A month in pictures: November

The Dowland brothers including, from left, Sam, 5, Logan, 3, Brody, 8, and Mason, 6, work to create a "secret spot" while playing in a vacant lot that will eventually be the site of a home in a neighborhood east of Interstate 15 on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 in Santaquin. Santaquin is a sleepy town in the rural southern part of Utah County. Cities in the northern part of the county, such as Lehi, are booming. Since the 50’s, Lehi has gained roughly 57,503 citizens whereas Santaquin has gained about 9,848 in the same time. Santaquin has been described as “Lehi 25 years ago” and though it is currently growing slowly but steadily, the city is preparing itself for a population boom of its own.


November was a busy month. 

Though sometimes stressful, being busy is fulfilling. This past month offered a wonderfully-balanced assortment of assignments. I shot a good deal of sports, but I also had loads of news, feature and portrait assignments to balance the equation. I often tell people that one of the reasons that I love newspapers is the wide variety of assignments that I get to shoot. Variety is the spice of life. And in November that spice was quite balanced and sweet, but thick.

The Herald's photo staff once again underwent changes in November. My boss, Sammy Jo Hester, recently accepted a job as a photo editor at the L.A. Times and clocked in her last day at the newspaper this month. I'll be sad to see Sammy go (and miss her puns and ability to surprise me with my favorite sweets after long weeks), but she has a wealth of talent that I'm glad she'll be able to continue to grow at a place as respected as the L.A. Times. We've been accepting applications for her position, and I think we will fill the position within the next week. Though I thought about applying to the position myself, I decided that I would remain happiest keeping busy with assignments as the chief photographer since my long-term goal is being a daily photographer at a large metropolitan newspaper.

So, for the last half of the month I've been wearing a few more hats. Since Sammy left I've filled the managing roles of the photo editor (going to budget meetings, coordinating assignments with writers, setting up and/or creating our photo options for front-page centerpieces everyday, etc.). Filling extra roles while also being the newspaper's chief resource for photos has been a lot at once, but it feels good to push myself in new ways.

Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Zayne Anderson (23) claps along with his teammates as the band plays the school's fight song after BYU lost their last home game of the season to University of Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Massachusetts Minutemen wide receiver Andy Isabella (23) briefly loses the ball as he is hit by Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Butch Pau'u (38), but the Minutemen quickly recovered the ball, during BYU football's last home game of the season against University of Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Sterling Hansen, 17, holds Dippie Hansen, 9, both of Bluffdale, upside down after the Cougars scored their first and only touchdown during BYU football's last home game of the season against University of Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. 

Massachusetts Minutemen cornerback Lee Moses (3) breaks up a pass near the end zone intended for Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Talon Shumway (21) during BYU football's last home game of the season against University of Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. 


Aaron Becraft, of Saratoga Springs, rides his motorcycle with other members of the Patriot Guard Riders of Utah during the Veterans Day parade Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 in Layton. “You get all walks of life that come together," said Becraft. "We ride, that’s where the common bond is.” To see more from this Monday Close-Up, click here: .

Doug Wooly, of West Valley City, sports a Patriot Guard Riders patch as he adjusts his sunglasses while setting his watch after the Veterans Day parade Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 in Layton.

Stephen Booth, center, of Salt Lake City, talks with Chris Smith, right, also of Salt Lake City, and other Patriot Guard Riders of Utah as they make their way through a terminal before a homecoming event Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at the Salt Lake City International Airport. 

Cadets from the Utah Military Academy hold up letters spelling out "welcome home" during a homecoming event for Edgar Harrell, a retired corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and a survivor from the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Patriot Guard Riders of Utah greet Edgar Harrell, a retired corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and a survivor from the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, during a homecoming event Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

A woman waiting for a ride watches as the Patriot Guard Riders of Utah make their way away from a terminal after a homecoming event Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at the Salt Lake City International Airport.


Kory Harris and his son, Corwin, 5, pose for a portrait outside of their home Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at Francis K Mobile Home Park in Orem. During campaigning for the Orem mayoral race, supporters of Hans V. Andersen left flyers at residences in several local neighborhoods stating that they would possibly lose their homes due to the actions of city council. The Harris' home was one of the residences that received such a flyer. The statement was false, and the flyer also stated that Andersen was the only candidate willing to stop their actions.

Pheasants make their way out of a holding crate during a release of pheasants into the wild Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 in Goshen Canyon.

Taylor Karlsson, left, and her husband, Emmanuel, right, both of Orem, listen with other attendees to Rebecca Clarke, of Orem, speak during a public hearing held by the Alpine School District Board of Education concerning the consolidation of Hillcrest and Scera Park Elementary Schools on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at the Alpine District Office in American Fork.

Eric Thorkelson, playing Santa Claus, watches as Tre Galbraith, 5, of Provo, plays with bubbles shot out of a bubble gun by Tre's mother, Megan, during a playtime session with Santa on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 at University Place in Orem. The sessions with Santa, called Quiet Santa, are for children with sensory sensitivities and developmental disorders, like autism. 

Edgar Harrell, a retired corporal in the United States Marine Corps and a survivor from the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, poses for a portrait Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo.

Pat Schow hands a movie ticket to a customer as other customers wait in line at the box office before a movie Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem. Schow, a Highland resident, has been volunteering at the theatre for over 30 years. 

Lehi tackle Hayden Erickson (78) and other players high-five Lehi fans after the Lehi Pioneers defeated the Springville Red Devils in a 5A state semifinal game Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Skyridge wide receiver Nathan Upham (21) makes a deep catch while guarded by Corner Canyon defensive back John Scheffner (23) during a 5A state semifinal game between the Skyridge Falcons and the Corner Canyon Chargers on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Brigham Young Cougars outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perry (12) spikes the ball past San Francisco Dons right-side hitter Emily Zinger (9) during a game between Brigham Young University and University of San Francisco on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.

The Lone Peak Knights celebrate their victory over the Pleasant Grove Vikings in five sets in the 6A girls volleyball state championship match Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 at the UCCU Center on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem.

Lone Peak outside hitter Madelyn Robinson poses for a portrait Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 at Lone Peak High School in Highland. A senior, Robinson has been selected as the Daily Herald's Utah Valley Volleyball Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Utah Valley Wolverines guard Gabrielle Leos (21) looks to an official after she fouled Brigham Young Cougars center Sara Hamson (22) during a game between Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Dave Rose reacts to an official's call during a game between Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at the UCCU Center in Orem.

Salem Hills guard David Jones (14) pokes the ball away from Lone Peak guard Chantry Ross (0) during a game between the Lone Peak Knights and the Salem Hills Skyhawks in the Utah Valley Tipoff Classic on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 at the UCCU Center in Orem.

A month in pictures: October

A play unfolds during a playoff game between the Salem Hills Skyhawks and the Payson Lions on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at Salem Hills High School.


October was a month of sports.

Seasons that seem as if they began yesterday are coming to a close. High school football, girl's soccer, cross country, volleyball, tennis and Brigham Young University football have all either come to their last few games or ended entirely. It'll be nice to have one more BYU football game and also the state finals in volleyball and football, but otherwise the start of winter sports seasons are right around the corner. It's been a pretty crazy time photographing all of the paper's sporting events, covering other general assignments and working on Monday Close-Ups, but it's good to be shooting often.

This month's Monday Close-Up (which includes pictures 8-12) focused on fruit farms that were once in rural areas, but now find themselves among cities due to Utah County's population boom in recent decades. Since 1950, more than half a million people have settled in the county, and family fruit farms are slowly vanishing as owners die and families sell the once cheap farmland for a pretty penny. Those images make up the center of this blog post, and the full story can be read here: .

Besides being busy, I've felt a shift in the expanse of our coverage since becoming a photo staff of two. Time management is now even more crucial. For many of the sporting events shown here, I either got to the game late or had to leave early to cover other assignments (often to ensure we have a front-page photo for our news and sports sections). Sometimes we have to simply choose what it is that is most crucial to the next day's paper, but maximizing the use of time is helping improve on getting what I need at assignments as quickly as possible and then moving on to the next thing.

October is my favorite month of the year. Shooting so many sporting events kept me from attending as many fall-themed assignments, but Utah is incredibly beautiful no matter what I'm covering. The leaves changed quite early in Utah this year (early September in the mountains and later in the month in the valley), and it feels like we're already about to dive into winter. The days are growing shorter, and more and more assignments are moving inside, but I'll relish the last days of fall (and look forward to the fun that winter brings - like skiing!)

Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Va'a Niumatalolo (35) knocks the ball loose from San Jose State Spartans wide receiver Rahshead Johnson (8) for a fumble, which was soon after recovered by the Cougars, during a game between Brigham Young University and San Jose State University on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Neil Pau'u (84) reacts after not being able to complete a touchdown reception during a game between Brigham Young University and Boise State University on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars tight end Matt Bushman (89) celebrates with quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) after Bushman scored a touchdown on a pass from Mangum during a game between Brigham Young University and San Jose State University on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Brooklyn Cook, 6, center, of Springville, creates her own lightsaber from a pool noodle along with other children during Star Wars Reads Day on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 at the Springville Public Library.

From right, Pleasant Grove police officers Domonic Adamson, Rick Henderson and Lehi police officer Scott LeFevre carry volunteers role-playing as victims towards a medical station during a mass-casualty exercise Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 at the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo Grounds.

Andy Winder, a senior at BYU studying English who is also a trans man, poses for a portrait Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 in Provo.


Missael Castro, right, and Moises Alfaro Rios check the condition of a tomato as they and other workers harvest tomatoes Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 at one of Carlos Chavez's produce farms in Orem. “Every year has been a challenge," explained Chavez. "More houses around us, less land. I don’t know what percentage of land is left right now, but it’s bare minimum - especially here in Orem.”

A worker picks a tomato Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 at one of Carlos Chavez's produce farms in Orem.

From left, Tim Crandall, Fanny Fogamoni, and two of Tim's daughters, Emily Crandall Cullimore and Jenny Crandall Carlson, sort apples Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 at Crandall's Fruit Farm and Greenhouse in Orem. Tim explained that when he has to sort produce at his farm, often times many of his children and their spouses come to help out. “As long as we enjoy it, we’ll keep doing it," said Tim. "If the day comes we don’t enjoy it or it doesn’t work, we won’t do it anymore. But for now, we very much enjoy doing it and business keeps getting better and better. There’s fewer and fewer farms every year.”

Francisco Contreas assembles boxes that he and other workers will fill with tomatoes Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 at one of Carlos Chavez's produce farms in Orem.

Tim Crandall makes his way into his fruit stand while he's reflected in a display case showing pictures from the farm's past Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 at Crandall's Fruit Farm and Greenhouse in Orem.


Attendees gather with signs before a rally Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 at the East Bay Golf Course in Provo.

Lindsay Anderson, 5, of Provo, dances along with her mother, Phoebe, right, among dancers and drummers from Ngoma y’Africa during Meal for Mtulu on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 at Merit College Preparatory Academy in Springville.

Maple Mountain midfielder Ciena Woods (25) makes a save during the 5A Girl's Soccer State Championship match between the Timpanogos Timberwolves and the Maple Mountain Golden Eagles on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

Maple Mountain's Gracie Knutzen (27) hugs Brynlie Ivie (19) after defeating East in a shootout in the semifinals of the 5A state tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper.

Orem cheerleader Sadie Wimmer celebrates with quarterback Cooper Legas (5) after the Orem Golden Tigers defeated the Spanish Fork Dons on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 at Orem High School.

Brigham Young Cougars forward Yoeli Childs (23) dunks the ball past forward Dalton Nixon (33) during the Cougar Tipoff intra-team scrimmage on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Salem Hills defensive tackle Jackson O'hara (50) listens to coaches speak in their locker room before a playoff game between the Salem Hills Skyhawks and the Payson Lions on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at Salem Hills High School.

American Fork players celebrate just after time ran out with American Fork ahead 3-1 to make them the 6A Girl's Soccer State Champions over the Syracuse Titans on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

A month in pictures: September

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 newspaper. 

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.