from these editions. You can click some images to read accompanying stories.
You can also seek more of my work by searching my name at MoonshineInk.com.
The first shoot I was sent out on was to cover the massive "Deepcember" snowfall at the end of December 2021 and the related scenery, difficulties (like empty gas stations because the gas tanker trucks couldn't get over the mountain passes for a few days) - and fun.
The images ran in the January 2022 print edition, and then we ran more pictures and videos from coworkers and the community along with the story at MoonshineInk.com.
For the Feb. 2022 edition, in the middle of the winter and over a mile high in the snowy mountains, one of Moonshine's contributing writers, Le'a Gleason, had the bright idea to do a piece on cold water plungers (in a lake that is always cold - Lake Tahoe).
Being the cold weather wimp that I can be, I channeled the spirit of Manjushree Orphanage's Lama Thupten Phuntsok. I once asked him how he and all his orphans, high in the Himalayas, tolerated the cold without all the techhie (sp?) winter gear that my American cohorts and I wore.
I asked if it's a mind-over-matter meditation type thing, or if they were just acclimated to it, or what. His matter-of-fact answer, with a serene smile on his face, simply, "no... we're cold."
With that in mind, I suited up in full wetsuit, booties, gloves and hoodies - jumped right in for the shots .... and I was still colder than these plungers.
Our news reporter, Alex Hoeft, part of the super talented team I get to work with, had the creative idea for me to get "over/under" shots (since Lake Tahoe is so clear/transparent). Our publisher/owner, Mayumi Peacock, green-lit me to research and purchase the underwater camera gear for The Ink, to make it happen.
Then, to work out the kinks of my novice underwater photography and editing-for-newsprint skills, Mayumi and our graphic designer, Sarah Miller, stepped in to help us get the shots print-ready.
A true team effort, and we were thrilled with the results :)
This Feb. 2022 edition was also the start of me doing the "Do Tell" article, where we ask one question to several people out and about, and then we print 5 of their answers.
Sometimes the questions are light and fun, sometimes they're more serious.
This was my first one.
You know you're teamed up with good journalists when they're giving attention to foreword-thinking wellness matters like this, that also ran in the February 2022 edition.
If you're ever looking for some hard working truly do-gooders to support, Moonshine Ink (or any other good independent local media you are familiar with) is definitely deserving and can use all help (whether financial, or needed goods and services) that it can get.
If you're an editor (of photo and/or video) and would like imagery & projects to collaborate on, I'm your guy! I have lots of material and ideas from over the years, ready and waiting for finishing and delivery. If interested, let me know!