Elaine Bradley, drummer for Neon Trees and also a drummer/vocalist/guitarist for Noble Bodies, poses for a portrait Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 in Provo.
This month was full of changes. Not just for
me, but in many different ways. There was some good and some bad, but I suppose
I'll start with the most pressing changes
Earlier this month the Daily Herald went
through yet another surprise round of layoffs. Fortunately, I survived the
cutbacks again, but a few of my co-workers weren't so lucky: including my good
friend and fellow photographer, Dominic Valente (Disclaimer: Shortly after
getting laid off, Dominic was offered a full-time photo position down in
Phoenix, hurray!). Dominic, myself and Sammy Jo Hester comprised a small but
mighty photo staff of three, but now that Dominic's gone, it's obviously down
to just two. Besides sadly having to say goodbye to my best friend who made the
transition to moving to a state where I knew nobody so much better, losing a
third of our photo staff will change how photographers operate at the
Besides Dominic, we also lost a few other
members of our editorial staff, so the whole reporting side of the newspaper is
in a state of flux. Writers are changing beats, editors are changing duties,
and what assignments we photographers shoot is at an all-time premium.
Fortunately between myself and Sammy we can divvy up the day into morning and
night shifts, but we can't cover everything we used to cover. Having two
photographers working the night shift allowed us to pivot off several
assignments so we'd have all of our bases covered (especially on nights where
we'd have sporting events and news events happening at the same time). But,
sadly modern science hasn't quite figured out how to make somebody able to be
in two places at once.
Fortunately, my boss (Sammy) has been
wonderful in making sure we don't get overloaded with assignments. The
management too has been reasonable, understanding that a smaller editorial
staff will mean that we can't stretch nearly as far. Though, the one place I'll
have to stretch a bit further is writing. The ownership of The Herald really
pushes everyone on staff to have written bylines, so it seems I'll be writing
more and more as time goes by. Vice versa, writers are having to take more
pictures since we can't cover as many assignments, so it seems our duties are
homogenizing a bit.
Despite the craziness and uncertainty of the
work changes that came this month, September was a decent month in photos for
me. For starters, I got to take portraits of a celebrity. Pictured above and
13th in this blog post (I liked both photos enough that included them both, my
apologizes for my failure as an editor, haha) is Elaine Bradley, most notably
know as the drummer for the rock band Neon Trees. What I didn't know is that
the band actually came together in Provo, Utah. So, we were able to do a
feature on Elaine (who's also a member of the LDS Church, which furthers a
local news angle), and I was assigned to find a location to do a portrait shoot
with her. I'd consider myself a Neon Trees fan (though I was an even bigger fan
back in my high school years when they first released their music), so it was
pretty neat to get to spend time with the drummer from the band. Elaine gave me
total freedom and 40 minutes (which, for shooting any sort of famous person is
tons, and I mean tons of time) to shoot some “grungy” portraits of her that
went with her quirky personality.
Additionally, I got to do a photo story on an
elderly bodybuilder for one of the newspaper's Monday Close-Ups. It was
especially rewarding to get to photograph Doug because I found his website
shortly after I started this job a year ago (and I'd actually see him at my gym
a lot too), but wanted to wait to do a story on him when he'd actually be
competing in a bodybuilding competition locally so I could shoot it for the
story. Well, this August was the first time since last year he had competed in
Utah, and I finally got to create a Monday Close-Up on him. Though I was only
able to squeeze in two shoots with Doug, I was relatively happy with how the
photos turned out. Doug has a wonderful, funny personality, and it was fun to
get to know somebody I'd see at the gym all the time and get to know him even
better through a newspaper story. Doug's story begins with the photo
immediately below and continues for seven images total. Read the full written story here: .
It's been an all-over-the-place month, and
now that the dust is beginning to settle I'll have to work on recalibrating my
work/personal life balance. Though it won't be nearly the same as last Fall,
I'm excited to spend my favorite time of the year in Utah.
Doug Graham holds a pose as other competitors ready their poses during the Viking Championships at Cottonwood High School in Murray. At 66 years old, Graham has a vibrant competitive spirit. “As soon as I lean into it [the pose], it’s over," he said. "Everyone’s got to have a calling card, you’ve got to bring something nobody else has.” he said.
Doug Graham works his chest muscles as he works out at VASA Fitness in Orem. Graham explained that some of his friends tease him with things like, “’You’re in pretty good shape, for an old guy,’ and I say, ‘since when did I get an asterisk?’”
Doug Graham checks in with an organizer about his music selection for his routine later that night during the Viking Championships at Cottonwood High School in Murray.
Doug Graham gathers his things and walks out of one of the spray-tan booths during the Viking Championships at Cottonwood High School in Murray.
Doug Graham works out backstage just before going on stage during the Viking Championships at Cottonwood High School in Murray.
Doug Graham makes his way out of the changing room backstage during the Viking Championships at Cottonwood High School in Murray.
Doug Graham leaves the gym after his work out at VASA Fitness in Orem. "I’m not building a legacy here, I’m doing it because I want to stay in shape and add some years to my life,” Graham explained.
Dusty Anderson, of Salt Lake City and dressed as Oden, talks with his son, Corbin, 8, dressed as Thor, as they walk about during the opening day of Salt Lake Comic Con on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
Eli "Pompadour", dressed as Ruby Rhod from "The Fifth Element", poses for a portrait during the opening day of Salt Lake Comic Con on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
Chelsea Rule, of Orem and also known as Elise Rockett of Beehive Broads Burlesque, poses for a portrait during the Provo Pride Festival on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 around the Historic Utah County Courthouse in downtown Provo.
Maribel Fraustro, left, of Ability 1st Utah, talks with an "employer" as she and others receive payment from their "jobs" during a poverty simulation as part of the kNOw Poverty Summit on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 at Utah Valley University in Orem.
Elaine Bradley, drummer for Neon Trees and also a drummer/vocalist for Noble Bodies, poses for a portrait Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 in Provo.
Michael Reedy-Scott, 5, of Salt Lake City, waits for the football team to arrive for the Cougar Walk during pregame festivities before BYU takes on Utah on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Talon Shumway (21) gestures towards the referees after dropping a pass with a lot of contact from a defender during a game between Brigham Young University and University of Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Danny Davis III (6) makes a deep catch while guarded by Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Micah Hannemann (7) during a game between Brigham Young University and University of Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Meghan McKenna holds her hands over her head in frustration after a play during a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Utah Utes on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Timpview middle linebacker Braxton Whitney (7) sighs as the Thunderbirds trail the Chargers 17-0 at halftime in a game between the Corner Canyon Chargers and the Timpview Thunderbirds on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 at Corner Canyon High School in Draper.
Offensive line coach Garry Pay holds his hand on the shoulder of fullback Mj Patane (9) as the team prays before a game between the Lone Peak Knights and the American Fork Cavemen on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 at Lone Peak High School in Highland.
Lone Peak players make their way off the field to meet with their coaches before a game between the Lone Peak Knights and the American Fork Cavemen on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 at Lone Peak High School in Highland.
Attendees pass by portraits of members of the First Presidency before the afternoon session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.
An attendee's foot rests underneath a curtain as he listens to a speaker during the morning session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.
Rosie Escamilla, of Mesa, Arizona, stands under the cover of the conference center with her son, Angel, 11, as rain drizzles down before the morning session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.
Jude Larsen, 2, of Lehi, looks around as he tours a fire truck during National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, at City Center Park in Orem. Police departments across the country held public events on National Night Out to strengthen the bonds between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Well folks, I've spent a year at the Daily Herald!
Besides my work anniversary, August was a relatively normal month. Assignments came and went in the consistency they have the past few months, but things started really picking up these past few days. Most notably, high school and college sports started up. It feels like August is the month where everything seems to happen at once, but that means there's no shortage of things to cover.
This past month I've done some reflecting on my year in Utah (between shooting all those events I just mentioned). It's a pretty fulfilling feeling to spend an entire year in one place. I'm starting to see events I covered last year pop up again, and having that repetition makes me feel like I know this community's "schedule" now. I know what big events are coming up each month, and that gives me a bit of peace of mind. There's fewer surprises (though there's always surprises) and I feel in the groove.
Though, I've also certainly learned that unlike internships, staff jobs are marathons, not sprints. Keeping things fresh is something I often have to challenge myself with while shooting. It's easy to fall into the same-old-same-old, and keeping myself motivated to try new things is vital to my growth. Unlike my past internships, which often only lasted 10 weeks, I have to think about the long haul. In internships, I'd often just totally throw myself into my job and frequently neglect finding a work-personal-life balance. Now I not only have to be a productive photographer at work, but I can't forget to be myself when I'm not working. Though, I think I've done a decent job of finding that balance and not feeling guilty about work when I'm not working. Since moving to Utah I've learned how to ski and mountain bike, and those things have become fun hobbies that have also given me a much deeper appreciation for the outdoors.
The fringe benefit that's perhaps most rewarding from being at the Herald for a year is running into people from past assignments. Almost every time, people remember me. One of my favorite parts of working for a newspaper is getting to cover stories that are important to the community. When community members recognize you and say hey, it makes me feel like people genuinely value what we as journalists do. It's a cliche saying, but working as a photojournalist has allowed me to meet so many people I wouldn't typically meet and truly become part of the community. In the process it has greatly enriched my own life views.
I've meet more remarkable people than I can really recall in the past year, and I sincerely look forward to meeting many more interesting folks and getting to know them through pictures.
Brigham Young Cougars linebacker, Fred Warner, poses for a portrait Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in BYU's locker room at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Tyler Daniel, 10, of Highland, runs past the starting line along with other kids and their families during the Highland Fling Family Adventure Race on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, at Highland Glen Park in Highland.
Wash Hut owner Vic Oldroyd poses for a portrait with his wife and business partner Joyce Oldroyd on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, at their business in Provo. After 53 years in business, Friday is Wash Hut's last day of operations.
Alan Walker, of American Fork, performs a scene from the story of Ora Chipman during the American Fork History and Heritage Pageant on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, at the American Fork Cemetery.
During his watch party Republican congressional candidate, Christopher Herrod, scratches his head after being shown a live-stream of the celebration at candidate John Curtis' watch party on a cell phone as results come in for Utah's 3rd Congressional District Special Election on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 at Entrata's headquarters in Lehi.
The Utah Bacon Burger is pictured Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, at Asado Argentinian Grill in Orem.
Gage Bowls talks to his mother on his phone at the Bowls' home Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Spanish Fork. Gage has cerebral palsy resulting from four hours of oxygen deprivation at birth, which left Gage with physical and mental deficiencies. “For me, I just support him,” said his mother Jodi concerning the dog-walking business Gage runs. “Gage does really well, and we have a nice network of people we know.” To see more from this story, check it out here: http://provodh.com/pn63y .
Kruz Harris, 2, of American Fork, looks up as he explores the shore at Tibble Fork Reservoir on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in American Fork Canyon.
Tristyn Morgan, 10, left, and Myah Cobbley, 8, both of Santaquin, hold on as they spin about on a ride during the Utah County Fair on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.
Lehi senior quarterback, Cammon Cooper, poses for a portrait Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, at Lehi High School. In Lehi's season opener against Alta on Aug. 18, Cooper set the state record for touchdown passes in a single game with 10 and threw for 599 yards.
A sparse crowd dots the stands during pregame festivities before a game against the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. Since classes at BYU hadn't begun yet, pregame festivities were especially quiet before BYU took on Portland State.
Austin Ethington, 10, of Provo, rests underneath his sign while waiting to get into the stadium during pregame festivities before a game against the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Brigham Young Cougars linebacker, Phillip Amone (22), cheers as he and his teammates make their way out onto the field before a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Brigham Young Cougars running back, Squally Canada (22), is taken down by Portland State Vikings linebacker, Kasun Jackett (46), during a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Brianna Patterson, 9, right, shades her eyes as she looks out onto the field while standing next to her cousin, Camilla Patterson, 9, both of Orem, during a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Brigham Young Cougars tight end, Matt Bushman (89), pulls in a deep pass while guarded by Portland State Vikings cornerback, Donovan Olumba (29), during a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Richard Brunst, Mayor of Orem, wipes his face as he and other attendees walk through one of the splash pad's waterfalls during the grand opening of Orem's splash pad Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at Palisade Park in Orem, Utah.
July didn't really feel like July.
Sure, several of the photos in this blog post are pretty representative of what I think of when I think of July (fireworks, kids playing at the pool, patriotic concerts, outdoor recreation, etc), but those sort of summertime cornerstones were relatively few and far between this month. One Utah summertime jewel that's new to me (rodeos) has eluded me so far this year - I hope that changes soon (cowboys and beautiful light sounds so, so lovely). July, like June, was another slow month for news - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. School's out, people on are vacation, and thus there isn't as much organized activity to make pictures. I've spent my past few summers at different newspapers learning how things go in various communities, and also how things are done at different newspaper, so I suppose I've been preoccupied with more logistical issues most summers. These slower days make me romanticize about October evenings shooting football and other sports while school's in session. But, I'm sure when those more tightly-packed days come I'll think, "man, I miss those feast-or-famine days of July" because the grass is always greener on the other side, isn't it?
Personally, I've been feeling in need of some change this past month. Thankfully, I'll be getting a good amount of change when I move up to Midvale (a suburb south of Salt Lake City) this weekend. Provo's been good to me, but I think moving up towards "the big city", as well as a spot near a few folks I know, ski resorts and night life will help me be a bit more in-tune with my personal life.
Next month will mark my one-year anniversary at the Daily Herald. I certainly feel like I've been here a while, but a full year in a community I've never experienced before working full-time at a newspaper has been a new adventure for me that has pretty well preoccupied me. I'd certainly say working at the Daily Herald and living in Utah has been an extremely productive venture with a lot of personal growth. Though, I'll save my sappy reflections and realizations for next month (I'll try and keep it short).
Lucy Taylor, 7, has her hair sprayed another color by Vicki Wallace, both of Alpine, before Stadium of Fire on Saturday, July 1, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.
The Rockwell Airtime Skydivers make their entrance over the crowd and into the stadium during Stadium of Fire on Saturday, July 1, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.
Kristen Randle, of Provo, checks out quilts during the Steel Days Quilt Show on Thursday, July 6, 2017 at the American Fork City Senior Center in American Fork, Utah.
Matthew Johnson, owner of Our Backyard Greenhouse, stretches the roofing material of the greenhouse over its roof supports during a greenhouse-building demonstration Saturday, July 29, 2017 at the Provo Community Garden in Provo, Utah.
Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Kamel Greene (10) stretches using a track hurdle during BYU football's fall camp Thursday, July 27, 2017 on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Guy Hansen rides his mountain unicycle through a patch of snow along Mount Timpanogos Trail on Thursday, July 13, 2017 in American Fork Canyon outside of American Fork, Utah.
John Thill watches a movie with his children, from right, Zeke, 6, Elsie, 4, and Elijah, 7, as his wife, Cayce, far left, plays with their daughter, Daviana, 5, on a slide during the Thill family's movie and pizza night Friday, July 7, 2017 at their home in Orem, Utah. The Thills have 20 children. Two of them are biologically their own, 18 are adopted, and of those 18, 16 of them came from foster care.
Scott Gridley, left, and Andrew Hampton, both of Pleasant Grove, paddle their boat on Utah Lake on Monday, July 17, 2017 at Utah Lake State Park in Provo, Utah.
John Curtis, Mayor of Provo and a candidate for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District seat, poses for a portrait Friday, July 14, 2017 at the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah.
Tanner Ainge, a candidate for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District seat, poses for a portrait Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah.
Aleisha McDaniel wipes a tear from her eye as she holds her son, Camren, 7, while they listen to a speaker during a celebration of life for Michael Sproul on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at Cascade Golf Course in Orem, Utah. Camren was one of the children with autism that Michael worked with through his job at Vivint Gives Back.
The last pictures are a quick, three-picture combo from a one-day shoot for a story I wrote about a local fireworks company. The full story can be read here: http://provodh.com/h4onu .
Spectators watch Firestorm Pyrotechnics' fireworks show during Mapleton's Pioneer Day Celebration on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Ira Allen Park in Mapleton, Utah. During the show, Firestorm Pyrotechnics shot off approximately 6,000 fireworks.
Brent Parkin, of Salt Lake City, scratches his head with his hat as he and other technicians finish up setting up the fireworks during Mapleton's Pioneer Day Celebration on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Ira Allen Park in Mapleton, Utah. Preparations for the pre-Pioneer Day show took a crew of about 20 people approximately 14 hours over two days to set everything in place and wire all of the fireworks together.
Baylor Owens, of Provo, hops out of the back of a semi-truck trailer as he helps pack discarded boxes of pyrotechnics away during Mapleton's Pioneer Day Celebration on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Ira Allen Park in Mapleton, Utah.