This weekend the Wyoming Press Association's annual winter convention converged upon the heart of the Cheyenne metropolis.
The convention features some workshops and critique sessions for all things newspaper (writing, photography, arithmetic. hah). But the convention's flamboyant colors shine from almost the beginning, as the gala is essentially a raucous party, with publishers, editors, reporters, photogs, designers and sundry other newsroom lackeys from across the state raising pen and glass in a cheery toast to the year's news gone by.
And toast they did. Certainly the beer flows like wine in this industry, dear friends, as my few drinks (au gratis - courtesy the boss) paled next to the dozens downed by fellow printsmen. A boisterous crowd, these journalists, belied further by a half-dozen convention goers whipping out their six stringers 'round midnight for an apparent traditional hoot nanny in the hotel lobby. American Pie lilted at nearly a dirge, but the booze-injected utterances carried the tune ever onward as deftly as a wide-out Gabriel.
While the overall tone of the several-day hoopla was heavily tempered by the hemorrhaging fire-sale newspaper industry (it's scary out there, people, with Wyoming's largest daily The Casper Star-Tribune laying off a further 15 people only last week), it was cool to put faces and handshakes with bylines of journalists who get their beats on across this vast Cowboy State.
And of course the affair isn't complete without the awards for the previous year's news coverage. There's a bevy of accolades given out from advert design to writing to photography.
So, to close the eventful annual pape fest, I was pretty pumped to come home with a first place award for best feature photo in the large weekly category (more than 2,500 circ.)
Alls in alls a good weekend. Not sure how long Wyoming will entreat my company in the future, whether personally or professionally, but it's pretty jive to pull down a nifty blue ribbon from the Kool Kids tree every so often. Something to tell the grandkids about. And the resume.
Happy journaling, everybody!
Here's the shot that got the award. From the state fair back in August. Taken with my simple point and shoot, actually. Take that, decked out Jackson Hole News & Guide photogs...(bunch of spoiled rich kids. so they say...)
My first attempt of the photo. Interesting lighting but ultimately too shadowy.
And lastly, here's how the pic ran in the paper back in August. Click to make it larger if you fancy. My first front page photo on the job, incidentally. Beginner's luck...