Braving the snow

Picture 2
I survived the crazy snow storm that bombarded Long Island on Saturday. I drove all over the Island, braving snow-covered icy roads, blinding snow, freezing feet, and crazy drivers, to take pictures of said snow for Newsday. It seems the stress and frozen toes were well worth it, my pics will be A1 in tomorrow's paper and are already up front on Newsday.com. check it out! newsday.com


Living with Leukemia

November, 25, 2009. Stonybrook: Six-year-old Julianna Buttner ignores the breathing aparatus she wears during an oxygen treatment while she draws in her hospital bed at Stonybrook Medical Center the day before Thanksgiving. Julianna needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Newsday photo by Mahala Gaylord.
November, 25, 2009. Stonybrook: Lynda Buttner hugs her six-year-old daughter Julianna, who needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Mother and daughter rest in a cafeteria at the Stonybrook Medical Center the day before Thanksgiving after eating the hospital's Thanksgiving dinner. Newsday photo by Mahala Gaylord.
November, 25, 2009. Stonybrook: Six-year-old Julianna Buttner, left, and her twin sister Jessica lie on Julianna's hospital bed at Stonybrook Medical Center the day before Thanksgiving. Julianna needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Newsday photo by Mahala Gaylord.

The Bath


November, 12, 2009, HUNTINGTON. Sister Luiza bathes Ann Christ who has a heart condition and needs assistance. They bathe once a week or as needed, the nuns assist for protection and safety.  Newsday photo by Mahala Gaylord.

The Missionary Sisters of St Benedict are the only traditional convent on Long Island. I had the pleasure of spending the day with the sisters and their wards for a Newsday assignment and I have plans to return for a more long term project. The Newsday article was a profile on the convent as part of the papers coverage of the Vatican's investigation of American Nuns. I am more interested in the relationship between these nuns and the elderly they care for. The nuns have what you might call a motto that came from St. Benedict: 'work and prayer.' The prayer part is pretty obvious, but work for these nuns is about taking care of the elderly. The convent runs what might be compared to a nursing home called St. Joseph's Guest Home. The 43 elderly residents are completely cared for by the nuns and even the most intimate of tasks like bathing, as above, are done with care, affection and dignity. I would like to explore the family that exists between these nuns and the residents of St Josephs.

Getting Skinny

 The Peppermint Twist body treatment at the Bocu Salon in Commack involves wrapping the whole body in seaweed and peppermint soaked wraps. Newsday photos by Mahala Gaylord.



Gillian at her house in Syracuse. disposable camera photography

point's unpleasant


I took my sisters to the Jersey Shore in August. Point Pleasant turned out to be Point Unpleasant, they didn't appreciate the garbage floating in the water very much. Note the unsmiling faces. I was using AJ's Zenit film camera that day so these pictures took a while finding their way onto the interweb. enjoy!

My Mom


Many years ago my mom gave me a book by Maya Angelou called "Even The Stars Look Lonesome." Now, you should know, my mom is always giving me these self-help, self-esteemy-type books because she thinks I need to become a happier, less-stressed person. She is most probably right, but for years I have been fighting it, holding on to my crazy stress-filled existence and packing those books away in the bottomest parts of my closets. But this year, when I moved by myself out to Long Island, to really live on my own for the first time, for some reason I brought that Maya Angelou book with me. And one night, alone, (I'm always alone at night here on Long Island) I started reading it. I actually ended up loving the book, and as I was reading the last paragraph of the book, it  almost seemed as if my mom was channeling Maya Angelou to send me a message. It went like this:

"Many believe that they need company at any cost, and certainly if a thing is desired at any cost, it will be obtained at all cost.
We need to remember and to teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone, at times it is positively to be wished for.
It is in the interludes between being in company that we talk to ourselves. In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves to ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God."

I think living out here on Long Island on my own, I have begun to see who I am. Part of who I am is this blog, and being able to put into words the ideas about photography and journalism that I am learning out here. Another part of me is being able to see my mom as a complete human being; a beautiful woman and not just a mom and to be thankful that she loves me so much.



I stayed out late to catch the opening of the Tanger Outlet in Deer Park opening all it's store at midnight for Black Friday. These people waited for hours! and some didn't even buy a thing after all that waiting. Hard for me to understand!


Living with Leukemia

Six-year-old Julianna Buttner, of Farmingville, was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was three. She now desperately needs a bone marrow transplant, but of the 13 million people in the national bone marrow registry, none are a match for Julianna.  Produced by Mahala Gaylord

In the spirit of giving

Bruce M. Brenner, a Vietnam veteran, gave his Purple Heart to the family of Keith Bishop, the army green beret from Medford who was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Bishop's family had wanted him to be buried with a Purple Heart, but the Army did not award him one. When Brenner heard about it, he offered to give the family his own. Videojournalist: Mahala Gaylord.



Me and Bo Bice... WHAT!

Here I am with Bo Bice, a man I didn't even know existed until several hours before I found out that there are thousands of 12 year old girls on Long Island, along with their crazy grandmothers, who LOVE this man.. being almost an American Idol and all.  Anyhoo. I got to interview him and record his show at the Tangers Outlet in Deer Park for Newsday. Check it out below


reign of the TWERDS

My Latest Newsday conquests: Wednesday I was sent to cover Miley Cyrus at the Nassau Coliseum. ie: loads of very young girls decked out in Hannah Montana paraphernalia... singing and dancing to a gyrating 16-yr-old Cyrus. Thursday I covered the first screening of Twilight's new movie. ie: again, teen girls, this time, love hungry for 'sexy' vampire and werewolf stars. They refer to themselves by a variety of terms including but not limited to 'twilighters' 'twerds' twi-hards' 'twi-tastics'


liSAND18    the mother and child reunion, is only a motion away

Falling Stars

I set out early this morning to capture meteors and oh did I have high aspirations. I wanted streaks sweeping across my camera's lens. It was not to be. I failed to snag a single falling star in my frame. I did get to lie on the beach and stare up into the sky for a couple hours though and it was a lovely thing. Sometimes just sitting back and letting the world BE can relax and revive me unlike anything else. I returned home around 5 am and proceeded to edit photos from a previous shoot, instead of going to sleep like a sane human being. Now it is 7:30, the sky is blue outside my window, and I get to photograph my nuns tomorrow. What could be better?

faces on my mind


Sometimes faces make the darn'dst expressions. I love them. I love faces. I could photograph faces for the rest of my life just so I'd have to freedom to stare, stare, stare.

Montauk Point, a fine mist



Newday Video: Vigil for the one year anniversary of Marcelo Lucero's death

Many people gather this Sunday at the site where Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero was killed last year in Patchogue to honor his memory. Videojournalist: Mahala Gaylord. Copyright: Newsday

Newsday has been covering this story since last year when Marcelo Lucero was killed. He was murdered by 7 white teenagers. It has hit the community of Patchogue pretty hard and I hope has started to bring about change as to how immigrants are treated here on Long Island. A recent New York Times article quotes a study finding that Long Island is one of the most segregated suburbs.  Simply by visiting different communities through my job, it is easy for me to see the segregation. The study from the New York Times articles states, "74 percent of Long Island's blacks would have to move to be evenly dispersed across the population." I believe it.  I don't know that segregation is the only cause of hate crimes but it has to add to the problem. At least some of the people of Patchogue have come together to start addressing the problem in their community, more foot police have been given patrols and the Latino community is no longer pestered by gangs of racist white teenagers.  But there is still much to be improved upon.

If you want to read more about Marcelo Lucero check this out: A Year Since Lucero Hate Killing

New Paltz



Michael Jackson Premiere

                                                                                                             copyright Newsday 2009

I went to the premier of "Michael Jackson's This Is It" in Time Square to make a video for Newsday.com. It was windy and raining but there were still many avid MJ fans ready to sing and dance for their hero.


Flashes Of Hope






This August I spent a day at Camp Tyler Hill in Pennsylvania working for Flashes of Hope. "Flashes of Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating powerful, uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses." (words from the org's website)

I had the opportunity to meet and photograph 10 beautiful young girls at this camp. Above from top to bottom are pictured: Precious, Alejandra, Danielle, Jasmine, and Teresa. I had a great experience and I hope that the girls I photographed did too, some were happy to be in front of the camera and at ease, while others were shy and hesitant to smile. I almost felt like we- the photogs from Flashes of Hope- descended on this camp with little warning to these young kids. It can be scary to be in front of the camera where all the attention is focused on you alone. Especially if you are going through a difficult time in your life like these girls were. I hope I had a positive impact on them that day and I hope that the photographs I made gave happiness to their families.

If you are interested in volunteering for this organization as a photographer you can go to this link to find out more and sign up. I had a great experience.


NEWSDAY: featured on the NYTimes Lens blog

Newsday recently published a series on Alzheimer's on Long Island, both articles and multimedia. One of the videos was featured in yesterday's Lens post of 'must see: videos worth watching' which you can read here.
Below is the piece the Lens blog highlighted writing: "In this episode — one of the more touching in Newsday’s series, “Alzheimer’s on Long Island” — Ms. Richmond takes us on the journey from Mr. Richmond’s marriage proposal to their meetings in his assisted-living center. Her words are intimate and moving, emotionally underscoring such telling shots as fingers scratching a hat and a half-completed coloring book figure. Though the transitional music at the end is somewhat intrusive, this is still a quiet and powerful testament to a wife’s love for her husband."

"For nearly two years, reporter Denise M. Bonilla and photographer J. Conrad Williams Jr. followed six families in order to chronicle the agony of Alzheimer’s disease and to provide an inside look at the role of the caregiver." Newsday writes about the project. But what started with 2 ended with more than 30 people having contributed to the project.
You can see the other video pieces and articles on Newsday's site here. The story has been carried across multiple platforms, the layout of the stories and photographs in the paper was well done and moving, videos were created about each family. And each one was edited to different lengths, I think 5 minute pieces for the website, but also 2 minute pieces which the local tv station- Channel 12- is running, I happened to turn the tv on the other day to one of the stories and it was really cool to see work done by newspaper visual journalists broadcast on television.
I joined Newsday far after this project was underway and I only saw the tail end of people putting finishing touches together. But I am happy that the paper is working on projects of this scope and putting such emphasis on the multimedia mode of telling the story.

NEWSDAY: cranking out the daily video

I was hired at Newsday as a 2-year intern in multimedia about a month ago. I'm doing a lot of daily video's right now. It has definitely been a learning experience so far. I've produced news videos before, but not to this scale of everyday having to have a finished product. I have learned to be faster and more efficient, and I'm sure I will continue to fine tune my editing. Here are a few videos I've done so far.

These three video's are from the Hampton's International Film Festival. I went for three of the five days to cover the event and produced a video at the end of each night. I got to meet and interview a couple different celebrities including Steve Buscemi, Alec Baldwin, Cheryl Hines, and Josh Lucas. This was my first visit to the Hamptons. It was a long drive out there!

I've had to cover several protests, below are daily videos I made for Newsday featuring two groups of people protesting very different actions.




looking to the future or maybe to the past

christmas tree

I was looking through my photo library and came upon this photo that I took during my internship at the Syracuse Post-Standard: removal of the big Christmas tree in the town center. I like all the white space.

scenes from a x-country meet