Final Month at IndyStar

My final month at the Indianapolis Star was when I felt like I was really getting used to my job and getting used to where I was working. Though internships teach you so much, that is the big disadvantage - once you finally settle in, it's time to go. In my last month, I was thrown a lot of assignments that challenged me. A concert (I've never shot one before), extreme flooding, shooting deaths in Indianapolis' black community, and a profile on two Indiana sisters who have taken the racing community by storm. 

My personal project while at the Star was the story on the two racing sisters (link). Due to distance, I didn't have much time to work on it, but I somehow put a video, photo gallery, and story together before I left. The video ended up being picked up by AP and garnered over 116,000 views and 1300 shares on Facebook. I've never had something I've worked on reach such an audience before. People from all over the country were applauding me and the women in the story, and it was such a good feeling to know that people valued my work.

It also gave me perspective on how important it is to tell stories that matter for the community. As larger papers are absorbing local, community news outlets, we run the risk of forgetting America's small-town communities. Indiana is a hub of racing, and I learned that as soon as I got to Indianapolis. That's why, for me, it was important to tell the story of a racer. But who would it be? I stumbled across the two sisters while looking at a results page, and I knew that's where I'd find my story. Luckily, they were some of the best people I could've met. I love how journalism allows me to meet people I wouldn't have met otherwise.

In every situation, I tried to venture out of my comfort zone and get interesting pictures. Not just photos that depicted what was going on, but photos that made you step back and think, "Man, I never thought I'd see it this way."

 Nials Johnson looks at his submerged Buick Sabre in Franklin, Ind., on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Johnson's car had been stolen the previous week, and he had only had it back for three days before the floods hit. "It's my baby," says Johnson.

Nials Johnson looks at his submerged Buick Sabre in Franklin, Ind., on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Johnson's car had been stolen the previous week, and he had only had it back for three days before the floods hit. "It's my baby," says Johnson.

 Margaret Morgan, Joe Forbes, and Kyle Morgan wait for a case of beer to arrive while a pump drains the water from Kyle Morgan's front yard in Whiteland, Ind., on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

Margaret Morgan, Joe Forbes, and Kyle Morgan wait for a case of beer to arrive while a pump drains the water from Kyle Morgan's front yard in Whiteland, Ind., on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

 Ryan Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, performs at Klipsch Music Center on Thursday, July 13, 2017. 

Ryan Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, performs at Klipsch Music Center on Thursday, July 13, 2017. 

 People check out the hauler trucks parked on Main Street at the Brickyard 400 Hauler Parade in Speedway, Ind., on Friday, July 19, 2017. The parade was held the night before Indy's summer NASCAR race.

People check out the hauler trucks parked on Main Street at the Brickyard 400 Hauler Parade in Speedway, Ind., on Friday, July 19, 2017. The parade was held the night before Indy's summer NASCAR race.

 Olivia Smith cheers for The Chainsmokers' performance at the 400Fest concert at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

Olivia Smith cheers for The Chainsmokers' performance at the 400Fest concert at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

 People watch the four U.S. Navy F-15C Eagle jets perform a flyover from the top of the Pagoda before the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 23, 2017.

People watch the four U.S. Navy F-15C Eagle jets perform a flyover from the top of the Pagoda before the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 23, 2017.

 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Carl Long's (66) pit crew quickly changes tires at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 23, 2017.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Carl Long's (66) pit crew quickly changes tires at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 23, 2017.

 NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne and his crew celebrate their win at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 23, 2017. The win came well-deserved after a race that involved a rain delay, a record-breaking 14 cautions, and 7 lead changes.

NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne and his crew celebrate their win at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 23, 2017. The win came well-deserved after a race that involved a rain delay, a record-breaking 14 cautions, and 7 lead changes.