I sat down with my calendar to work out bills and upcoming events, and I looked down and realized that it has been over a year since I left the news business.
My 10-year fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants life of nonstop deadlines was over, but not too far behind.
I was a photojournalist. I traveled around with reporters and shot news stories. Sometimes we drove ten minutes to a story, sometimes we drove for 3 hours. I made a lot of fast friends!
I was at my last job for 6 years, and in that time I put over 160,000 miles on my news car. I spent so much time in the car with reporters, wolfing lunches and mapping out the day, knowing that at the drop of a hat everything could change.
I got to see so much and learn so much, and I got to meet so many different kinds of people.
Open-minded, closed-minded, kind, mean, happy, grief-stricken, tough, not-so-tough, the innocent and the innocent-until-proven guilty.
A big news story in Nashville recently had close ties back home, and in trying to find out the details of the story, it made me really miss the hustle of it all. The nature of the news beast. Never knowing what my day would hold or where I would literally be.
Just praying for an extra five minutes in the day. Five minutes can be an eternity in the tv news world, if you play your cards right.
Every day was different. Uplifting stories, heart-wrenching stories, exciting stories, boring stories, you name it. I once started my day working an inmate graduation ceremony for a men’s maximum security prison, and a few hours later I was backstage at the Grand Ole Opry.
Every day was a clean slate and you never knew what crazy thing you might end up doing.
There are no holidays in news, and working in the elements is required. Yes, we stand out in the cold and tell you to stay out of the cold.
Severe weather coverage is a huge part of news, and anything can happen. My tripod was run over by a live truck during tornado coverage. The mud softened the blow, but it’s a jungle out there, kids!
It can get messy too. For a shoot I did at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center after the floods, the damage was so hazardous I had to get a tetanus shot and wear a haz-mat suit to go down to the basement.
The indoor assignments were often welcome! I think this may have been the one day I stayed completely awake at legislative plaza. Legislators read Dr. Seuss books with area children for Dr. Seuss’s birthday. It was so funny.
And we kept up on what was going on in the classrooms. I think this was about new tech gadgets for taking notes in class.
And when equipment malfunctions, you improvise!
People ask me all the time if I miss it. I usually offer a quick No, and then a quiet Yes. My late hours were a big stress on childcare, and I missed a lot of family dinner times and bedtimes, so I’m glad that struggle has passed.
But I was front and center for so many things in the community, and that is what I miss.
There were a lot of emotionally uncomfortable things that went with the territory too. But for every abused kid, for every angry person yelling at us to get off their property, and for every mourning family’s door that I ever had to knock on, I was able to be a part of something completely redeeming. To me, anyway!
Though it’s exciting to see celebrities and such, my favorite parts of the job always came in meeting regular people. We did drought stories with farmers, soldier homecomings, stories with selfless people that help others.
I also vividly remember shooting a story in a homeless camp on Christmas Day. I shot an interview with a very pregnant homeless woman living under a bridge in a tent, and I remember feeling so blessed in my own life that day, and letting go of petty complaints.
My job title now is Mom and from my news career, I see the world through a whole different lens. One of complete gratitude for all of the beautiful gifts in my life.
I was fortunate to work at two of the best news stations in the country, with the best and most fun people in the biz. There are a lot of things I miss about the go-go-go life of tv news, but the roses that I’ve stopped to smell are oh so sweet.
Here are more pics from my time in the news business. And remember, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to be put on tv for!