Street Roots has some of the best photographers in the city. The newspaper is lucky to have an all volunteer, all-star tandem of award winning shooters, like Leah Nash, Ken Hawkins, John Ryan Brubaker, and Elizabeth Schwartz. They have dedicated their knowledge, skills and compassion to accompany some of the most hard hitting news stories in the city this year. Here, we look at some of the best shots of 2009, in no particular order. Enjoy.
Mult. County Commissioner Ted Wheeler talks with Managing Editor Joanne Zuhl in July about Urban Renewal Areas in an article titled Balancing Act. Photo by Leah Nash.
Street Roots highlights African immigrants who face cultural isolation in Portland. Mara Grunbaum reports. In this photo a family from Somalia pray together. Photo by Ken Hawkins.
Street Roots writes an in-depth piece on the return of heroin on Portland’s streets in Return of the Dragon. Here a 27-year old man shoots heroin near I-5 in SW Portland. Amanda Waldroupe reports. Photo by Ken Hawkins. Continue reading
It’s difficult to imagine the range of work, the variety of skills, the spread of personalities and the constantly shifting environment that are part of publishing and distributing a paper like Street Roots.
These portraits were all taken in the Street Roots office on 2nd and Davis. When vendors stopped in to buy papers, and maybe grab a morning cup of coffee, I asked them for a minute to shoot a photo. While volunteers were copy-editing, staff were doing layout or board members came by the office I shot them as they were. I taped a piece of black canvas on the wall, used an office lamp for light, and captured these faces on film.
There were always folks around, often watching, as people stood to have their portrait taken. It can be awkward to have your likeness photographed unexpectedly in this way, doubly so in a busy office or at early hours of a rough morning. I’m thankful that people with much to do, or who weren’t feeling their best, indulged me and my odd-looking camera.
This series is by no means complete, there are many, many more members of the Street Roots team. These images are just a sample of the diverse faces, expressions and personalities that are a part of this organization. I hope they offer a glimpse of the complexity and humanity involved in making Street Roots a reality and getting it into the hands of its readers.
– John Ryan Brubaker
Street Roots, the Albina Community Bank in the Pearl and some of Portland’s best photographers are teaming up to present a month long exhibit titled “The people behind the paper.”
You are invited to the opening on First Thursday, Nov.5 at 6 p.m. at 430 NW 10th Ave. in the Pearl. (You are also invited to stop by during normal business hours anytime in November to see the show.
The exhibit features the work of photographers Leah Nash, Ken Hawkins, John Ryan Brubaker, Elizabeth Schwatrz and Mary Edmeades, shot exclusively for Street Roots.