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THE METHOD

The Week in Photos: 02.08.2021 – 02.14.2021

  • 4 min to read
The Week in Photos: 02.08.2021 – 02.14.2021

The Week in Photos takes a deep dive into one story from the previous week of Missourian reporting. This week, we're looking at our Valentine's Day special feature, pairing song lyrics with images of love. Grace Noteboom and Margo Wagner were the photo editors and coordinators on the story; Paige Cox designed the print layout.


Love is patient. So are photo editors.

The visual department's collaborative Valentine's Day feature was first suggested two weeks ago during a brainstorming session in editing class. Once Grace Noteboom and Margo Wagner picked up the project, it began to slowly take shape.

The concept of the project: pairing images with lyrics of love songs to represent different facets and ideas of love — romantic, platonic, familial, for oneself. Some photos were taken with the song in mind; others came to mind after the photo was made.

"We wanted to make sure that there was [at least one] love song on there that most people would recognize," Noteboom said.

"I've got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees."

My Girl | The Temptations

"I've got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees"

Bee Dilks, left, and Ember Wright embrace each other while enjoying live music Aug. 25, 2019, during MidMO PrideFest at Rose Music Hall. Dilks and Wright broke up three hours after the photo was taken, but the breakup was amicable. “She is very sweet,” Dilks said.

The project consists of original images and photos from the Missourian archives. Noteboom and Wagner also encouraged staffers and volunteers to contribute their own ideas.

"It started with the magic of a well-organized Google form," Noteboom said. "People just take better photos of stuff they really connect to, and pitching ideas is a really good way to get people to think about what they connect to when they're photographing."

Coordinating between a dozen photographers was certainly a challenge, but Wagner said it was worth it for the final product.

"This project was actually deceptively kind of difficult," Wagner said. "You would think that it would be pretty easy, because love is all around us, but it's kind of a really nebulous topic."

"Can we still be friends?"

Can We Still Be Friends | Todd Rundgren

"Can we still be friends?"

Amber Yohnka, right, walks her dog, Hooch, with ex-boyfriend Wade Woolf on Wednesday at Capen Park. The two broke off their romantic relationship four days before Valentine’s Day last year but remain close friends. “I try not to think about it,” Yohnka said when asked where she wants the relationship to go in the future. “I was glad for the space, but I still tell him I feel intoxicated looking into his eyes.”

Ensuring the archival photos were being used properly also took some doing. Wagner reached out to every source to get an update on their relationship and a quote to help tell their story in this new context.

The hardest phone call, Wagner said, was to widower Gary Wrisberg, whose wife's grave was featured in the story. She found Wrisberg's number online and left a message asking if he was willing to share his story for the project.

"He was really happy to talk about his wife," Wagner said. "Hearing the way he answered the phone you could just hear so much love in his voice and so much care for her." During their conversation, Wagner learned Wrisberg does not own a computer.

"On Monday I'll get the print and I'll mail him a copy," she said. 

"I've seen fire and I've seen rain... but I always thought that I'd see you again."

Fire and Rain | James Taylor

"I've seen fire, and I've seen rain ... but I always thought that I'd see you again"

Holly Wrisberg’s gravestone sits in Columbia Cemetery next to a wreath Monday in Columbia. Holly Wrisberg and Gary Wrisberg met at Moody Bible Institute and married two months after they graduated. They had two children, seven grandchildren and worked in ministry together for 44 years. “She was an incredible wife, incredible mother and incredible Christian,” Gary Wrisberg said. “She was the love of my life. She meant everything to me.”

From age to race to sexuality, Noteboom and Wagner focused their energy on ensuring diversity in their final product.

"Our newsroom is very white," Wagner said. "It's also very young. I think it can be easy to put on blinders and leave a lot of people in Columbia out of our coverage when we're not really intentional about it."

"Love is one of those things that everybody has the capacity to feel," Noteboom said. "To take such a beautiful emotion that can be translated in so many different experiences, and to only represent one... is just not good journalism. It's a disservice to our readers and to the concept of what we were doing."

This care in editing shows up throughout the project, including during the sequencing of photos. Near the start of the story, Wagner said, a photo of a woman getting her eyebrows done leads into a photo of an eye photographed through a computer screen. The reds and blues in that photo then mirror the next image of a couple doing partner yoga.

triptych for the method

LEFT: "Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song. You go ahead, let your hair down." –Put Your Records On | Corinne Bailey Rae (Trenton Amlgren-Davis/Missourian)

CENTER: "You and I have just one second... and a million miles to go." –One Second and a Million Miles | Steven Pasquale and Kelli O'Hara (Hillary Tan/Missourian)

RIGHT: "Reaching out. Touching me. Touching you." –Sweet Caroline | Neil Diamond (Edward Frumkin/Missourian)

Just as Noteboom said photos can improve when the photographer is invested in their subjects, editors become invested, even consumed, by the logistics and care required to pull off a project. 

"This project was definitely the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning and one of the last things I thought about before I went to bed," Wagner said. "I was looking through my call list today, and every call is me and Grace. We probably called each other 12 times a day."

"Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays," Noteboom said. "It's just nice to have an excuse to spend some time thinking about the people you care about. This project seemed like a good way for me to do that."

"I get by with a little help from my friends."

With a Little Help From My Friends | The Beatles

"I get by with a little help from my friends"

MU seniors and roommates Janelle Finch and Gabbi Gilmore sit on the steps to their home Oct. 21. The two met during an introductory economics class in freshman year. “We would share answers, but we never knew each other,” Gilmore said with a chuckle. “I can’t remember the specific moment where we became close,” Finch added.


The Week in Photos also highlights some of the visual team's best work that you may have missed throughout the week. This week, we focused largely on projects (as we intend to in the coming week), but still made time, as always, for local sports.

Flower sales bloom ahead of Valentine's Day

Kent Anderson brings flower into the cooler

Kent Anderson brings flowers into the cooler Tuesday at Kent’s Floral Gallery in Columbia. Anderson has been running the floral shop for 24 years.

Columbia College men's basketball beats Hannibal-LaGrange Trojans for the fifth straight time

Guard Tony Burks shoots

Guard Tony Burks shoots Thursday at Southwell Complex in Columbia. Burks led the team with 20 points.

Shelters available to protect from dangerous temperatures

A religious tapestry hangs in the dining hall set up by Loaves and Fishes

A religious tapestry hangs in the dining hall set up by Loaves and Fishes on Wednesday in the basement of the United Methodist Church in Columbia. The organization relies on volunteers to keep the program running, with volunteers from the United Methodist Church making up one of 26 groups that take on shifts for Loaves and Fishes. Organizer Ruth O’Neil said the number of volunteers varies monthly and she relies on many of the younger pre-med students from the nearby universities to help out. 

Eagles conquer Kewpies in program sweep

Mariah Prince shoots a free throw

Southern Boone’s Mariah Prince shoots a free throw against Hickman on Wednesday at Southern Boone in Ashland. The Eagles led against the Kewpies the entirety of the game, beating the Kewpies 55-33.

Artist Askia Bilal puts a spin on 'Wheel of Fortune' with mixed media

Askia Bilal reviews his notes about perspective

Askia Bilal reviews his notes about perspective Feb. 4 at Orr Street Studios in Columbia. "One of the themes in my show is about the the Wheel of Fortune, which is an old idea," Bilal said. "In general, that's like a cycle to me, people go up, they go down, you keep finding yourself in these different places."

MU gymnastics lands victory against Auburn

Gabrielle Gottula cheers with her teammates

Gabrielle Gottula cheers with her teammates after finishing her routine on the beam with a 9.875 Friday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia. Last season, Gottula achieved her career high on the beam against Auburn, scoring a 9.925.


The Method is the Columbia Missourian's photography and multimedia blog. In writing about pictures, it seeks to demystify how our journalists cover their community and place their work in the context of a larger visual world.

  • Assistant Director of Photography at the Columbia Missourian. Previously photo editor, staff photographer, reporter. Reach me at madiwinfield@mail.missouri.edu or at @madiwinfield on Instagram and Twitter.

  • I'm the Director of Photography working close with staff photographers, videographers, photo editors and designers to help our stories become visually exciting. Follow us on Instagram: comissourian

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