A Ferndale-based photographer and frequent Hour Detroit contributor, Maconochie photographed this year’s Best of Detroit winners, a wonderfully varied task, he says. The range of subjects included cakes and stadiums, people and produce. “I mean, haven’t you always wondered what happens behind the curtain at a dry cleaners?” he says. His favorite? Better Made, because “I’m a sucker for factory tours.” While working on the Bests, he was anticipating the birth of his second child, due the week of the shoot. “We’re going old school, not finding out if it’s a boy or a girl,” he says. “It reminds me of shooting film … you really don’t know what you have until it’s processed.”
Terry Parris Jr.
Parris is afraid to get on the scale. Dill pickle soup, mashed potatoes, and fried pierogi don’t exactly constitute a Weight Watcher’s diet. But anything for a story, he says. Of course, that caloric trio was just the tip of the Hamtramck food iceberg he explored. Parris had to try the cevapi, the barbecue ribs, and the chicken shawarma for his Hamtown dining story. “It’s a hard job,” he says, ”but somebody’s got to do it.” In addition to sacrificing his waistline in the line of duty, he also visited Detroit’s last vinyl-record printing plant. A frequent Hour Detroit contributor, Parris is a full-time staff writer for Model D, Metromode, and Concentrate.
Michelle Martin, a recent graduate of Michigan State University, says Hour Detroit taught her the pleasures of community journalism. “I love that I live where I work and that I get to interact with people and places in my neighborhood,” she says. “Nothing makes me happier than hanging out in a lawn chair during the Woodward Dream Cruise or walking through metro Detroit’ s beautiful neighborhoods.”
Giuseppa Ferrara, who graduates this year from Wayne State University, says her internship revealed the true meaning of “general-assignment” work. “I never would have expected that I’d be driving around downtown with a carload of bridal gowns, in search of a photo studio,” she says. “There’s something about the field of journalism, with its urgency and unpredictability, that I just adore.” Her varied duties included stories on a teacup mystery and superhero art. She and fellow interns also tabulated stacks and stacks of Best of Detroit ballots, a task that led her to compile a personal list of must-see places.
Teresa Purugganan, a graduate of the creative-writing program at Columbia College Chicago, says she was taught that “place” is the foundation of a rich story. Returning to metro Detroit after college, she found there is, indeed, no place quite like home, and no better place than Hour Detroit to highlight her town. Working on Best of Detroit altered her perspective, she says. “Buildings I never would have paid attention to have become places that are special to Detroit and its people.”