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All aboard the grocery bus! Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Here are a couple of pictures I shot on assignment for The Columbian a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure they could have run the story right away, but in November newspapers typically like to build up a bit of an inventory of non-time-sensitive stories to keep the paper full over the holiday weekend. I'm sure the same is true around Christmas.

Anyhow, the story is about a church that organizes bus rides from the Fruit Valley area of Vancouver over to WinCo Foods in Hazel Dell so that seniors and others who have trouble getting around the city can stock up on groceries. (I won't rehash the details here. The story ran Dec. 1; you can read it here.)

I was called last minute on this one because they had just found out that the one and only bus trip for the month was going to happen that night.

It was a pretty tough assignment, really: the sun sets early at this time of year, so it was already pretty dark by the time I got there. Add to that the confinement of a moving bus, fixed seating positions for the subjects, and the presence of a reporter who has limited options in trying to stay out of the picture. And then, for this trip anyway, the turnout was lower than expected—just two riders—limiting the opportunities for interaction between the driver and passengers.

On top of all that, you have a photographer who thought the story was going to focus on the driver (Val Bieber, right) and spent most of his efforts trying to get good pictures of her. Laura did a much better job on the story than I would have; I guess that's why she's the writer and I'm not!