I'm rather certain that photojournalists, i.e. those who use their minds, hearts and tools in harmony, enjoy looking at their work during the past year. I do. We are basically hunters/gatherers at heart and reviewing what we saw and photographed gives us reassurance that our efforts were productive. The downside is that acknowledgement from other sources, friends, editors, contests is ephemeral. So, the best one can really hang on to is the feeling of accomplishment without conditions.
2011 was a fine year for photojournalists, visually, but probably not financially. The Arab Spring uprisings, the Occupy (various) movement, the economic downturn, the 1%ers and the rest of us and the regular diet of sports, politics and daily life made for many great photo situations. Sadly a few died or were badly injured doing their work. Others were imprisoned and beaten or arrested in spite of their First Amendment rights.
I, like many other photographers, never got close to any of those marquee events; that's just the way it is. My biggest opportunity was spending a week in the University of Louisville Hospital documenting the staff and patients in the Burn and Stroke units and the Trauma One Care Center (the ER).
My grandkids celebrated their first birthday and my youngest son married the woman he met during the Obama inauguration. There was the beauty of central Oregon in fall, Butchart Gardens in Vancouver, B.C. and the spirited Cascade Cycling Classic criterium.
The Sisters Folk Festival provided some great moments. Sunday, September 11th. The performance that morning is always free to the public and this years' theme was a "community celebration" centered around the 10th anniversary of the 911 tragedy. Three musicians, Anais Mitchell, Tony Furtado and Willy Porter decided spontaneously to perform "Time After Time." They rehearsed it for ten minutes just before the venue was opened. It put a lump in my throat while they practiced (guess you had to be there). Martyn Joseph rocked the house and Johnsmith found inner peace during the final group song of festival.
And it was a great year for moons.