In April of this year, I left my staff job at the News & Record in Greensboro, NC. I had been there just 8 months. Honestly, I’m still processing my thoughts on my time there, and my nearly 4 years with BH Media, so I’ll save that story for another day. I moved back to Arlington, Virginia at the end of April, ready to be back “home.”
I spent 14 years in Northern Virginia and DC, and of all the places I have lived in my life, it’s felt the most like home. I like not needing GPS to get around. I like having local knowledge on the best parking spots in case I need my car. I like not needing my car for most things, too! I love taking my daughter to Nationals games, and to our favorite lunch spots. I love the bike trails, and the greater DC bike community. Mostly, though, I’m thankful to be back amongst so many amazing friends and colleagues that I’ve known over the years. I have an amazing opportunity ahead of me that starts in September, and I can’t talk about it right now, but I wanted to give an update with what I’ve been up to so far since moving back to the DC area.
2018 was filled with peaks and valleys for me. One of the peaks, though, has continued into 2019. I am continuing to work with The Devil Makes Three and it’s been just amazing. They are some of the most talented, most genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Watching them work, and watching how hard they work at their craft, is just inspiring. I push myself every time I shoot for them, because they deserve no less than my very best. They are talented storytellers, fun people to be around, and oh yeah, the music is incredible. Here are a few pics from their show in DC, along with a couple videos I’ve put together. I have another video in the works at the moment, so stay tuned to @thedevilmakes3 and @jwestcottphoto on Instagram !
One of the valleys, however, has been dealing with my left hip. In early 2018 I started experiencing an all too familiar pain. X-rays and an MRI confirmed that bone had grown back in my hip and more tissue was torn in my hip socket. I also had inflammation where bones were colliding. I literally worked myself to the bone last year. (You gotta let me get one dad joke in there, ok?) I had surgery in December 2018 in Raleigh, NC. Recovery has been difficult. I was in a brace, 23 hours a day, for 7 weeks. I had to sleep with my leg locked straight. Moving in April set me back; I overworked muscles that weren’t ready for that level of intensity. I am back in physical therapy, twice a week, and working out every day trying like hell to get my hip right before my new job starts.
My plan for the summer was to freelance intermittently and work at a bike shop 30+ hours a week. I wanted to shoot enough to keep my skills sharp but I really wanted a break from a newsroom and the news cycle for a little while. I love bikes, and cycling is a big part of my life. Because of my hip, though, I can’t work the bike shop job. I tried. It was too much on my hip. I physically can’t do it yet, it’s too taxing on my body. I am having to rely on freelancing only, and to be perfectly honest, things are slow. If you need a photographer in the DC area, please give me a call. I’d love to work for you.
I have had a few assignments for The Washington Post, the Military Officers Association magazine, and the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. Here are some favorite pics from my recent work.