Every time I see the clock on my Mac change from p.m. to a.m. on production night, I think to myself that I won’t miss The Free Press. I hate working into Monday morning. Especially when an editor accidently deleted his entire section at 11 p.m. on Sunday, and I have to lay it out a second time. How could I miss leaving the office at 4 a.m.? But when I pick up the freshly printed issue that Monday morning, I know that I absolutely will.
The Free Press is the best thing I have ever done for myself.
In January 2010, I started as a Free Press photographer to build my portfolio. At that point in my college career, I had no idea what I was going to do with my studio art degree and concentration in photography. I figured the job would be the best way to learn more about digital. I didn’t think that I would take shots of President Obama when he spoke at the Portland Expo later that semester. When I stood with fellow photographers on that media platform focusing on the president through the scope of my lens, I was hooked.
I became more involved in production as the photo editor and then later as the design director. My experience with Adobe InDesign and Illustrator programs was minimal. When another editor expressed their doubt in my ability to fill the last production editor’s shoes, I quickly picked up both programs. Now I have played a major role in creating a clean, bold and readable redesign of The Free Press, which is a big deal for my resume and portfolio.
What started as a portfolio builder for my photography became the one experience that allowed me to realize a career path in graphic design.
Even though I’m finishing this farewell letter at 1:30 on Monday morning, and I will probably be here for another hour or two, I am extremely grateful for my time in this office.
Thank you to the incredible team I worked with for over two years and best of luck to the incoming staff. I hope that your experience at The Free Press will be as wonderful as mine.