Backlog: 582 Days

3 weeks, 6 days ago photography 0

Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s been a while again. To say that it’s been a weird, stressful time is an understatement. But I am here today to share a few unused images from an event in the Before Times – before the coronavirus, before the primaries, before Joe Biden even announced his run for the presidency.


April 5, 2019. Joe Biden came to speak at the IBEW Construction Conference amid swirls of speculation on whether and when he’d announce his campaign. It was a wild day. We don’t usually let press in, but with Biden’s appearance, they were practically banging down our doors. So we let them in, with some strict rules about where the could be… which left me as the lone still photographer with floor access. Exciting! Terrifying! So much pressure!


Thankfully, I was able to test lighting and positions earlier in the day so I could be cool, calm, and collected when it was go time for Biden. (I was not cool, calm, and collected at first. I was nervous! But at least my camera settings were ready.) Photos from this day were used for our newspaper – The Electrical Worker – and Political Department, and also appeared in ads leading up to Election Day in battleground states. (When the time is right, I’ll update here with some examples using the official photos.)


This photo is one of my favorites from the day. It’s a quiet moment that happened as the audience gave applause just before he walked off stage. He had his usual Biden smile and wave, and then paused here to look out at the audience. To me, it felt very personal; it seemed as though he was taking a moment to breathe and take it all in before something big happens. We knew he was contemplating running for president, but we didn’t know when the announcement would come. It ended up to be April 25, 2019. And on February 5, 2020, the IBEW officially gave him their endorsement.

It’s been a wild ride these last 582 days. I’ve thought about these photos every day, and I’m finally proud to share them today, the day Joe Biden earned the title “President-Elect.”

Backlog: Well, it’s been a while. Again.

1 year, 11 months ago IBEW, multimedia, photography 0

At least it’s a shorter break than last time? There’s a new human in town keeping me busy. Here’s some highlights from the last year and a half-ish, which saw a lot less travel than usual. Sometimes it’s nice to work close to home.

I’ve been in the House…
Rep. Nancy Pelosi questions an IBEW staff member representing the union on a labor committee panel in 2017. In January 2019, she was re-elected as Speaker of the House.

and on the Hill.
This was the windiest day EVER and I chose to shoot video beauty shots for a project. Not smart.

On a big, famous bridge…
IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson and IBEW Local 3 Business Manager Chris Erickson march across the Brooklyn Bridge with striking union members against Charter Spectrum in September 2017. The strike is still going on as of January 2019.

Rally and March to Support On-Strike Local 3 Members from IBEW on Vimeo.

and on a little, famous bridge.
IBEW members work on changing the lights to an LED system on the Trenton Makes The World Takes bridge in 2017.

IBEW Lights Up Trenton Makes Bridge from IBEW on Vimeo.

And I’ve witnessed trainings…
IBEW members demonstrate manhole safety training in a new, portable lab that was formerly a race car trailer.

A new director position for a long-time employee.

and aspirations.
Rep. Tim Ryan speaks at the 2018 IBEW Political Conference. I personally feel like he might run for President someday.

I spent a week with amazing women in Minneapolis…

2018 IBEW Women's Conference (St. Paul, Minn.) from IBEW on Vimeo.

and met some newly organized members in Ohio.

Organizing East Central Ohio from IBEW on Vimeo.

I also got to climb around a new soccer stadium under construction in LA, but uhh… that project still hasn’t been published yet. (It’s a long story.) So images will have to wait.

It’s been a really rich year-and-change, both professionally and personally. Here’s to the next being even better.

Backlog: Years and a lifetime ago

3 years, 6 months ago IBEW, photography, politics, projects 0

Hi. It’s been a while. I’ve been a little busy. And busy at work, too.

I’ve been in the sky.


Constructing the Wilshire Tower in Los Angeles

And underground.

Digging the SR-99 tunnel under Seattle with Bertha

And on Capitol Hill.

Jim Hunter, former Utility Department director, testifying on the hill

Ralph Norcross, congressman from New Jersey and IBEW member

IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson, before giving testimony

And to protests against things happening on and around Capitol Hill.

Solidarity protest with Trump Hotel workers in Las Vegas

Senator Sherrod Brown, speaking at a larger-than-I-expected mineworkers’ rally

Women Workers Rising protest

I’ve met some incredible people.

Dave, center, has kidney disease. Rob, left, was a potential donor. It didn’t work out. 🙁

Documented transitions in and out of the office.

Our new political director, Austin

And witnessed history unfold.

Heading out to count the votes on whether or not Local 410 would soon exist. We won.

So, yeah. I’ve been busy. In a really great and rewarding way.
Let’s not let two-and-a-half years pass before another update, okay?

Backlog: Why I haven’t blogged.

7 years, 2 months ago blogging, IBEW, projects, video 0

I’ve been insanely busy.

I know, that’s a lame excuse. But it’s true! I’ve been gallivanting across the country for work, making videos and having some interesting adventures. Where have I been since starting this job? My list says 24 cities in 20 states and Canada. That doesn’t count the multiples – I’ve been to Los Angeles, Des Moines, Las Vegas and Baltimore at least twice each.

What, you don’t believe me? Here’s the evidence.

IBEW Fall 2013 National TV Commercial from IBEW on Vimeo.

We shot this national commercial – currently during CBS and FOX NFL games – in St. Louis with the help of IBEW Local 1. Super fun! It’s my first all-shot-by-me national commercial. No, I did not think I’d ever make a national commercial when I graduated from Mizzou.

Memphis – Made in the USA from IBEW on Vimeo.

This is a lot closer to the storytelling I thought I’d do as a journalist. We went to the Sharp Manufacturing plant in Memphis as part of our Manufacturing Code of Excellent project – a 10ish minute video that took us six months to shoot and edit. It was a huge project and came out quite well. While we were at Sharp, our first location, we thought it might be good to do some interviews for a story just in case. Glad we did! Sharp is using this piece to help promote their American-made solar panel business. I know I’d buy one.

MDC 2013- Neutex Advanced Lighting from IBEW on Vimeo.

And this one was my favorite out of the six videos we did for the 2013 Membership Development Conference in Las Vegas. I can’t even begin to tell you how much my eyes hurt after multiple takes of all those lightbulbs turning on. I had my camera stopped down SO FAR to make sure the bulbs could be seen. Could have used an ND filter for my eyes. But as always, totally worth the shot in the end. Love the LED lights.

So yeah. I’ve been busy.

Backlog: Timelapse; or a little story about love.

7 years, 9 months ago blogging, family, multimedia, video 1

A Test Time-Lapse; or A Little Story About Love. from Erin Sutherland on Vimeo.

I found this on a compact flash card today, while we were setting up a timelapse for the coming snowstorm. Forgetting that I had already uploaded it to Vimeo when it was taken, I tried to upload it again. Silly me. I must have shared it on Facebook, because it shows up in the referrals, but I never posted it to my blog.

So here you go. Five seconds of adorable-ness from me and Scott. This was taken on March 31, 2012 in our old apartment. This is also the kinds of things we used to do before we got Amber. Now all the photos are of her.

Backlog: Amber’s first bath

7 years, 9 months ago family, photography 1


Amber’s being a pain in the ass today, so I thought I’d embarrass her (if that were really possible) with first bath photos. I mean, other people’s babies have their first bath photos, so why not ours?


Wet fur.


She needed a firm hold to keep her in the tub.


She sure loves Scott. And being clean.

**Bathtime is a lot easier now in the house. We have a hose-connected shower head (to make it tall enough for Scott), so no more Shakespeare’s cup. She’s still not a fan, but at least she stopped trying to escape soaking wet.

Backlog: The Amber Addition (Edition)

7 years, 10 months ago blogging, family 1


This is Amber. Hi, cuteface.

This little lady came blasting into our lives right around when I last posted on this blog. I’m not blaming her for my lack of editing any photos for posts since then, but it’s highly coincidental. More likely, it’s a bit of her, a bit of the new job, a bit of buying a house, and a bit of just plain procrastination.

I’m the queen of that, you know.

Now that I’ve remembered how to log in here, I would really like to post some photos from the last [ehrm] months since I dropped off the face of the earth. I need to remember why I take photographs and why it means a lot to me to put them into context with words. And to show off some of the neat work I’m doing on my travels to strange and distant lands (most recently, Kentucky). There’s a lot of things I used to do religiously that have just fallen off my radar. It makes me sad.

So no more sad! There’s so many memories and images I want to share here. They may be out of order, they may be random and old, but they’re mine. And beautiful, every single one.

Backlog: Beauty in darkness

9 years, 1 month ago blogging, internship, photography, writing 0


Leaving work at 2 or 3am was never that bad in Seattle. To walk outside and see this skyline made every hour worth it. (And of course, the finished products of my efforts.)

I miss Seattle immensely. My job was quite possibly one of the coolest I’ve ever had, and I got to work with brilliant, wonderful people. Being home in DC – freelancing and job searching – has given me some great time to reflect on the experience. Every minute away from home was worth every minute exploring my temporary city. A city that hasn’t quite left my blood.

There are new opportunities on the horizon here, and I am excited to see where they lead. Every step forward is possible because of Seattle. Yes, also because of many, many other things… but Seattle was that last solidifying brick in my foundation.

Backlog: Chess in Westlake

9 years, 1 month ago blogging, photography, travels 0


Seen in Westlake Park. I heard rumors that the Occupy Seattle people were playing chess at one point, and all I could think of was this. Not sure if these people brought this set, or if it just kinda lives there.

I miss Seattle and all of its small bits of weird.

Backlog: Wedding-style

9 years, 1 month ago blogging, photography, travels 0


Obviously, this is not me. Just something odd I saw on the beach in Seattle.

I feel like this statement is a recurring theme, but I have so much to blog! I’ve been pre-occupied with moving home, planning a wedding, getting married, finding freelance work and applying for jobs. Y’know, the little things in life.

But starting today, and every day (hopefully) for the next week or two, I’m going to catch up. So many stories, so many photographs to share. I can’t wait.