About two weeks ago, I was in Rhode Island for the National Press Photographer’s Association’s Northern Short Course in Photojournalism where I attended a class led by Marcus Yam, an extremely talented photojournalist who is currently working for the Seattle Times. Yam spoke about finding hope and passion in the field of photojournalism (most specifically while working at a newspaper) and how important it is to continue to be passionate about the stories we are telling. Hearing him speak, you could tell that he loves what he does. Just about a week after hearing him speak, I read the news about the deadly landslide in Washington and when scrolling through images of the disaster I noticed Yam’s name under many of the most powerful images. Yam does an amazing job of showing both the tragedy and devastation of the disaster as well as the hopeful, human side of things. Having documented the Sandy Hook shooting aftermath (along with other tragic events I’m sure), Yam has experience with the way a community comes together in the wake of these events and is able to document that love despite the tragedy. I think that the most powerful images and the most memorable from tragedy are almost always these images of love and humanity.
You can see The Seattle Times’ full photo coverage of the landslide here.
Below are some of my favorite images by Marcus Yam and his colleague, photojournalist Bettina Hansen from the Darrington, Wash. landslide:
(Marcus Yam/ The Seattle Times) Elaine Young holds on to a bible that she pulled out of the debris field caused by massive mudslide above the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River onto Highway 530, as recovery efforts are underway, near Oso, on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.
(Marcus Yam/ The Seattle Times) Dayn Brunner, left, talks about his sister, Summer Raffo, who is still missing in the Highway 530 mudslide, and possibly trapped in a vehicle. Andrea Holm, second from left, and Josie Fanning, far right, console Brittney Smith, who is a younger sister to Brunner and Raffo, outside the Darrington Community Center on Sunday, March 23, 2014. Brunner was out searching for his sister.
(Marcus Yam/ The Seattle Times) Area residents attend an afternoon community meeting in Darrington to discuss the mudslide along Highway 530, near Oso, which has impacted the town in many ways, on Sunday, March 23, 2014.
(Marcus Yam/ The Seattle Times) A damaged home sits in the debris field caused by massive mudslide above the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River onto Highway 530, as recovery efforts are underway, near Oso, on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.
(Bettina Hansen/ The Seattle Times) Jimmy Maines of Arlington gets a hug from his friend Alexis Wold of Marysville before a candlelight vigil for victims of the deadly 530 mudslide at Legion Memorial Park in Arlington Tuesday March 25, 2014. Maines wears mud up to his waist from volunteering at the slide area today to look for his friend’s father, Bill Welsh, who is missing in the debris. “I wouldn’t recommend anyone going up there,” he said, shaken, with tears in his eyes. “They just threw us on a bus and took us up there.” He described seeing toddler beds and evidence of children in the debris.