Photojournalism Fall 2023: Environmental Portraits

Taylor Moon -Skateboarder, Photo by Ethan Birmingham

Environmental portraits capture a subject in their surroundings. The goal is to create a portrait that is both visually appealing and informative. Environmental portraits can be used to tell a story about a person, as PhotoJ students have done this week.


Kryslynn Ellertson photographed on October 29, 2023, has been working at Sally Beauty in Albany since 2018. She says she enjoys her job partly because cosmetology is one of her main interests, to begin with, and also because she gets along really well with all of her coworkers. “They’re not the kind of people who will talk smack about you behind your back,” she explains. Kryslynn plans to continue working at Sally’s part-time to fund her ultimate goal of becoming a nail technician.



EVETTE SHERLOCK by Mike McReynolds

This is Evette, looking happy after loading the Embroidery to make another run of six garments for a customer. She does the digitizing of the logos of the customers’ businesses or organizations so the machines know which color of thread and the stitch pattern to recreate whatever logo to perfection. She has been working for Shirt Circuit on 9th Street in Corvallis, Oregon, for over twenty years. I have known Evette since we were little kids when we were neighbors on Powell St. back in the early Seventies. I also worked for Shirt Circuit for twenty-five years until my stroke back in 2018. Evette is an Indigenous American descendant of a daughter of Chieftain. She always has a smile on her face and makes people feel welcome whenever she is helping customers when they come into the store or call on the phone. I am proud to call her a friend.


Sarah Rose Larson, photo editor for The Commuter. The photos were taken on October 26 all around The Commuter office upstairs at LBCC. She was recruited by the old editor and chief at the end of winter term of 2022. Rob Priewe had talked to her about the position prior to her hire, and he had mentored her a little bit before as well. She liked him because he was really positive and passionate about photography. 

She used to think of photojournalism as something very stressful that she wouldn’t want to do, but after taking Rob’s photojournalism class, her opinion changed. She became very passionate about journalism and saw that it can be a very good and positive thing. She finds it to be a way more fitting job than business management jobs, which she had before. She loves her job right now. Getting to work with a great staff and getting to tutor the photojournalism class is just a really great job for her.

Sarah wants everyone to read The Commuter. She thinks that everybody works really well together to create something great that benefits the community. She says not to be afraid to do what you love. She says it’s okay to think outside of the box and not conform to anything anyone else thinks you should do. Sarah spreads her positivity to all the students and staff at LBCC, whether that’s through the commuter or her warm personality.


Chris Whittaker at his workstation at PermaGrafix Tattoo in Albany, Oregon on October 18. Chris Whittaker is a tattoo artist and owner of PermaGrafix Tattoo. He is originally from Kansas City, Missouri; he has been doing tattoos for over 20 years and has won several awards and been published for his work in major tattoo publications. “KC” has done work for Disturbed bassist John Moyer and former Oregon State University football players Steven Jackson and Derrick Anderson. Some of his awards include Best Sleeve x2, Best Tribal x2, Best Linework and Best Detail.  

TAYLOR MOON by Ethan Birmingham

Taylor Moon is a recreational skateboarder and resident of Corvallis, Oregon. Born and raised in central Oregon, Taylor moved to Corvallis after graduating high school in 2021. Currently, Taylor lives with four roommates, including his wife, Olivia, and their dog, Milo. Taylor first picked up skateboarding during his sophomore year of high school in 2019. Originally an avid bike rider, Taylor started skateboarding to hang out with his friends at the skatepark. Another reason for switching his bike for his board was due to previous bike crashes. Taylor is also a student at Linn Benton Community College, where he is currently pursuing a degree in criminal justice in hopes of one day becoming a police officer. When Taylor isn’t busy with schoolwork or skateboarding, he enjoys camping and playing video games with his friends.

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