Ailie Herr of Lancaster, Pa., is a zombie bride roaming the 5K… (NICOLE MUNCHEL | AEGIS STAFF,…)
This is the time of the year when everyone reflects over the year's events and hopes for a better new year.
I am no different; looking back, 2011 was a year to be thankful. Dec. 23 marked one year since Kathleen, Madeleine, Jake and I officially moved into our new house. While there are several projects still to be completed, we have been focused on making our house a home. Not just by putting out physical items like artwork, and things like that, but making it a place where the kids feel loved, safe and encouraged to discover the world around them - indoors and out.
Since taking up residence, Jake has celebrated his first birthday and is growing into a little boy unlike the baby he was when we moved in. He has learned to walk and is literally running around chasing his big sister and beginning to speak a few words (really, it's more like pointing and making noise, but he does say a few things). He will often roar like a little dinosaur as he roams around prompting me to grace him with the nickname "Jakezilla," which has stuck like glue.
Madeleine has started pre-school a few days a week and is already three going on 13, it seems. I'm often given the classic advice to cherish every moment because they go by so fast, and we do. She continues to develop her love for music and has joined me on a few assignments recently. She even picked up the camera at a couple of sporting events and did pretty well considering. It really is fun to watch her trying to figure out what is going on and answer the barrage of questions her inquisitive little mind spews out.
My co-workers and I also moved into our new office earlier this year, leaving behind our spacious quarters to relocate into a much smaller space a few blocks away. Though the office space and some of the processes have changed, our goal has not: publish the best photos we can produce. Our method of delivery has shifted a bit too. We still produce The Aegis, The Record and Weekender newspapers as we always have, but now we are also focused more than ever on the web as other organizations try to make their presence known in Harford County.
While so much has happened for me personally, a lot has happened in Harford County in the past year and fellow photographer Nicole Munchel and I have been able to witness it from behind the lens. As I flipped through an entire year of The Aegis trying to be sure I hadn't overlooked any photos to consider for the annual display of our work, I was reminded that we are doing much more than snapping photos for the newspaper, we are documenting history in our small corner of the world. While we may not be covering events that change the course of history, or major sports teams every day, that doesn't make what we do any less relevant. Community journalism, especially in a growing county like ours, is important. We have seen citizens celebrate their triumphs and shared in their sadness and even just had fun documenting everyday life. We do occasionally have brushes with greatness, getting to photograph celebrities, presidents, pro athletes, and, as I've said before, getting that front row seat to life that keeps us coming back each day. Mostly, however, we are documenting the lives of everyday folks, friends and neighbors, giving them their moments in the spotlight, if only for a week or two and that is the most important.
I hope as you take a few moments to glance through our year end selections, you share in the joys and sadness in Harford County as we saw it.
To view the photos, click on the "Photos of the Year 2011" link to the left. Also take a moment to look back on the last year with our top stories of the year collection, also linked on the left.