1.) Dia De Los Muertos: On October 30, 2010 Valerie attended the Dia de los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In this photo she captured a woman paying respect to the dead on the Mexican holiday which requires that family and friends gather to pray for and remember their loved ones who have died. The woman had decorated the face of her loved ones grave stone with marigolds and possessions of the deceased which is a historical tradition connected with the holiday.
2.) Funeral: Valerie captured an image of La Toya Jackson leaving Michael Jacksons funeral. La Toya is the sister of Michael Jackson, singer, songwriter, actor and businessman. Valerie was able to shoot the woman while riding in her passing car from the funeral. The shot is intimate because it is clear La Toya is upset and trying to stay composed. Her throat is constricted and it is apparent that she is trying to hold back tears.
3.) Inmate: Valerie caught an intimate moment with a French inmate in a prison in this image. She had to shoot through the door to get this very private photo which is difficult all on its own. She had to stand in the hallway outside the door and shoot through the peep hole of the cell door to capture this image. As you can see the image is a little blurry and lacking light because she had to shoot through the lens of the camera and the outer barrier of the peep hole. This image surprised me because it is not what I imagined a cell would look like in a prison. The inmate has a lot of furniture and items I didn’t think would be allowed in this setting.
4.) Hawaiian Airline: The journalist, Valerie Macon, was able to shoot a still shot of this Hawaiian plane that crash landed when it ran out of runway. The Fa’a’ā International Airport is the only one in the overseas country and is built primarily on reclaimed land on the coral reef just off-shore. Airplanes this size regularly had trouble landing at this airport and after this accident the runway was extended and no one was hurt in the crash. In order to get this shot Valerie had to take this photo from a boat out in the water.
5.) Romania Revolution: Valerie traveled to Romania to witness and cover the revolution. There she witnessed the riots and protests during the 1989 government overthrow. The Romanian dictator and his wife were executed on charges of genocide, causing damage to the economy and abusing power. They were the last people to be condemned to death in Romania. This photo is a representation of a riot that occurred in the country during these acts of protest. As you can see buildings and vehicles were set ablaze and people beat and chased after each other in the streets.
6.) SWAT: This is a photo of the French SWAT Team training (GIGN). This national task force of special weapons acts as the local police in charge of dealing with hostage and standoff emergencies. As you can see Valerie got to tag along with the force on a special mission. The armed officer is protecting the helicopter pad and it’s occupants. Valerie was able to lay down next to the officer under the protection of the wall to obtain this photograph of him in action. The photograph portrays a level of intimacy and has good framing technique. She also shot it so you could tell the helicopter was in motion but is still clear and in focus.
7.) IRIS: Valerie attended the IRIS Cirque du Soleil premiere show in Los Angeles, California on September 25, 2011. The show considers pictures from the history of cinema and features complex and difficult choreography, acrobatics, and a variety of circus acts. Since then, the show has expanded to other U.S. cities and has become quite popular. Valerie was a journalist who covered the event and took many difficult to master photos of the show. In this particular photo she managed to capture the acrobat mid spin inside the wheel along with a few talented dancers and musicians. I also like how she managed to get all the performers in focus along with the background featuring the shadow of a person within a different wheel.
8.) Stingrays: Valerie took this photo while in French Polynesia (during the late 1990’s and 2000’s) where she specialized in underwater photography and reported on marine based activities. She stood upon a boat over these stingrays and local swimmer to get this shot. There is an obvious danger being around these creatures and somehow this photo has managed to capture the risk and fear the man could have had from rising to breathe surrounded by a family of stingrays. This photo makes me afraid for the man and at the same time I want to just into the cool blue water and cool off. Again, I like how you can see detail in the water ripples and the mans movement which Valerie has achieved to capture in many of her photos.
9.) Shark & Fish: Multimedia reporting requires the journalist to utilize different forms of the media. I admire this photo in particular and the underwater photos as a group because you must be a versatile person to capture these images. Not only do you have to take a photo but you are working underwater, which requires a whole different set of rules for shooting. You have to be able to swim steadily while holding the camera and avoid running into fish and sea life. I think simply filming underwater applies multimedia to the expedition. I enjoy this photo because it seems real to me, personal and intimate. Valerie has put herself in this image because it is not based solely on the underwater subject, but on her companion as well. When you snorkel and scuba dive underwater this is what you do: you inspect the life and admire it, touching and interacting with it. It is a whole new way of seeing journalism and to me that makes her work unique.
10.) Turtle: While on her underwater photography and marine based activity research Valerie took many photographs of sea creatures. I especially like this photo because of how clear and colorful the image is. It makes me want to travel to French Polynesia myself to swim with the fish, dolphins, and turtles. The detail and colorful greens on the turtle is admirable. To be able to take photos of underwater creatures for a living would be amazing and I admire this about her work. Journalism to me doesn’t have to be the same and shouldn’t because people are not the same and neither are their interests. Too often my journalism classes and study subjects seem repetitive and boring. It is inspiring and enlightening to research different ways to apply journalism relating to the passions of others. I think that is the real treasure of journalism.
Valerie Macon has been working as a multimedia journalist with a focus on photography since the 1980’s. One reason her work appeals to me is because she has gotten to travel where the news actually is. She has covered conflicts and newsworthy events in Romania, Yugoslavia, Colombia and Cambodia and has also trained and studied to do underwater reporting. Valerie also wrote articles that focus on various shark species in French Polynesia, the wreck of Saint-Exupery and more. She has also covered pop culture events and met many celebrities throughout her career.
She covered the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Grammys, the SAG awards, the Emmy Awards, countless movie premieres, live shows, galas, receptions and parties. I think she uses a good example of multimedia practices because you have to change your form of writing and photography depending on where you are. She has literally traveled the world writing and editing her own stories, photographing and videotaping her works. I want to be a self-sufficient journalist like that. I admire that she applies different forms of media to whatever situation she finds herself. She has been around war & destruction, poverty & great wealth, marine life and pop culture. To have a career that is so incredibly versatile and exciting would be my dream come true.
It is also inspiring that she has been published by so many world-renown newspapers and magazines. Her work has been published in Time Magazine, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, US Weekly, People Magazine, and a few foreign publications that I have never heard of. That is what I find so exciting. To freelance for whoever wants your story. To be a journalist who gets to travel wherever they think the action and intrigue is and to have a newspaper or a magazine want what you have is touching and a huge form of flattery in the journalism world.
She can also speak French and Spanish as well as English which is a huge accomplishment for such a young photographer. Valerie identifies as a photojournalist and I think the type of work she does makes hers multimedia. She doesn’t just man her own camera. She edits and develops her work, uploads it onto the web, sends it to publications, travels the world to find her subject matter, and is a reporter who covers all kinds of various sections of the newspaper. Her skills include photography, Photoshop, photo editing, visual effects, work with adobe after effects, video editing, animation, underwater photography and image editing.
Valerie writes about travel, tourism, lifestyle, politics, the arts and pop culture. She also specializes in underwater photography and reports on marine based activities. She has been a photo department manager where she organized files, applied management duties and came up with illustrations. She has worked in L.A, Hollywood, Marseille, Tahiti, Saba, Paris and Santa Monica. She has lived in many countries around the world and is the epitome of versatility. She currently works for Getty Images in California.
The portraits that she has done captures the personality of her subject perfectly. She has a creative eye for shooting her subjects at their most comfortable. He work is a real representation of not only the people, places and events, but also of herself. That is what pulls her apart from the rest of the journalists I have studied. She is modern, hip, and a true multimedia journalist.