Hooray for Steve!
This month marks my first full year of “retirement” from the Jacksonville Journal-Courier. Before leaving the daily grind of the daily paper, I worked 11 years in Jacksonville, two years at the Herald & Review (Decatur, Illinois), two years at the Freeport Journal-Standard, and 4 months at the LaSalle-Peru News-Tribune (the home of half-time overtime, ask me about it sometime). While at the University of Illinois-Urbana, I was a photographer and photo editor for the Daily Illini. I took a summer and fall off to intern at newspapers in Saginaw and Muskegon, Michigan.
People have asked me if I miss working at the newspaper. Honestly, not in the least. I see my years in newspapers as a past chapter of my life. And, I’m using all the experience and skill from that time to do something I absolutely enjoy — telling wedding stories for our brides and grooms.
(Tiffany left the newspaper earlier to start our wedding photography business. She did all the “work” while I just joined her for the fun of photographing on Saturdays. We now are happy working as a team for our wedding clients. When you add our years together we have more than 30 years of experience as photojournalists.)
A little something about the photo atop our blog. Tiffany & I had a wonderful honeymoon in Sweden. We were married 15 September (the week of 9/11), and took a three-week trip to Sweden the next summer. I was lucky enough to have visited Sweden for five-and-a-half weeks the previous year as part of a Rotary Club Group Study Exchange (if you’re a young professional and can take an extended leave from your job, I highly suggest applying for the program).
New friends invited us to come visit, so we did! We stayed a week in Malmö with our friend Martin Israelsson; another week with our friends Bengt Josefsson and Ann Wilhelmsson at their home in Mariestad and their stuga (summer home) in Sisjön; and a final week in Stockholm. Bengt was the trigger man for our blog photo. We were visiting the small village of Hjo on the shores of Lake Vättern, when I saw the cool setting. I set the camera up, told Bengt not to put us in the middle, and we posed for the shot. Not bad for an accountant! And, a great remembrance of a place whose slogan is I love Hjo (pronounced “you”).
By the way, we suggest taking a pre-honeymoon followed by a full-fledged honeymoon. We went to Southern Illinois and stayed in cabins at the San Damiano Retreat Center a couple days after our wedding, then were able to take our longer honeymoon trip to Sweden. That way we could use vacation time from work to help prepare for the wedding and to settle things afterwards before our pre-honeymoon. Then our honeymoon could be longer and at a time when there was less to worry about and we had more energy.