Rochester Post Bulletin photographer Jerry Olson retires, shares - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester Post Bulletin photographer Jerry Olson retires, shares story through pictures

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Longtime Post Bulletin photographer, Jerry Olson, retires Longtime Post Bulletin photographer, Jerry Olson, retires
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A local legend bids farewell to more than three decades of capturing an immeasurable amount of moments in the lives of so many here in southeast Minnesota and beyond.
   
For a career spent behind the lens, Jerry Olson sure knows how to capture the life in front of it. He cannot even begin to count the number of photographs he has shot in his long tenure at the Post Bulletin.

For more than thirty years, Olson has brought to life the stories of these streets in a single shot. "It's maybe those little bits that really make things fit together," he says.

Olson gives a snapshot of his past by looking back at dozens of photos ranging from most significant political figures of our time, including his personal favorite, Walter Mondale the night of his sweeping defeat. "He said that represents an incredible moment in my career," Olson says of a conversation he once shared with Mondale.

Olson has seized the most human moments on the sidelines of small town sports, a prime example being a Le Roy-Ostrander football coach glaring into the eyes of one of his players during an overtime play. "It's that interaction between a coach and a player in a very intense moment."

He has also been on the frontlines of defining events in Minnesota history like the Hormel strikes, when he climbed atop a car to get a shot of workers reaching through tear gas. "People are surrounding it, shaking the car back and forth and I'm trying to balance up there with this wide angle lens."

He has caught triumph and tragedy, people's highs and lows.

"Some things are fun, some things are easy to take and others are gut wrenching," he admits. But none mean more to him that when he was on assignment in Ecuador, where he saw the most raw form of humanity in a girl hearing her ill mother's voice for the first time on a phone thousands of miles away.

"It's her mom's voice but she's very, very sad," Olson says. "It was a very meaningful, emotional time by everybody." 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in Olson's case, a picture is worth more than just words.

"When people develop a trust in you that rather than exploiting them, that you're telling their story," he says. "And if you can tell it honestly, yeah, well, that's the key."

Although Olson is closing this chapter. He will never stop storytelling. This is not the last that we will see of Olson's photography. He says after spending summer vacation with his family, he will be embracing retirement by entering the freelance workforce.
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