Columbia Missourian Photo Editor

I collaborate with a team of reporters, editors, and photographers on the social justice beat, providing the visual leadership to the stories relating to race, culture, ethnicity, and identity. I champion powerful and insightful photography emphasizing the humanity within the news. In addition to the projects, I work as a daily news and sports assignment editor for the photo department. 

The cost of youth sports

Keeping the movement alive

Screams for everyone

'We have spent so much money this year, it's crazy': The cost of youth sports

Photographer Ciara McCaskill spent two months documenting the lives of two Columbia families who shared their experiences about the high costs of youth sports from league fees to travel and gear expenses to accompany the reporting by Shannon Belt and Olivia Evans. I collaborated with the reporters on sourcing. I contacted the parents and explained the visual component of the story. I worked with McCaskill managing her schedule and getting closer with her subjects. I was specificually looking for moments of the parental-child relationship in order to show the motive behind why the parents invest so much in their children. Both Bredun and Zaire have drive beyond their peers and aspirations to play at a higher competitive level. Their parents are fully commited financially and emotionally to their child's effort. The edit consists of a two parallel narratives following Zaire and her father and Bredun and his father. 

Screams for everyone: Accessible Halloween attractions are no guarantee

I spearheaded this project with co-editor Nicole Gutierrez, photographer Zach Linhares and reporters Ella McCarthy and Olivia Evans. Without strict ADA regulations on temporary structures, Halloween events such as haunted houses can present challenges to those who may require physical and mental assistance. However, Fear Fest in Columbia, Mo has taken extra measures to ensure an accessible "haunt" by providing ramps, alternate routes, and additional help when needed. The character driven photo essay shares the experiences of those behind the scenes, behind the masks, and those who have come to enjoy the accomodating attraction. Operations Manager Ryan McClintic has designed the sets for the past 15 years. When he is not building spooky passages, he is customizing wheelchairs. First time performer, Halim Mavrakis roams the halls of the Asylum as "Wheels," a patient whom "the doctor tried to cure by putting in the electric chair." Allen Fischer who suffers from Stage 4 liver failure travelled from Iowa to Missouri to experience an accessible Halloween as part of his bucket list.

I came up with the idea for the project after interviewing the owner for a fun feature previewing the halloween season. After learning that he also worked in occupational therapy, I came back to the photo department with the question: what does an accessible Halloween look like? Nicole and I worked together to explore the accessible nature of various Halloween events around Columbia. However, the more we covered Fear Fest, the more we realized that it should be the focus. Linhares and McCarthy met Mavrakis while documenting the Fear Fest Fall festival, which allows people to visit without scares during the daylight. They returned to cover the night time haunt and met Fischer and his family. Nicole, Zach and I worked on edits for both digital and print that are sequenced by character and color. 

From summer streets to autumn action: Keeping the movement alive

I worked with reporters Olivia Evans and Ella McCarthy and photographers Alessia TagliabueLily Dozier, and Owen Ziliak to tell the story of  three leaders whose roles in the community have progressed since the over one hundred days of protesting--spurred by the death of George Floyd-- in the streets of downtown Columbia ended. The vision behind the project was to intergrate environmental portraits with archivial images to illustrate their roles in the past and in the present. Cason Suggs continues to be a student athlete and leader on campus. Roy Lovelady heads weekly meetings at locations throughout the community and plans a more legislative approach, pursuing a position on City Council. Dani Perez has channeled her efforts toward mental health and environmental concerns. Using the wide environmental portrait as a consistent element for the viewer to follow, the project synthesizes the perspective of several photographers. Archival images photographed by Marco StorelHana Kellenberger and Armond Feffer


Photographer Alessia Tagliabue  and reporter Robby Campbell followed local high school golfer Audrey Rischer during the Missouri state championship tournament. The sophmore had a legit chance after setting a girl's golf state record with 12 under par during the season and placing second in the tournament a year prior. Tagliabue documents Rischer from the quiet moments sharing Skittles with coach between strokes to the sour taste of just falling short again. 


Photographer Olivia Anderson covered the first home game for the Missouri Men's basketball team. The edit shows both the excitement for the home opener and the standout players. 


Photographer Alessia Tagliabue and reporter Shannon Mia Belt covered the experiences of international athletes at MU who, while on their student visas, are excluded from the new NCAA rule allowing the monetization of one's name, image and likeness. Tagliabue captured powerful portraits using subtractive lighting as the consistent element of  Serbian javelin thrower Atina Kamasi and Hungarian tennis player Vivien Abraham. I worked with Tagliabue on building the cover art using flat lay experience from the wedding industry. She rounded out the photo package with a dynamic silhouette. 


Nicole Gutierrez photographed an important state hearing relating COVID-19. Nikki Strong, executive director of the Missouri Health Care Association, cautioned against a vaccination mandate for nursing home staff concerned that they would lose staff. Gutierrez's creative vision enhances the written narrative. She captures both the newsworthiness of the situation but also finds interesting moments that express more nuances about those involved such as expression and gesture. 


I worked with photographer Zach Linhares and reporter Ella McCarthy to produce a feature about Special Olympian Tatia Leyden while she was competing in the Halloween bowling match and at home handing out candy for halloween where she showed off her medals and love for Cardinals. 

Tear Sheets

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