This week, we’re hearing from James Evans from Chugiak. Evans is a former U.S. Navy photographer and will be graduating from the University of Alaska Anchorage this month.
EVANS: All I could think that I really wanted to do was be a photographer, a journalist, but I couldn’t see any way to do it. I couldn’t afford to go to school. I was living with my dad in a trailer park. It was like, “This isn’t gonna happen unless I join the military.”
I basically shot for the wire like an AP photographer. Photos every day of whatever exercise or engagement we were involved in, plus gripping grins of people getting awards and admirals sipping wine and cocktails and whatever else they wanted me to shoot. The bottom line was, I was working 12-hour days, seven days a week while I was deployed, if not 16-hour days. I’d shoot over 150,000 photos on a deployment. I got out, and I just said, “I’m gonna finish that; I’m gonna go to school full-time.” Cause I’m kinda an all or none kinda guy.
When I think about Alaska, I think the contrast between winter and summer, between 24 hours of daylight and five or six like we have today, and the constant changing of the seasons… I never get bored with it. Everything always looks different.
I think my wife’s pretty much committed to Alaska as well. I think if I tried to pull up roots and leave, she’d be pretty mad at me. I love Alaska and I don’t have any intention of leaving, but in the end it would take a mutual decision to get me to leave. An amazing job, a mutual decision and options for her too, because she’s supported me emotionally while I was in the military. She supports me financially now that I’m going to school full-time. What she says goes, and I don’t have a problem with that. I owe it to her, after all this time.