On Friday morning, our photographer Meredith Westin will board a plane for Spain, to live there for an indefinite period—mostly just for the fun and adventure of it, but also to explore new job possibilities and to find new directions to point her lens. I’m excited for her, but like all her friends, I’ll miss her a lot. Even if you don’t know her, you may discover that you miss her too.
I met Meredith in January, and almost immediately the quality of my life and the quality of the Daily Planet’s arts coverage both improved dramatically. It wasn’t a coincidence. Meredith is both a superb photographer and a ridiculously fun person to hang out with, and we ended up covering many shows together. Meredith sets a high bar for any photographer to match, and her work raised exponentially the quality and quantity of photography—particularly live concert photography—published in the Daily Planet. Thanks in large part to Meredith’s brilliant work, the Daily Planet has become a source people look to for great shots of great shows, and that’s attracted a number of other good photographers who will help me try to carry the torch once Meredith is overseas.
Meredith’s become one of my best friends, and she’s introduced me to many more great friends. She’s so kind, empathetic, and trustworthy that she attracts similarly wonderful people like iron shavings to a magnet. Twin Cities photographers, writers, and musicians know that if you see Meredith at a full booth of people laughing and eating cheese curds at the Depot, or taking a Flickr walk through a Minneapolis neighborhood, or hanging out in front of the stage at the Varsity, it’s going to be a gathering you’ll be glad to join. Those of us who have been lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with Meredith this year have a lot to thank her for—both amazing things that she did for us (like staying up until 4 a.m. to edit photos) and amazing things that simply happened because of her, just because she’s just the kind of person who makes amazing things happen.
And, of course, all of us—you included, if you’re reading this—have her to thank for some of the best photos published anywhere this year. Here’s just a sample.