At the most basic level, it seems straightforward: I push a button and capture an image.
But the camera is more than a tool: it’s a passport that allows me to tell something about the people we meet, the events we cover. The camera give me the courage to go up to strangers and tell them what I do and perhaps they’d allow me to hang out with them to document what they do.
Working at The Courier-Journal has been the most interesting job I’ve ever had. It’s allowed me to have front-row seating of two Final Fours, the College World Series and numerous bowl games. I shoot fashion spreads for HerScene Magazine and I’ve even crouched under the rail during the Kentucky Derby.
But the job also can be emotionally trying at times, like covering the devastation from the March 2012 tornadoes that ripped through Kentucky and Southern Indiana. It’s never easy to approach someone who’s just lost their home.
But honestly, I really enjoy just covering the everyday assignments in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area. I love being able to go out on the streets as well as the back-roads for work. I really appreciate the people we meet.
My trip into the journalism world wasn’t traditional. I got started in journalism through airplanes. That’s right. I really got interested in newspaper design and photography while cleaning airplanes for Delta Airlines.
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Travelers would leave newspapers in the seat backs on the MD-88′s and 727s. I enjoyed looking at and collecting the different newspapers from around the country; it was my version of the Internet before Google. I eventually earned an associate degree in journalism from IU Southeast and got hired at The News and Tribune in New Albany as a photographer and page designer.
I remember working 60-70 hours a weeks and loving it. I eventually transferred to Indiana University where I got a bachelors degree in history.
The industry has changed a lot since when I first picked up a black-and-gray, all-manual film Pentax K1000 as a student. And so has the gear. Our cameras now have HD 1080 video capabilities as well as shooting up to 10 frames a second. I’m often shooting video â crafting short mini-documentaries as I like to think â of the events and people we cover. I’ll often use Twitter to post photos from the games and events. And it seems now, even though technology has made things faster, there’s more work to do.
When I was in Omaha for the College World Series earlier this month, I was a one-man visual band. I shot the game, tweeted photos, captured the postâgame press conferences on one laptop for video while transmitting images back to the paper on another laptop. I don’t often go to the gym because the job and what I carry to do it is a workout in itself.
But I consider myself lucky to do this for a living: I take pictures.
Not a bad way to make a living.
Photographer Matt Stone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @mattstonephotog.
Meet Matt Stone
Born: New Albany.
College years: Associate degree in journalism from IU Southeast, Bachelors degree from Indiana University.
First job: As a teenager, I worked with a neighbor painting parking lot lines and cross walks for his paint company. Hot work in the summer, and we started from 6 a.m. to about 5 p.m. during the weekends. I think I’ve always had a job since I was 15.
At the C-J: 10 years, started as a photographer with Velocity in 2003.
Family: Wife Sarah, who’s finishing a doctoral degree from Indiana University.
Hobbies: Riding my motorcycle when I have spare time.
What most people don’t know about me: I love Indian food. Samba music makes me move my feet.