About - June Russell-Chamberlin

All About Me

I was supposed to be a bricklayer, not a journalist — or at least that’s what the career aptitude test indicated when I was in high school. I suspect it had something to do with checking the boxes for liking “creativity” and “being outside.”

Growing up on a hobby farm on the outskirts of Hillsboro, Oregon, I spent much of my childhood outdoors, planting, weeding, harvesting or chipping dried chicken poop out of the hen house. But my sister and I also hiked, camped and floated our rubber raft on every body of water we encountered. By the time I was 17 and thinking about careers, I’d discovered the joys of backpacking, skiing and whitewater rafting as well.

I’m not sure the aptitude test even had a box for “likes to write.” I’ve always loved to write — or more accurately, report. Even as a child I sent dispatches home from weeklong visits with my grandparents in whichever small Eastern Oregon town they were currently occupying. Scrawled in a child’s oversized, uneven printing, they were short, frequently mentioned chickens and ended with the line, “That’s all the news for now.”

Working on my middle school paper and high school papers, I discovered that writing a good story engages my curiosity, creativity and my burning need to understand why something happened, as well as the implications.

So it was no surprise that I chose to study newspaper reporting and editing at the University of Oregon. Soon after graduation, I landed a job as staff writer at the Central Oregon Business Journal, and three months later found myself in charge. It was great fun; I spent my days indulging my curiosity, interviewing interesting people and then writing all about it back at the office.

Two and a half years later I made the jump to magazines, editing a farming magazine and various publications for MPI, a custom publishing company in Eugene, Oregon. During the six years I worked there, editors were strictly forbidden to work with photos. I credit the art department with rekindling my passion for photography.

Procuring photos of antique maps and other art was part of my job as an editor at Mercator’s World, a magazine about antique maps and exploration. I also worked with freelancers and rewrote features, in addition to researching and writing front of the book pieces. When it closed its doors, I began freelancing.

With more time to travel and develop my photography skills, I’ve rediscovered the fun of exploring the Pacific Northwest and beyond. From wineries to waterfalls, sagebrush to the San Juan Islands, my favorite adventures are off the beaten path.

I still spend time outdoors, though a kayak has replaced the trusty rubber raft and snowshoes have replaced the skis. Sailing also has become an important part of my family’s life. When I’m not playing outside or exploring someplace new, I’m at home in Eugene, Oregon, with my husband, two sons and a bossy cat.


From Hillsboro, Oregon (21 miles west of Portland)

Graduated from University of Oregon, BA Journalism, 1991

More than 20 years experience writing and editing magazines

Freelancing part-time since 2003

Interests: travel, photography, history, chocolate, sailing, hiking, camping and off-the-beaten-path adventures

When I’m not exploring and photographing the gems and hidden corners of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, I can be found reading a cozy mystery or continuing my quest for the ultimate chocolate truffle. I live in Eugene, Oregon, with my husband, two sons and a  bossy cat.