This has been such a long, crazy year for me. In short, I started working on a consistent basis as a paid photojournalist, graduated college with my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism & New Media, bought a new car, changed my style of shooting completely, made a bunch of new friends, got a huge tattoo, visited Graceland, went to Bonnaroo for the second time, dyed my hair purple, traveled to the West Coast for the first time, started graduate school in journalism and professional writing studies and completed my first semester with a 3.3GPA.
Manchester, Tennessee. Yachats, Oregon. Baltimore, Maryland.
Now, I’ve worked in the photo industry since I was nineteen (I’m twenty-four now). I started out working customer service at a studio, moved onto another studio to work as a photographer and then moved onto yet another studio to work as a main photographer. I interned with a cool man named Edwin – he shoots a lot of on-location commercial photography – in 2012 that taught me a lot about business and how to get my own clients. Using that knowledge, I decided two years ago that the studio life wasn’t for me and I quit to pursue my own business. I did weddings for a short while before deciding that that wasn’t for me either. I started shooting events, website content and brochure material for various companies until I started seriously pursuing photojournalism. That was when I started at the Sun as a photo intern and this has been my latest year in the photo industry. I’ve always been in love with journalism, since about tenth grade when I was editor of the arts and music sections of my high school paper, but my love for visual storytelling didn’t catch up with me until my first senior year of college (….I had three senior years in college, oops). Soon, I wish to combine both loves so I can write and photograph my own stories. To see my latest work that combines both talents, please click here.
2014 was a busy year
In honor of the new year and in honor of winning Best Photo Blog at the Mobbie Awards this year, I’m going to make a massive compilation of all the photo assignments, one photo from each assignment, I was sent on by The Baltimore Sun this year starting with the first week of January 2014 leading up the the first week of this month, December 2014, when I had my latest assignment. I started freelancing with the Sun following my photo internship last Fall in 2013. I began freelancing immediately after my internship ended and have had at least one assignment almost every weekend since then and a few scattered throughout the week here and there. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve gotten to go to a lot of really cool events and meet a lot of people I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. It’s also been really great to have so many of my own story ideas and pitches greenlighted by them. I feel like my style of shooting has done a 180. I now prefer to shoot with a 16-35mm lens instead of the 24-105 I was accustomed to before. I also find myself getting really close to my subjects without fear. When I first started I was really hesitant!
Baltimore, MD — December 28, 2013 — The Harlem Globetrotters played a quirky game against their opponent, the World All-Stars at the Baltimore Arena this past Saturday. Globetrotter Hacksaw Hall #28 scores. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — January 3, 2014 — Billy Greer with daughter Lane Greer, 21, (front) perform in the big lion during the Lion Parade held at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The Lion Parade symbolizes the Chinese New Year which is on January 31st. The Greers own Jing Ying Institute, a Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Self-Defense and Fitness center in Arnold, MD. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — January 19, 2014 — Jessica Nelson, a Poe House volunteer, ventures into the upstairs study which is full of Poe’s old things. The Poe House was open all day in celebration of Edgar Allan Poe’s 205th birthday. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Annapolis, MD — January 20, 2014 — Larry Hogan announces his campaign for Governor this week. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — January 19, 2014 — The first fantasy taxidermy class took place this past weekend at Bazaar, a Hampden shop that specilizies in oddities and taxidermied creatures. The class took several hours and resulted in participants combining a guinea pig with quail wings creating a real “flying pig”. Nikki Diamantopoulos, 40, and Elleni Diamantopoulos, 47, make their flying pigs kiss after receiving their wings. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Timonium, MD — January 25, 2014 — A “Snork” soft-shell turtle lounges about in its habitat at the World of Pets Expo at the Maryland State Fairgrounds this past weekend.(Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Owings Mills, MD — February 15, 2014 — St Francis defends their basket during first period of the IA4M A Conference Semifinals game at McDonogh. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — February 21, 2014 — VLMA, pronounced “VEL-MA”, performs at Power Plant Live’s Frozen Harbor Music Festival this past Friday. The festival featured over sixty bands that played over a two night period. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — February 23, 2014 — The 49th Annual Maryland RV Show finished up this past Sunday with five and a half acres of RVs on display at special show prices. Many had discounts of up to forty percent off and buyers took advantage. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — March 1, 2014 — The annual Canton Irish Stroll took place this past weekend with thirteen bars participating in the drinking specials. The packed and crowded bars didn’t stop people from squeezing their way in. An adorable green fairy waited for her turn in line. (Kaitlin Newman for The Baltimore Sun)
Timonium, Md — March 1, 2014 — The crowds checked out various garden and backyard setups at the annual Maryland Home and Garden Show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. (Kaitlin Newman for The Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — March 8, 2014 — Super Art Fight, a live artist-battle competition, held its 100th show celebration this weekend at the Ottobar. Contender “Baron Von Sexyful” was full of antics for the audience during his opening introduction. (Kaitlin Newman for The Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — March 16, 2014 — The third annual Shamrock Shindig took place at Pierce’s Park on Pier V this past Sunday right before the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Sisters Lyla, 5, and Lucinda, 7, Sheinin look stylish in some oversized shamrock sunglasses. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — March 29, 2014 — Trish Stampone, 28, participates in the fourth annual Zombie Gras held at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum this past weekend. Stampone won first place in the costume contest under the singles category. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — March 30, 2014 — The annual Greek Independence Day Parade took place this past Sunday despite the chilly temperatures and cold rain. The rain let up towards the end of the parade, leaving room for the music and cultural atmosphere that the parade is best known for. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — April 12, 2014 — Ken Isbelle, 50, of Urbana, MD dresses up as a pirate at this year’s annual Privateer festival in Fells point. The festival ran through the weekend and featured a variety of vendors, food and entertainment. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — April 19, 2014 — Runners celebrate the finish line by dousing each other with powder at the Color Run on Saturday morning. The popular course is a 5K where runners get bombarded with handfuls of colored powder throughout the race. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — May 3, 2014 — The annual Kinetic Sculpture Race kicked off this year starting at the American Visionary Art Museum and wound its way through Federal Hill, the Inner Harbor, Canton and Patterson Park. One of the most difficult obstacles, the mud pit at Patterson Park, proves no match for the swan. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — May 9, 2014 — John Waters introduces French film, “Abuse of Weakness” by director Catherina Breillat at the Maryland Film Festival held this past weekend. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — May 10, 2014 — Lana Del Ray performs at Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather Post Pavillion this past weekend. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Ellicott City, MD — May 16, 2014 — The Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival took place this past Friday at the Turf Valley Country Club. Peanut the Elephant hovers gracefull over the crowd long enough for an iPhone snapshot. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — May 17, 2014 — Melissa Morrissey, 26, with twin sister Elizabeth Morrissey celebrate Melissa’s upcoming wedding at Tiki Barge. The tropical themed bar even has its own private pool overlooking one of the best views of the Baltimore skyline. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — May 18, 2014 — NS Savannah is 596.5 feet in length and has a dining facility big enough for 100 passengers. People got to explore the inside at the second annual Maritime Day this past Sunday. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — May 24, 2014 — Larry Dellaquila as “Buddha” at the Balticon event this past weekend. Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans from all over came to browse vendors and participate in costume contests as well as to read the latest written works. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — May 25, 2014 — Christina Covey and Ronan Covey, 2, feed Caesar the giraffe at the Brew at The Zoo event this past weekend. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Annapolis, MD — May 29, 2014 — Yevola Peters, winner of the statewide volunteer award, the William Donald Schaefer People Award, stands in the church where she volunteers. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — May 31, 2014 — The Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival took place this past weekend at Oregon Ridge Park. Over 20 Maryland wineries participated and festival attendees were able to sample wine all day with the provided wine glass upon entrance. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Cockeysville, MD — June 7, 2014 –Alyssa Rhodes participates in a drum circle dance party at KarmaFest this past weekend at Oregon Ridge Park. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — June 8, 2014 — Shannon Reilly of Charm City Skin in Hampden came to support the Federal Hill neighborhood at the Federal Hill Festival. The free concert took place this past weekend offering live music, food, art and a variety of vendors. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — June 27, 2014 — Acid Betty strikes a pose at Club Hippo’s gay sex trivia event this past Friday. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — June 28, 2014 — Jay Hilgartner explains how a comet is formed: ice, rock, and some dust. Scientists often refer to comets as “dirty snow”. The Maryland Science Center held “MessFest” this past weekend that encouraged kids to get messy through experimentation, art and education. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — June 28, 2014 — “Fort! Flag! Fire!” took place this past weekend at Fort McHenry to begin the summer long celebration of the Star Spangled Banner bicentennial. The Army Old Guard practices beforehand. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — July 4, 2014 — Charles Barkley, owned by Todd Smith, struts his stuff hotdog style. Pets of all shapes and sizes donned their very best at the American Visionary Art Museum’s pet parade this past Friday. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — July 27, 2014 — Baltimore based performance art group Fluid Movement put on a water ballet at Druid Hill park this past weekend in honor of the Star Spangled Banner Bicentennial. “Star Spangled Swimmer: A War of 1812 Water Ballet” sold out its first night and drew a large crowd the following night. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — August 2, 2014 — Ken Danker, 56, Julianne Haciski, 36, and Bonnie Danker, 55 cross the finish line together at the fifth annual Casey Cares 5k at Camden Yards this past Saturday. Casey Cares Foundation supports children with critical illnesses in the community and with over 2100 runners participating this year, it was more than a success. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Annapolis, MD — August 16, 2014 — The Flaming Lips performs at Silopanna Festival in Annapolis this past weekend. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Timonium, Md — August 23, 2014 — Children rode the swings at the Maryland State Fair which took place this past weekend at the Timonium Fairgrounds. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Towson, MD — August 30, 2014 — Kacy Catanzaro visits Towson University after competing in American Ninja Warrior. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Hunt Valley, Md — August 31, 2014 — This past weekend the Baltimore Philatelic Society hosted its annual stamp show, Balpex, at the Hunt Valley Inn. A quirky history of some stamps was that many were put on envelopes fashioned out of wallpaper during the Civil War since paper was unavailable in many areas. These envelopes often feature Confederate stamps. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — September 6th, 2014 — Demi Lovato kicked off her world tour this past weekend at the Baltimore Arena. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — September 20, 2014 — Edmond Walunas, 9, of the Gorilla Finger team, gets ready for the toilet bowl race at Hampden Fest this past weekend. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — September 20, 2014 — Future Islands headlined Hampden Fest with a free show this past weekend. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — September 25, 2014 — Iggy Azalea performs at Pier V. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Reisterstown, Md — September 27, 2014 — Eileen and Bill Gretes gives a treat to BamBam to reward dancing at the Baltimore Humane Society’s annual Dog Fest. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, Md — September 27, 2014 — Rise Against performs at the Shindig Festival. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — October 4, 2014 — Alison Bolinger, 26, dances with her friends at the Fells Point Festival. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Jessup, Md — October 4, 2014 — Monsters roam free at Bennett’s Curse. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — October 11, 2014 — Delicious French food from Ma Petit Shoe at the fifth annual French festival in Seton Hill. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Annapolis, Md — October 18, 2014 — Students from North Bend Middle School attempt to manuver a mining robot through a maze at the Naval Academy’s STEM event. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — October 24, 2014 — Judas Priest performed this past Friday at Pier V Pavillion. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, Md — October 25, 2014 — The annual Halloween Lantern Parade at Patterson Park took place this past weekend. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, Md — October 31, 2014 — The family room of Elizabeth Gunn and William Robe in the catacombs at the Westminister Burying Ground. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, Md — October 31, 2014 — MaryLynn Reed, 27, emulates a Roy Lichtenstein painting for the Halloween festivities in Fells Point. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Ashburn, Va — October 23, 2014 — Ken exercises Ryan’s arms. A portrait of Ryan during his baseball days hangs on the wall, a reminder of Ryan’s past self. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, MD — November 15, 2014 — Macie Cravens and Elizabeth Gillian ran the race for their younger sister, a cancer survivor, at the Baltimore Color Run this past weekend. (Kaitlin Newman for The Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, Md — November 21, 2014 — Rachel Duncan, 35, and daughter Millicent Grimaldi, 5, help each other at the newly opened rink at McKeldin Sqaure. (Kaitlin Newman for Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore, Md — December 7, 2014 — Exquisite terrariums by Monique Langley of Nik da Pooh designs at the Creative Alliance’s Merry Mart, a pop up shop featuring gifts from local artists. (Kaitlin Newman for The Baltimore Sun)
Looking back through all of these photos is so trippy. I feel like my photos have become so much better since last January. Before going through these and looking through them I hadn’t thought my style had changed much! Looking at the first photo of the Harlem Globetrotters is so funny because I remember that day so clearly. I was so stressed out because indoor sports are HARD to shoot and if you’ve ever shot them you know why; low lighting, quick movement, plus it helps to know how to play the game (fortunately the Globetrotters games aren’t played like a real basketball games). I was so relieved when I got decent shots. It’s also really funny that I took Larry Hogan’s portraits. He was extremely nice and polite. I remember walking in there, taking his portraits, getting in my car and thinking to myself “There’s no way that dude is going to win.” Fooled me. I also didn’t have Photoshop on my laptop back in the beginning, so I had to upload photos on Andrew’s computer, caption them with all the appropriate information, Dropbox them back to myself and then upload them to Cyberduck from my computer since my computer is connected to the Sun’s server. These days things are much easier – I have all my own programs! Big thanks to my boyfriend Andrew and our friend Chris who drove me to my assignments so I didn’t have to drop $20 in the parking garage or waste time in traffic or to simply enjoy the fun with me after I was done shooting.
What did I learn?
- Not to stress out so much. I still do it, but a lot of these events are out of my control. I do my best to get the shot and if something goes wrong I improvise with the next best thing or I just let it go.
- Problem solving. I used to call my editor more frequently when something went wrong. (SorryBobJeffChris) Now I only do it as an absolute last resort, like when photos won’t upload by deadline.
- NOT TO SHOOT 8,000 FRAMES. I have gotten much better at in camera editing. I shoot maybe 80 images per event and turn out about twenty of those for server upload – obviously more if it’s a music festival or something that lasts for hours. I used to overshoot but when I realized how time consuming and what a waste of space it is, I slowed down and concentrated more on each frame. I never use burst fire (except for sports).
- Better time management. Many times I’ve been given two assignments in one day – I love that but it requires time management. Getting to assignments early helps.
- Fact checking. Sometimes even reporters get things wrong (lololol). It helps to double check the time and date of the event I’m supposed to be covering to make sure the info is correct. Once or twice (ok, more like three or five) the date was wrong and the assignment didn’t get covered. Reporters are super busy and not perfect, mistakes happen. It’s my job to make sure it’s all good to go before I go. See problem solving ^
- Participate! They always tell you to be observant as a journalist but in my opinion participating and interacting with subjects turn out the best photos. I used to stand on the side and snap photos like a creep. Now I strap on those ice skates and skate with the people on the rink (see second to last assignment).
Aside from PJ work I also picked up a few new corporate clients this year bringing my total roaster to SIX FREQUENT CLIENTS. Sounds small but to me it is big, especially since they are all companies I shoot for, not individuals. It’s enough to pay my bills and then some. I hope 2015 keeps up the same momentum as 2014 had because I don’t think I’d ever go back to working a 9-5 ever again. Unless it’s a staff PJ job somewhere in the metro area that is, cough cough. As always, I couldn’t get my name out there or get these clients if it were not for all of the people that share, comment and like my work that I post or without those who recommend me. This year’s work is a huge thank you to you guys.
To see more of my work, have a look around the blog or my website! Along with my story on Ryan Diviney, I am also quite fond of my coverage of the recent police brutality protests, you can see those here and here. I put a lot of heart into these few pieces, well I try to put a lot into everything I do but these three stand out to me as what I’m most proud of. Please take a second to take a peek.
What about you guys? How has your year changed or defined you? What about my fellow photographer friends? How has your style changed and developed (Haha, developed. Get it?) I would love to create a New Year’s feature on people’s inputs and opinions.
17 thoughts on “2014 Review and My Year as A Freelance Photojournalist”
Very Impressive! I sat here and read every caption and studied every photo! LOL It took me over an hour, which was well worth it! Each photo and caption were amazing! Fabulous work Kaitlin! Looking forward to your work in 2015!
Thank you thank you thank you! ❤ 🙂
What a fine resume. Your work is extraordinary. And I’m not saying that because of WHO you are. I’m saying it because of who you are, if you get me. You, my friend, are going places. Enjoy and thank you for sharing the joy.
❤ ! These comments seriously make my day. Thank youuuuu see you tomorrow 😀
I remember a lot of these events from throughout the year. I also read your work on the Baltimore Sun on Ryan. It is truly inspiring and you certainly showcased your talents well. Great review of your year!
As for me, I’ve been thinking of doing a review myself. I think it’ll help me reflect on what I’ve done, where I want to go, and how I’ve developed (ha). I already have some ideas on where to take my film photography project (Film Rekindled), and it involves connecting with some fellow film photographers.
Thank you! So happy that you’ve been reading and following. The Ryan story met a lot to me, if anyone deserved to have media attention on them to help their cause and fuel donations it’s that family. I saw it as utilizing my social media reach to help someone who needed it. I hope to do it more frequently! People like the Diviney’s are what make me passionate about journalism work.
Definitely do a review and tag me so I can see, I’d love to read it. I’d also like to hear more about your film photo project. I’m planning on doing a blog post next month featuring different photographers and how their style and visions changed within the last year 🙂
JUST AWESOME. awesome photographer and awesome photos..
Thank you! And thanks for reading/looking 🙂
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Catching up on your blog… impressive stuff in 2014! I can definitely see a style change from when I first started following you.
Aaaand super random, but I went to high school with the Canton fairy haha.
Smalltimore. And thank you!! Let me know if you ever come back to the East Coast 🙂 ❤
You have an awesome clip blog. You should put what this part in a self published book like through ACI or someone else who publishes and call clip book 1. Build up more and do book 2 etc.. We didn’t have that option when I was shooting, so we stapled published clips in note books.
My style really hasn’t changed because I still can’t get out there. They still won’t let me drive because of seizure condition. You ever hit the N.C. coast let me know because I live 5 min from Topsail Island.
hello, I got curious about what you wrote.. am not as young as you ut to me it seems everything needs to be on booster. Learning Premiere editing now and getting my own camera soon. Finally. I have been doing projects with a team. Having many people working with you means you have them cutting into the budget – these days not many clients want to pay a huge budget on certain projects – so here I am finding myself learning the skills that will make me “one woman band of sorts”. – The influx of technology within one’s reach is making the industry for photographers and video journalists more competitive than ever — one can only break a crack by knowing more than the bunch
Definitely true! I am learning Premiere myself. It really goes a long way I think when you are able to do everything, kind of like a jack of all trades (or maybe even a master of all eventually!) instead of just a master of one thing.
I just started getting serious with my photojournalism and this post was awesome thanks for sharing! I especially love the photo of Acid Betty, how did you get this effect?
Hi Rachael, thanks for reading! The Acid Betty photo was taken with an external flash and long exposure 🙂 All done in camera.