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Anchorage photo editor balances personal, professional life

Photo editor, Anchorage Daily News

Anne Raup, photo editor for the Anchorage Daily News

By Kaylee Everly
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

After a brief stint working for a law firm, Anne Raup realized she couldn’t wear pantyhose every day. Her fond memories of photographing people for the yearbook led her to a career in photojournalism.

A visit to the Denver Post’s former photo editor, Jim Richardson, pushed Raup to get her master’s degree in journalism at the University of Missouri.

Her photojournalism internships at the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Albuquerque Tribune helped her get her first photojournalism staff position with the Standard-Examiner.

Next she was hired as a photojournalist for the Anchorage Daily News before being promoted to photo editor, a position she has held for the past 12 years. The Anchorage staff doesn’t move, Raup said in a phone interview. Once someone joins, they don’t leave.

As an editor, Raup said she enjoys solving problems, managing ethical dilemmas and determining what the community sees. But she misses daily shooting and the knowledge that photographers gain from being out in the community.

“I have such a fundamental respect for what photographers give the world that I’ve always taken really serious being an advocate for the photographers that are out making the pictures,” she said.

While the basic tools for storytelling have changed with the digital age, storytelling hasn’t, Raup said. Stories are just being told in a richer fashion.

Society has become intolerant of seeing reality; the media has done a disservice to the people by treating them with kid gloves, Raup said. Although photographers and photo editors need to  be sensitive to their community, she said, “it’s our responsibility to show them real life.” The challenge, she said, is finding a balance to keep people from getting “so bloody pissed off” that they don’t completely shut the door and shut their eyes.

Her professional life has come with some costs. “I scaled back my goals and aspirations as a photographer in order to stay happily married,” Raup said. “There’s no way to get it all. Sometimes I regret it. Most of the time I don’t.”

Raup has struggled to navigate both personal survival and survival of newspapers in general.  “Watching half of my comrades losing their jobs and seeing that throughout the entire country is pretty devastating.”

To stay relevant, it’s essential to learn new skills. The key to becoming successful is to be a sponge and learn every form of storytelling possible, Raup said. “Do not get stuck in still photography. Learn audio. Learn video. Wrap your head around the fact that there are not many staff positions out there; learn how to work independently and be successful.”

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