Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Riding down an uncertain road

By Greg Tarr
BLB Guest Blogger

So today is Saturday July 14, 2009. Or Saturday July 49, 2009. Or Saturday, insert a warm weather month here, now pick any number and place it here, 2009. Either way it's always Saturday when you're unemployed.

My name is Greg Tarr and I am a former photographer for the Observer-Reporter. On that day when the axe fell and severed Mike from the company - in true Paul Bunyan fashion - the axe kept swinging and I followed him out the door just a few hours later. So now what?

I am a 1999 graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I earned an associates degree in photography. My first photograph was published in the summer of 1998 in the Observer-Reporter while I was putting time in as an intern. After graduating from AIP, I accepted a photojournalist job at the Steubenville (Ohio) Herald Star and, after only a few months, I was named photo editor. Ten months after being hired, I was offered to come back to the O-R to join the photo staff. So I did April 24, 2000.

What I'm getting at here, other than giving you a brief look into my background, is that all I really know is photojournalism.

So the question is what direction do I go? Do I look for another job at a newspaper? Do I look in a completely different field? A fresh start, down a path I've never walked before?

These are the thoughts that have clouded my brain for a while now. The pressure is on to come up with answers to these questions. Good thing I've always dealt well in pressure situations. Some ideas are starting to come into focus, although I'm not going to give anything away just yet, so stay tuned. All I can say is that I will not be attending the Washington Hospital's School of Radiology. I have a pretty squeamish stomach and the thought of X-raying someone's broken arm going in six different directions doesn't sound all too appealing.

On a lighter note, being laid off right before the start of the Tour de France is a pretty sweet deal for one of the handful of cycling fans in America.

Greg Tarr previously worked as a staff photographer at the Observer-Reporter in Washington, Pa. He can be reached by e-mail at gmtarr@hotmail.com


  1. Having more questions than answers seems to be the worst part of this ordeal. But like you said, I'm sure things will be coming into focus for all of us soon.

  2. I like what you guys are doing... How many former paper people (FPP's) do you think you can get under your umbrella here?

  3. All are welcome here. They can contact me by e-mail with post ideas or whatever.

  4. Mike & Greg,
    I miss you guys. I want to cry every time I see all those empty desks on the third floor.