A Month in Pictures: August 2018

Logan Greer, of Lehi, holds a yoga pose as a goat stands on him during a goat-yoga session Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, held by Goga near the Summerhill Event Center in Saratoga Springs. “There’s two main reasons why people do yoga: the exercise factor of it, and for therapeutic purposes," explained co-owner of Goga and full-time college student, Benson Richardson. "We find the goats enhance both of those reasonings.” Sessions last 60 minutes: 40 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes to interact with the baby goats.


Summertime is beginning to wind down, school's back in session and things are getting more busy around Utah County.


August was chock-full of things. A wildfire was sparked, burned 30,000 acres and is still active as of now, the Utah County Fair rolled back through town, football and other high school fall sports kicked off, and several stand-alone assignments kept me busy writing when I wasn't shooting pictures. More than recent months, the hectic schedule of the past month has made it more difficult to slow down and evaluate my pictures as I pump out assignments. However, these monthly blogs are always a good way of looking back and seeing what direction I've been heading lately, and trying to think of new approaches to take while on assignment.

Besides daily assignments, I am currently finishing up a short Monday Close-Up on a family effected by the Coal Hollow Fire (the fire mentioned above), getting things together for my next Monday Close-Up and finding time here and there to continue shooting my longer-term rodeo project that I began a few months ago. Now begins my favorite time of the year (both seasonally and work-wise). August is over, and there's only 22 more days until fall. However, I'm a sucker for fall. I'm already eagerly awaiting days spent driving around the mountains with the windows down enjoying the fall colors, crisp evenings, haunted houses and indulging in apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes. (Could my love for fall be more cookie-cutter? haha)

Skyridge tight end Ioholani Raass (31) shouts to pump up his teammates before a game between the Skyridge Falcons and the Lone Peak Knights held Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, at Skyridge High School in Lehi. 

Orem running back Trevor Rockey (14) completes a catch and runs for several more yards before being downed during a game between the Orem Golden Tigers and the Bingham Miners held Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at Orem High School.

Orem defensive back Brody Monson (83) sports a state championship ring as he listens to coaches talk before a game between the Orem Golden Tigers and the Bingham Miners held Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at Orem High School. Orem won the 4A football state championship last year.

Pleasant Grove setter Abigail Miller (15) sets the ball during a game between the Skyridge Falcons and the Pleasant Grove Vikings held Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, at Skyridge High School in Lehi.

Spectators enjoy suckers on the sidelines during a game between the Orem Golden Tigers and the Bingham Miners held Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at Orem High School.

Orem head coach Jeremy Hill walks along the sidelines shortly after Bingham scored the first touchdown during a game between the Orem Golden Tigers and the Bingham Miners held Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at Orem High School.

Provo middle linebacker Mason Cobb (8) celebrates after intercepting a Cedar City pass that was blocked by outside linebacker Drason Havea (33) during a game between the Provo Bulldogs and the Cedar City Redmen held Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, at Provo High School.

Skyridge running back Ma'a Notoa (32) jumps over Lone Peak defensive back Nate Ritchie (6) as he drives the ball upfield during a game between the Skyridge Falcons and the Lone Peak Knights held Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, at Skyridge High School in Lehi.

Skyridge middle hitter Alice Ellsworth (14) reacts after Pleasant Grove scored a point during a game between the Skyridge Falcons and the Pleasant Grove Vikings held Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, at Skyridge High School in Lehi. 

The shadow of Curtis Wolthuis is cast on his horse, named Cowboy, as Wolthuis talks with fellow volunteer Ron Brailsford before taking part in training for the Utah County Sheriff's Mounted Posse held Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, in Provo Canyon.

Brylee Horsley, 8, of Eagle Mountain, looks toward a goat as it too takes a bite of her award after a goat-yoga session Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, held by Goga near the Summerhill Event Center in Saratoga Springs. Attendees are dubbed Gogis, and one or more receive a special award after each session. 

Hailey Bollar, of Santaquin, spits a cherry pit during the annual Orchard Days Cherry Pit Spit held Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, at Rowley’s Red Barn in Santaquin.

U.S. Army Sgt. Ben Bills kisses his four-month-old son, James, in front of his home after a welcome-home celebration Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, in American Fork. Bills was most recently deployed for ten months and one week, serving in the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.

Madi Graham, 13, left, and Katie Maag, 12, carry their boat, named El Gato, out of the water after sinking before finishing the race during Salem Days' Cardboard Duct Tape Regatta held Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, at Knoll Park in Salem. 

Jack Hetzel, 3, of Spanish Fork, walks through a shark-encounter cage after the Shark Encounters show during the Utah County Fair held Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.

Fans watch Sam Smith perform as they sport shirts displaying various faces of the singer during his "The Thrill of It All Tour" held Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. 

Aubrie Christensen, 11, of Lindon, holds a chicken just after catching it as other children chase chickens during the Lindon Days Junior Rodeo held Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, at the Lindon Arena. “The chicken chase and this whole event has been a staple in Lindon since the beginning of Lindon Days," explained Shylee Sweeten, coordinator of the Lindon Days Junior Rodeo. “Once they catch the chicken, they get to keep the chicken. That’s their prize,” said Sweeten. Explaining that families aren't informed of the chase's prize, she said with a laugh, “It’s a surprise for everyone at the end."  However, if the chicken-receiving family doesn't want the bird, the rodeo is happy to relocate the chicken to a suitable family.

Aaron Haveron, of Elk Ridge, finishes pitching during the men's division of the Orchard Days Home Run Derby held Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, at Callaway Field in Santaquin.

Dylan Idleman, of Madill, Oklahoma, evades a bull during the American Bullfighting competition as part of the Utah County Fair held Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.

Krew Woodland, 5, hugs his mother, Haylee Haveron, after she read him a book Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, at their home in Payson. Woodland recently returned home from an extended stay at the hospital.

Vaughn Jaten, 9, of Alpine, left in glasses, and Sean Groll, 9, of Highland, right in glasses, react as they catch trout while other kids scramble to catch fish with their hands during the Alpine Days Fish Grab held Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at Creekside Park in Alpine.

Lynde Mott, a muralist, poses for a portrait in her living room of her home, which features a mural she painted that depicts the stages of settling Nauvoo by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in Pleasant Grove.

Merlin Allen and his wife, Laree, both of Spanish Fork, watch from Sheep Creek Road as helicopters fill their buckets with water in an effort to contain and extinguish the Coal Hollow Fire as the wildfire burns south of U.S. Highway 6 on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Spanish Fork Canyon. Brandon Jensen, a spokesperson for the Manti-La Sal National Forest, stated that portions of the fire are within 100 yards of U.S. 6 as of Thursday.

A Month in Pictures: July 2018

Kyson Kay, 5, of Spanish Fork, takes a hit from a sheep as he competes in the mutton-busting event during the first night of the Fiesta Days Rodeo held Friday, July 20, 2018, at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.


July was event-full. (Get it? Full of events?)

Disregarding the awful pun, July provided me with a happy helping of rodeos, concerts, a fireworks display and other general news events. Being July in America, there was plenty of Americana to be photographed - especially considering this is Utah. Utahans really, really love America (I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just stating a personal observation.)

Amid the typical American fanfare of July, I had some special opportunities this month. The Los Angeles Times hired me to photograph a story about a ballot measure Utah voters will consider to legalize medical marijuana in November. The story centered around Brain Stoll, a West Jordan resident who uses opioids to treat back and neck pain resulting from a severe accident in college that fractured his back and neck. However, Stoll felt marijuana gave him better relief and less side effects than prescription pills, but he had to end using marijuana a few years ago to remain in good standing with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to marry his then soon-to-be wife in a temple. The story also tackled the church's relationship with the drug, usage of which is allowed by the church in states where medical use is legalized. The story can be seen here: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-utah-mormons-marijuana-20180729-story.html.

For my Monday Close-Up month, I focused on life-long metalworker Jim Smeltzer and the organization for which he builds miniature, rideable locomotives and railcars, the Utah Live Steamers Railroad Club. More from that story can be seen here: provodh.com/5y2l7.

Finally, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some vacation time with my entire immediate family at Seaside, Florida. My family hasn't been able to get together (besides funerals and graduations) in roughly the past four years, so it was wonderful to spend some true quality time with my siblings, their significant others and my parents while working on my sun tan. The vacation also gave me perspective on my life in Utah. I haven't been able to spend much time outside of Utah, and doing so made me appreciate things about the Beehive State that I hadn't thought of as much. I look forward to continue work at the Daily Herald, and enjoying all the wonderful things Utah does have to offer.

Attendees watch the fireworks show during Stadium of Fire held Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Jim Smeltzer welds a miniature ladder which will eventually attach to the back of the caboose in his workshop Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at his home in Highland. Smeltzer is a life-long metalworker who helps build miniature trains to ride for the Utah Live Steamers Railroad Club. See more from this Monday Close-Up here: provodh.com/5y2l7. 

Fans cheer as Pentatonix takes the stage Thursday, July 12, 2018, at USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City.

The National Parks fiddler Megan Taylor Parks performs with the band during the first show of the season for the Rooftop Concert Series held Friday, July 6, 2018, in downtown Provo.

Members of the The National Parks perform among the audience during the first show of the season for the Rooftop Concert Series held Friday, July 6, 2018, in downtown Provo.

Harper Poulsen, 5, of Saratoga Springs, is helped across newly-installed playground equipment by her grandmother, Susette Fisher, of Orem, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at Bonneville Park in Orem.

Tyler Pearson, of Louisville, Mississippi, competes in the steer-wrestling event during the first night of the Fiesta Days Rodeo held Friday, July 20, 2018, at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.

Mac Dodson, of Pleasant Grove, helps ready Big Betsy, a giant American flag, to be unfurled with the help of members of the community and Follow the Flag on Thursday, July 5, 2018, at Grove Creek Canyon in Pleasant Grove.

A police officer walks around the scene as authorities finish investigating suspicious packages reported at the Provo FrontRunner station Saturday, July 7, 2018. Authorities reported the scene safe and the station open for operations shortly before 5 p.m.

Jason Christensen, state chair, motions to approve the meeting minutes during the Independent American Party State Convention held Saturday, July 14, 2018, at Provo City Center.

Mark Tenney and his family, all of Herriman, talk with Cash Allred, of the startup Neighbor, seated on couch, before the first show of the season for the Rooftop Concert Series held Friday, July 6, 2018, in downtown Provo.

Joe Stevenson, of West Jordan, rappels down the Workfront building during Utah Youth Village's Over the Edge fundraising event Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Lehi.

Brian Stoll poses for a portrait at his home as he holds a vial of Tramadol, which he takes to treat his severe back pain, Sunday, July 15, 2018, in West Jordan. Stoll had previously used marijuana to treat his pain to better effect, according to Stoll, but he had to stop using pot to remain in good standing with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and so that he could get married to his then soon-to-be wife, Rachael, in the temple. (This photo was shot for a story about medical marijuana in Utah for the L.A. Times - see more from the story here: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-utah-mormons-marijuana-20180729-story.html)

A portion of Geneva Rock's mining operation stands behind homes Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in the Traverse Mountain area of Lehi. Community members have complained of the airborne dust coming from the mining operation being bothersome. 

Yvonne Baraketse, of Provo, helps Sofie Snyder, 9, of Mapleton, with a dance move as they and other members of Ngoma y'Africa wait to perform during the Colonial Heritage Festival held Tuesday, July 3, 2018, at Scera Park in Orem.

Collins May, 4, of Syracuse, plays on an inflatable raft while others recreate at Tibble Fork Reservoir on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in American Fork Canyon.

Wyatt Johnson hugs family-friend Jenny Bjarnson, both of Payson, after Johnson's hand got stuck as he competed in the bareback-riding event, which resulted in him precariously dangling by one arm from his horse for a short time during the first night of the Fiesta Days Rodeo held Friday, July 20, 2018, at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.

An LDS missionary passes by the Salt Lake Temple on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. (This photo was shot for a story about medical marijuana in Utah for the L.A. Times - see more from the story here: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-utah-mormons-marijuana-20180729-story.html)

A Month in Pictures: June 2018

Cowboys watch as a charity auction takes place during the UHSRA finals Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Wasatch County Event Complex in Heber. 


It's officially summertime, and for the most part things are slowing down in Utah County.

Sporting events have become much more scarce, school-related events are over, people are leaving for summer vacations and there hasn't been a boatload of news happening lately. Summertime at newspapers typically means photos generally revolve around the following things: hot-weather features, fairs, city celebrations, water fights and foam pits, summer camps, and with July upon us, American flags - lots of them. However, I've felt a yearning for a photographic change of pace during these summer months. Something about the hot days of summer in an area steeped in Americana make for fun assignments, and an opportunity to riff off of the visual tropes of summer.

Early June was busy, but steadily slowed down as the month progressed. I began the month finishing up my most recently Monday Close-Up on Nick Rios, a local woodworker who creates pens, pen boxes and cutting boards despite being blind. You can read more about Nick's story here: provodh.com/5uzrj. Despite assignments being fewer and further between, it seems many of them fall around the same time, so the challenge of getting between point A and B quickly has remained constant.

As we roll into the most patriotic month of the year in America, I look forward to enjoying the fruits of summer along the Wasatch. 

Nick Rios covers up a machine after finishing a day's work at his workshop Friday, June 1, 2018, at Provo Central Storage in Provo. Rios started his woodworking business, Blind Gorilla Business, with his girlfriend in January of this year and currently produces pens, pen boxes and cutting boards.

Nick Rios whittles down two blocks of wood into rounded cylindrical shapes to be used used for one of his pens as he works at his workshop in Provo. Rios' products incorporate several different kinds of woods, such as: redwood, oak, walnut, cedar, oak and poplar.

Nick Rios navigates his way away from his workshop at Provo Central Storage as he begins to walk home in Provo. Each day he works, Rios walks the mile back to his home at The Boulders alone.

Susana Fragoso looks on as her boyfriend, Nick Rios, gets an item from a cupboard as they prepare a meal at Rios' home in Provo. Nick generally prepares the meals for he and his girlfriend.

Susana Fragoso nudges her boyfriend, Nick Rios, as they laugh together while waiting for customers during the opening day of the Provo Farmers Market at Pioneer Park in Provo. Rios is currently working on creating a stockpile of products to sell and hopes to take their business door-to-door in the future.

Kiery Rask, 8, looks up as she eats a slice of pie while her cousin, Trey Parks, 8, both of Orem, looks over at her during the kids heat of the first-ever Village Inn Pie Eating Competition as part of Orem Summerfest on Thursday, June 7, 2018, at Orem City Center Park. Kids had 40 seconds to finish as much of a single slice of pie as possible, and later adults had one minute to finish as much as they could of one half of a pie. Rask finished third in the kids heat.

Emma Thurgood, 14, of Saratoga Springs, tries to avoid the foam during the Splash Bash Water Party as part of Saratoga Springs' Splash Days on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at Sunrise Meadow Park in Saratoga Springs.

Pleasant Grove center forward Connor Ecalono poses for a portrait Friday, June 1, 2018, at Pleasant Grove High School. A senior, Ecalono has been chosen as the Daily Herald's 2018 Utah Valley Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Orem Owlz second baseman Alvaro Rubalcaba (4) can't reel in the throw from the outfield allowing Ogden Raptors second baseman Jeremy Arocho (8) to safely make it to second base during a game between the Orem Owlz and the Ogden Raptors on Thursday, June 28, 2018, at UCCU Ballpark in Orem.

VIPS volunteer Dustin Manis talks with Vicki Lybbert, of American Fork, after retrieving her car keys from her locked vehicle during the Night Out Against Crime as part of the Cedar Hills Family Festival on Friday, June 8, 2018, at Heritage Park in Cedar Hills.

REO Speedwagon keyboardist Neal Doughty performs during Chicago and REO Speedwagon's "North American Summer Tour" on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City.

Shanna Ballard, of Highland and a volunteer with Team Up for Tibble Fork, cleans up trash near Tibble Fork Reservoir on Saturday, June 2, 2018, in American Fork Canyon. Only a handful of volunteers came out for the clean-up effort.

Amanda Butler, of the South Utah County rodeo club, competes in the barrel-racing event during the UHSRA finals Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Wasatch County Event Complex in Heber.

Drake Weber, of Emery, watches as a charity auction takes place during the UHSRA finals Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Wasatch County Event Complex in Heber.

Shayla Gourdin, of the Lehi Longhorn rodeo club, competes in the goat-tying event during the UHSRA finals Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Wasatch County Event Complex in Heber.

Nedra Norton is presented with an American flag by a member of the American Legion Honor Guard for her late husband, Wallace H. Norton, a U.S. Army veteran from WWII, during a military funeral honors ceremony Saturday, June 16, 2018, at the Lindon City Cemetery. Nedra wore a sweatshirt despite temperatures at the time being in the mid 70's because it was Wallace's favorite shirt of hers.

Orem Owlz pitcher Jerryell Rivera (1) walks back to the dugout after giving up two runs and being subbed out for pitcher Anfernee Benitez (14) in the top of the first inning during a game between the Orem Owlz and the Ogden Raptors on Friday, June 29, 2018, at UCCU Ballpark in Orem.

Chelsea Peahl, of Spectrum Queer Student Alliance at UVU, speaks during a press conference held Thursday, June 14, 2018, in front of Provo City Center. The gathering was organized following the Freedom Festival's parade-entry denial of five LGBTQ groups.

Steelworker Pablo Gallegos welds Friday, June 15, 2018, at Clegg Steel in Orem. President Trump signed two proclamations on May 31issuing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. The president stated that steel and aluminum workers will see positives from the proclamations, but those working in the industry locally have yet to see the upside.

A Ferrari speeds along Eagle Mountain Boulevard during the Limitless Supercar Shoot-Out held Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Eagle Mountain. Proceeds from the closed-highway event benefitted Make-A-Wish Utah and Tyson Juber, a youth from Eagle Mountain.

Chris Hoskins, of Provo, sports a Donald Trump button during a watch party held for U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney as results come in from the primary elections Tuesday, June 26, 2018, outside of Romney's campaign headquarters in Orem.

Mitt Romney looks up as his grandson, Dane, 2, points out an airplane in the sky outside of Romney's campaign headquarters after it was announced that he had won the Republican nomination in Utah's U.S. Senate race during a watch party held for Romney as results come in from the primary elections Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Orem.