When covering the swearing-in of new legislators at the Oregon State Capitol before each session, it is usually very straightforward. Photographers and other media members find their way to the gallery in the House chambers, find a spot in the seating area, set up and take photos of many legislators in our coverage areas and do the same in the Senate.

But this year was different. Because the Capitol is under construction, there was the discussion in an email among media members about the Monday, Jan. 9, swearing-in events to be handled by pool photographers. That usually means one photographer and one video person covers the event and provides artwork for every other media outlet afterward. But by Sunday, the day before the event, we were notified that there wouldn’t be those restrictions after all.

Jaime Valdez is a photojournalist for the Pamplin Media Group.


"Because of this job, I have grown as a person by learning what makes people unique. I like to make a connection with people to tell a story. Sometimes it is challenging, sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s sad, but I love it all."

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