From the Magazine: Jillian Knight’s Photos
As fans of journalism and photography and, of course, as people who keep tabs on Penn State alumni, all of us on the magazine staff were excited last May when Lens, the photography blog of The New York Times, featured a photo essay by Jill Knight ’13. She had spent months following a surrogate pregnancy and documenting the birth mother and the intended mother, who wanted to raise awareness of surrogacy and the issues that led to it.
We wanted to feature Knight’s work in the magazine, so I contacted her to ask what she was working on. Turned out, it was a great story: the first male West Point graduates to be married to each other on campus, in Cadet Chapel at the United States Military Academy. But we couldn’t run those photos—they were promised to the New York Times.
We chose, instead, to highlight Knight’s storytelling and photographic ability in a feature called “Puzzle Pieces” in our Nov./Dec. issue. We published highlights of two photo essays—the surrogacy story, called Special Delivery, and a photographic profile of Lauren Chapman ’13, who pulled off the probably unprecedented feat of being both a Penn State cheerleader and a member of Penn State Naval ROTC. Knight called her story A Navy Officer in Training.
We’re happy to share the link to her latest work, the same-sex marriage at West Point, which was published Tuesday on the Lens blog. Its title: At West Point: Duty, Honor, Gay Marriage, and it tells the story of Daniel Lennox and Larry Choate III. Of course, Knight attended the wedding. But what makes her work special is how she puts herself in position for the little, telling moments of her subjects’ lives—getting ready for work in the morning, having a romantic moment in Walmart.
Enjoy the photo essay, as I hope you enjoyed the ones we reprinted in the magazine. Check out the comments, too—combined with Knight’s beautiful images, they’ll make you feel good about humanity.
Lori Shontz, senior editor