Washington Post Highlights Boise, Giving Local Photographer Chance To Show Off His Town

Dec 15, 2017

Boise can't stop blushing.

Just a week after Travel + Leisure highlighted the City of Trees as an ideal place to visit in 2018, the Washington Post published a travel piece that focuses on some of the hot spots around town.

Writer John Briley sets up his visit this way: “I landed in Boise seeking simplicity but left delighting in complexity.”

To freelance photographer Joe Jaszewski, that kind of praise for the Idaho city has become more common as national publications turn their focus to the Intermountain West. Jaszewski has been a freelance photographer in Boise for 14 years, and shot the photos for the WaPo article.

“It’s not just like Boise and Idaho is this kind of weird corner of the Earth [anymore]," says Jaszewski. "If you ask people here in Boise they’d say that [recognition is] years and years overdue. But it does seem like Boise is being discovered by a national audience these days.”

The local photographer has sold his work to the New York Times and US News & World Report, giving him a chance to show off his town to audiences far beyond the Treasure Valley.

“It’s pretty much the best assignment in the world when someone calls you up and says ‘hey I want you to shoot photos of Boise and show how cool it is.' ”

But Jaszewski has noticed a change in the last few years, as features like the WaPo travel piece become more commonplace. He says the enthusiasm for these stories locally has shifted from ecstatic to much more tempered.

He says he’s heard from some people who are annoyed that Boise is getting so much attention, folks who worry that what makes the city special to locals will begin to change as word gets out. But Jaszewski says since most of the pieces are for travel sections of national publications, he’s usually able to assuage these fears.

So what was his favorite place in Boise to photograph for the WaPo? Jaszewski says getting the chance to check out the new Inn at 500 Capitol in downtown was a first for him – and gave him the opportunity to spend time with the 500 pieces of art the hotel displays.

“So even when the assignment is your backyard, you end up discovering new things.”

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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