Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a five-part series of posts written by Charles Snowden Excellence in Journalism interns. Read the first three posts in the series,“Developing my T-shaped skills at OPB” by Shirley Chan, “How the Baker City Herald helped me escape my bubble” by Forrest Welk and “Eyes wide open: Digging deeper into journalism at the Statesman Journal” by Junnelle Hogen.
Story by Adam Eberhardt
I come from a sports background, and I love both playing sports and photographing them. A majority of the time I spend behind a camera is at a sporting event. I just can’t get enough of the emotion and the incredible moments I get to capture.
When I found out I was selected to be a Snowden photography intern, I was a bit apprehensive. I didn’t have a ton of non-sports photojournalism experience. Sure, I had photographed a few political rallies and features. But the images from those assignments weren’t what I would consider good enough to be published in The Register-Guard. For this internship, I knew I was going to have put sports aside and pull my focus over to traditional photojournalism.
In the months leading up to the internship, I began reading through editions of The Register-Guard to get a sense for the style and quality of images it publishes. I found out that The Guard has an excellent team of photographers in Chris Pietsch, Brian Davies and Andy Nelson. I was excited to work with them and planned to do my best to match the quality of their work.
I started on July 6, halfway through the Olympic Trials. As Pietsch said, I was thrown right into the job. The Register-Guard had committed five photographers and two editors to the trials, which left the office pretty empty for my first week. It was my job, along with fellow Snowden intern and SOJC student Kylie Juggert, to pick up the slack and produce most of the non-sports content that week. Kylie started a week before I did, so they made her shoot photos in addition to video.
Once the trials were over, work began to settle into a more normal routine. Every morning I would check in with Rob Romig, the graphics editor, or Pietsch to find out what I would be doing that day. On average, I would shoot about two assignments a day, and the most I ever had to do was four.
Another great part of my internship was working with all the talented reporters at The Guard. I think I worked with at least 12 reporters on multiple stories during my time there. Each reporter had a lot of stories and tips to tell me, and some of them were even former Snowden interns.
During the internship, I was able to travel all over Lane County and experience things I would not normally seek out on my own. One day I was out on the coast in Dunes City going door to door talking with residents about issues with their water supply. The next day I drove out to Marcola to photograph a national nudist convention happening at a nudist resort there.
I was also fortunate enough to work with the two other Snowden interns at The Register-Guard, Kylie and Mohammed Alkhadher. Kylie and I tag-teamed a few assignments, such as the Oregon Country Fair and a fire-fighting camp for young women. Mo and I held down Sundays at The Guard to cover an arm-wrestling competition, a tractor pull and a classic car show.
Admittedly, it was nice to take a break from shooting mostly sports. But the sporting events I did get to shoot during the internship were a lot of fun and didn’t feel like work at all. I got to photograph an international soccer match between two European powerhouse teams held at Autzen Stadium, and for a very fitting final assignment for The Guard, I photographed Oregon’s second football game against Virginia.
I also spent a few days sifting through The Register-Guard’s gigantic negative archive to see the work of past photographers. I feel very fortunate to be an intern at a newspaper with such a rich history of photography. The staff in the graphics department was extremely helpful and supportive as well, and I won’t forget that.
Any future photo interns at The Register-Guard will definitely enjoy the variety of assignments they will go on. My advice to them as to take the job head-on and do their best to learn from the experienced staff at The Guard.
Adam Eberhardt is photo editor for the Daily Emerald and a freelance photographer for The Register-Guard. He specializes in sports and action photography. You’ll mostly likely find him on the sidelines at Oregon sporting events wearing his trademark white hat. When he isn’t dragging around a camera, he enjoys hiking, biking and playing basketball with members of the Emerald sports desk on Fridays. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @adamdephoto, and see his other work at www.adameberhardt.com.