Video: Farewell to the newsroom

Today I’m going to tell you a small story. It involves my photography career to this point. And spoiler alert, it ends with me leaving my job.

I was only 22 years old when I walked into The Denver Post newsroom on my first day of work. I was there as the newest editorial assistant. What did I do in that capacity? Answered thousands of phone calls, directed emails, made a lot of coffee and fought many a battle against the aging copy machine. It triumphed in general, but I won the war. Sometimes I took dictation over the phone from reporters in the field. On election night in 2012, I helped produce a live broadcast that we streamed on our website for hours and hours as results came in.

Shortly after that and with the turn of the new year into 2013, I was engaged to be married to a fellow I met in our shared newsroom, and had accepted a job as a photographer for the local section of the Post. In my tenure as a staff photographer, I documented the stories of neighborhoods and the sometimes unnoticed communities. I photographed assignments while strapped into a helicopter; with a headset perched upon my head in the back of a fire engine; opposite a table full of sweet elderly ladies quilting blankets for the needy. There were muddy farm fields; artist studios covered in paint or clay or shards of colored glass meant for sculpture. I visited dozens of small businesses and even had a sunrise rendezvous with a hot air balloon club.

I enjoyed several years of climbing the learning curve that was full-time newspaper photography, and as I was growing, so was our photo business, A&D Photography. Over the past year it became increasingly evident that A&D needed full-time attention, so at the end of October, I left my job. Told ya this is how this particular tiny tale ends.

Except that, as with most stories in our lives, there are endings, but that rarely means we are anywhere near finished. From here on out I will be running the day-to-day operations of A&D, shooting more, creating more, collaborating with other creatives, and with any luck, fostering more growth as an entrepreneur and small business boss. I’m excited and a little nervous. It seems those are the right ingredients when approaching our life learning curves.

On my last few days of work at the Post, I took a few videos on my fancy phone and put together this very short little film. Let’s call it a video vignette, something short and sweet to say farewell to this place that has meant the world to me and changed my life immeasurably.

Newsroom Farewell from anya semenoff on Vimeo.

Thank you for joining me and for sharing your encouragement and well wishes. Onward we go!

SIGNED, anya elise

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Video: MTNS and OCNS

It has been a bit of a week. On top of it being a bit of a summer. On top of a year. I know we are all feeling this in some way in our own lives. So last week when I followed Dan out to Oregon, I told him I simply had to visit the Oregon coast or there would be certain mutiny on his hands. (He was out there covering the Olympic track and field trials for the Denver Post; I was there because, at that point, he had been gone for three of the past four weeks and I was tired of being in separate time zones.)

I needed to see the coast, the ocean. For me, as for many, I find a tremendous calming effect while in the presence of the turning waves. The sound of water in motion. An immutable force that cannot be altered by the stresses in my personal life.

Oregon coast

I was in double luck for this trip however, because the day before our afternoon excursion to the sea, we went on a beautiful hike in the Oregon mountains.

So as I shot little clips for this film, it occurred to me that I should structure it a little different than previous travel videos. Instead of including bits from the entire five days of my trip, I just isolated these two beautiful, nature-filled moments to share with you. A little zen video, if you will, that I hope can perhaps bring you some calm and serenity during those days when life feels just a bit too overwhelming.

(And stick around after the video for a few more photos from the trip.)

MTNS & OCNS from anya semenoff on Vimeo.

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Video: Disneyland

We spend a lot of time together. Perhaps more than would be considered “normal” to many other sets of siblings out there. We text daily. We share laughs and tears, frustrations with and frequently because of each other, and have this sort of disconcerting knack to understand one another to the core. We are the Denver Four (a nickname spontaneously given to us by an extended family member several years ago; it stuck). Four siblings, one family, really big feet (oh wait…that’s just me). What we didn’t have until this past May was the experience of traveling to a destination outside our home state just us four. No parents. No significant others. No hitchhikers. Just us, four adult siblings, on a vacation to anywhere we please.

So naturally we chose to go to Disneyland.

I know what you’re thinking, why would a group of full-grown adults choose to spend their time and hard-earned cash at a theme park largely marketed to children? Why? Well I’ll tell you.

Because it’s fun. Invite some joy into life, gang! Embrace the silliness of life! Embrace it while trying to cut up a giant, caramel-covered apple with a flimsy plastic knife, in the dark, while waiting for fireworks. Embrace it while narrowly avoiding masked humans dressed as Stormtroopers seemingly locked on to interrogating your younger sister. Embrace it while trying on themed headwear two sizes too small.

Embrace the silliness. Do it. I dare you.

Disneyland 2016 from anya semenoff on Vimeo.

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Minneapolis Minnesota

I didn’t know what to expect from our long weekend trip to Minneapolis, but for some reason I suspected that I would leave the city happy to have acquainted myself with the metropolis, but generally all right with just being pen pals. The sorts of pals that send each other greeting cards around the holidays and maybe check in on favored social media accounts around birthday times. Etc. Etc.

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