My friend Chad is an amazing guy and a wonderful photographer. When he lost his job at the newspaper earlier this year (while his wife was expecting baby number 2) one of the writers penned this for him. You can find Chad’s work at http://www.chadcoleman.com/ and you can follow him on Facebook & Twitter
The column that the editor wouldn’t run:
By Gabrielle Nomura
Across the United States, more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs.
Being in the journalism industry, I have no idea how I thought my little bubble within the American workforce would be safe. It’s a struggling industry in a flailing economy – not a good combination.
And yet, I was totally unprepared this week when we lost a valued member of our newsroom due to our tightening budget – two-time Washington Newspaper Publisher’s Association Photographer of the Year, Chad Coleman.
Chad, like so many other newspaper photographers, is the casualty of what happens when the ads are not selling, and journalists are being forced to do more – write, proofread, edit, maintain the website and photograph in order for the paper to stay afloat.
Many of you in our community have been photographed by Chad. Whether you were a high-school football player, a Cavalia performer, fashion model, or politician – Chad’s colorful, intriguing photographs could be seen on the front pages of several Sound Publishing papers in East King County.
If you’ve met him, you wouldn’t forget him. Wearing Converse sneakers and a hoodie, the dad will proudly whip out his iPhone to show you adorable pictures of, “the kid.” He makes even the most self-conscious person crack a smile while they’re getting their photo taken.
I would constantly tease Chad whenever his metrosexual side would show. During our fashion shoots for Bellevue Scene, he never left the hair touch-ups or makeup suggestions just to me and he could make a woman, no matter her age, body type or background, feel confident.
But, in addition to perfectly-lit portraits, Chad was a visual storyteller.
At one point, he set up shop in Crossroads for several days, photographing people who represent the various colors, languages and faces that make our community diverse.
He would lay down on his back in the mud, hang from a light post or crawl into a tight space – whatever it took to get the best shot.
While his growing family might make other photojournalists hunt for a job that could more easily pay the bills, Chad stayed for more than half a decade because he loves his craft.
I know how to look through a lens and snap a photo, but I can’t create images that convey a story without words like Chad can.
We’ll miss him here in the newsroom. I’m sure you will too.