‘Nine Questions’ with photographer Linda Whittington
In a series of interviews leading up to the official launch of Neuse News, we are introducing you to the people behind the scenes of the endeavor. After a successful 23-year career at Lenoir Community College and 11 years with the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library, Linda Whittington retired in November. Her retirement has allowed her to pursue her passion – photography.
Neuse News: How important is this community to you?
Linda Whittington: This was my Dad’s home and when he retired from the Air Force he brought us all here to live. I have grown to love Kinston. All three of my sons were born here and grew up here. Some say it’s a dying community but I don’t think it is. It’s a beautiful area and the people here are awesome. I want to be a part of making this city a great place to live.
NN: What does community journalism mean to you?
LW: Community journalism means covering news in my local community. This includes how the community is growing, events taking place, wedding announcements, birth announcements, matters of records, political activity and more. It means keeping our community informed of important news in the area.
NN: What do you believe you bring to Neuse News?
LW: I’m a photographer and love capturing the moment. I feel I bring to Neuse News photography of what’s taking place in Lenoir County. The written story is very important but seeing an actual photo that took place during the event offers a little more and helps to capture the reader’s attention.
NN: If you won a $200 million lottery, what is the very first thing you’d buy and why?
LW: That would be awesome! Are you trying to tell me I won? The first thing I would buy would be a car for each of my sons. But I would want to surprise them. I wouldn’t want them to know I won and I would tell them I needed their opinion on a car I was thinking about buying and take all three with me. When we arrived at the dealership they would be told to pick out their car.
NN: What spurred your interest in photography?
LW: My interest, I guess, started 31 years ago, when my first son was born and I wanted to capture every move he made. I have also found that I love capturing that candid moment with people. It’s the thrill of trying to get that perfect picture and if I don’t succeed then I keep trying.
NN: Who do you consider your influences as a photographer?
LW: My mother in-law, Mary Whittington, was my first inspiration. She always captured those special moments in the family and I was always impressed with her photos. I started playing with photography when my first son was born and as the years went by my love for capturing that one moment grew. I was also inspired by Charles Buchanan, who was an awesome photographer. I loved watching him in action while he covered events and thought to myself that I would love to do what he was doing.
NN: You have three sons – Clay, Paul and Scott. Which one is your favorite and why?
LW: How cruel would it be for a parent to name one of their children as their favorite and place them above the others? Can you imagine what that would do to a child psychologically? I’ve always felt very strongly you should never have a favorite and I have always placed mine evenly across the board. My sons each have different personalities and I love each one the same. So, to answer your question, my favorite son is Clay, because of his love for music and his drive to master any instrument he touches; and Paul, because of how he finds the positive in everything that comes his way and his love for this great country we live in; and Scott, because of his love of the game and how he walks up to anyone he meets and he instantly considers them a friend.
NN: Outside of your children, what is your favorite memory of living in Kinston and Lenoir County?
LW: The first thing that comes to my mind of my favorite memories of living in Kinston and Lenoir County is attending Kinston Indians baseball games. Yeah, with my sons.
NN: Where are your favorite places to take photos in Lenoir County?
LW: I love going to the Neuseway Nature Park and capturing photos of the water fowl, turtles and plants. I also love driving around downtown Kinston and taking photos of people in front of the beautiful old brick walls and doors of the buildings.