published: NPR


Earlier this month I had the neat opportunity for work for NPR. Yes, NPR.

Photography + NPR is a fairly new thing as, clearly, NPR is radio. With their popular online presence and fantastic use of sound & photos in multimedia packages, listeners can also become viewers and learn more about the stories they heard on their radio while in the car commuting, let's say, when they get home and are browsing on their computer.

My former boss from The Washington Post Magazine, Keith Jenkins, is now the senior supervising producer for multimedia at NPR (and a multimedia professor at Georgetown, among a long list of things that keep Keith super busy) and one of my most favorite people. I was extra lucky to share an afternoon coffee with Keith on Friday (something we did nearly daily while at the Post together) while I was in DC last weekend. I was touched when Keith suggested me to his photo editor when they were looking to assign this piece on healthcare in Maine, and I loved hearing the inside scoop on the NPR office and Keith's new position there. It sounds like a fantastic, creative crew and one that I'd love the chance to collaborate with again.

Photographing an editorial assignment during what was my last, and consequently, my most busy week of the regular wedding season may have seemed crazy but it was actually a welcome boost, much like I imagine my Roots Workshop is for wedding photographers mid-season. NPR is running a series on 10 Americans from around the country, highlighting each person's current healthcare profile. In Maine, Martha Martin and her husband Jim are working five part-time jobs between them to pay off their bills. Armed with nothing more than a page of notes from the photo editor, I loved the challenge of capturing Martha's day. It was a refreshing change in routine to temporarily turn off the wedding world and spend a day peeking into the life of a total stranger made familiar through photographs.

Listen and read Martha's story, and view the multimedia piece by clicking this link or watch below and browse a few of my favorite photos from the day.

Martha has been a Mary Kay director and consultant for a combined 10 years. She starts her day in front of an illuminated mirror in her bedroom getting ready.

Martha, her husband, two daughters and two dogs live in a pink house near Freeport. Very fitting for Mary Kay.

Dropping off Mary Kay product.

Another one of Martha's jobs is to help elderly folks with errands.

Back at her house, Martha tackles laundry and other tasks around her home.

She makes sales calls from her home office.

Martha made sure to take a few minutes to put her feet up, relaxing an injury, before heading to the grocery store Deli for the evening shift (I wasn't allowed to photograph there).

Back at home, readying for bed.

An illuminated palm tree outside their house was a gift from Martha's daughters, a reminder of Martha's dream to retire in Florida.


  1. Emilie - Congratulations. I heard this story this afternoon and it just brings it to life to see the photos as well - beautiful job....makes me psyched for Roots! xo

  2. I just gotta say- it's good to see you get your Newhouse on, girl!

  3. I heard this piece! How wonderful to see your photographs bringing it (even more) to life.

  4. Anonymous5:58 PM

    I love this piece for NPR and glad you could be a part of it. You definitely are the perfect photographer to bring this a real visual look at real issues. Love, love, love this and your work overall. Great job!


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