Antoinette Miller, 9, looks back as she listens to her father, Luke, preach during a worship service Sunday, March 18, 2018, at Living Water Mennonite Church in Provo. According to Pastor Luke, the church is one of only two established places of worship for Mennonites in Utah.
has passed (despite snow falling in the valley yesterday) and Spring is slowly
but surely settling into Utah.
April was a month of ebb and flow. It seems assignments often fell
on the same days, and other days we photographers had to rustle up some
art/stories for the front pages.
I began last month finishing up a Monday Close-Up on the Living
Water Mennonite Church. According to one of the church's pastors, the Provo
church is one of only two Mennonite churches in all of Utah. I had held onto
the story idea for a couple of months, and decided to dig into the story around
Easter. I stopped by one of the church's services, a home bible study, and a
birthday party for a family's son in the church. I planned on also
photographing the church's Easter sunrise service, but a previous
long-scheduled personal commitment forced me to miss the service. Since I often
work on Monday Close-Ups on my days off, it's sometimes difficult to juggle
personal and professional obligations. Regardless, having the ability to work
on stories like this is what I love about the Daily Herald. Read more about that story here: https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/faith/the-living-water-mennonite-church-provides-community-for-utah-s/article_07839808-1ac3-503b-ab3e-e339c2d55c28.html.
Otherwise, April was a mixed bag of sports, more breaking news
than usual as well as several feature and news assignments. One assignment that stood out was the funeral for two
teenagers that were murdered and thrown into a mineshaft, Their bodies were
found at the end of March. I've only covered a few funerals while working for
newspapers, but this one was far and away the most emotional. Assignments that
task me with looking into the face of people going through hell and pressing
the shutter, while also doing my absolute best to respect their wishes and
privacy, is a difficult and emotionally-trying thing to do. However, despite
all the grief, seeing people come together under such trying circumstances can be uplifting. Getting a front row seat to document the spectrum of good, bad and
otherwise of communities is probably my favorite aspect of being a
Now, graduation season is upon the newspaper, and spring sports
playoffs will soon follow.
Beth Miller prays as she holds her son, Adrian, 3, beside Kendra Gingerich as the women of the congregation take part in a Bible study during a worship service Sunday, March 18, 2018, at Living Water Mennonite Church in Provo. For part of each worship service, the men, women, and children break into separate groups to take part in Bible studies.
Elliot Miller, 11, looks to Archie Williams as he takes notes during a worship service Sunday, March 18, 2018, at Living Water Mennonite Church in Provo.
Luke Miller preaches during a worship service Sunday, March 18, 2018, at Living Water Mennonite Church in Provo. The church currently holds services in a renovated garage, but hopes to build a more permanent place of worship soon.
Ethan Mast, 11, gets airborne as he jumps with other children on a trampoline during a birthday party Friday, March 30, 2018, at the family home of Pastor Luke Miller in Provo. Though varying from group to group, Mennonites can use various pieces of technology. However, the emphasis is usually upon what the technology is used for rather than what the technology is itself.
Elliot Miller, 11, soon to be 12, blows out the candles on his birthday pie Friday, March 30, 2018, at the family home of Pastor Luke Miller in Provo.
From left, Lane Mast, 10, Julien Palreiro, 12, Elliot Miller, 11, Ethan Mast, 11, and Ocean Palreiro, 9, joke around with one another as Elliott's mother gets a camera to take their picture during his birthday party Friday, March 30, 2018, at the family home of Pastor Luke Miller in Provo.
Brigham Young Cougars middle blocker Price Jarman (1) tries to get away from a hit from UCLA Bruins libero Sam Jones (14) as setter Leo Durkin (4) tries to get to the ball during the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship between Brigham Young University and the University of California Los Angeles on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.
Santa Clara Broncos Katherine Sanchez (21) collides with Brigham Young Cougars first baseman Allie Hancock (27) as Sanchez runs to first base after her hit during the first game of a doubleheader between Brigham Young University and Santa Clara University on Friday, April 6, 2018, at Miller Park in Provo.
Brigham Young Cougars infielder Brian Hsu (13) juggles the ball allowing Utah Utes outfielder Erick Migueles (15) to safely cross first base during a game between Brigham Young University and the University of Utah on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at Miller Park in Provo.
Skyridge pitcher Carter Smith (26) bites his lip as he leaves the mound at the top of the fifth inning as the Falcons trail the Timpanogos Timberwolves 4-0 on Friday, April 27, 2018, at Skyridge High School in Lehi.
Lehi outfielder Tyson Eager (24) misses a catch during a game between the Lehi Pioneers and the Orem Golden Tigers on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at Lehi High School.
Brigham Young Cougars assistant coach Luka Slabe cheers after a BYU point during a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation semifinals match between Brigham Young University and the University of Southern California on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.
Orem's Dallin Lee (2) successfully steals second base and beats the tag by Lehi's Ray Santa Cruz (4) during a game between the Lehi Pioneers and the Orem Golden Tigers on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at Lehi High School.
Fans react while Justin Timberlake sings as he crosses a runway-style portion of the stage during the "Man of the Woods" tour at its stop Thursday, April 12, 2018, at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Attendees dance during the grand entry of a powwow held Friday, April 20, 2018, at Lockhart Arena on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem.
Kylysta Otteson, "Breezy's" oldest sister, wipes a tear as she looks at the remains of her sister while she's consoled by Cassie Anderson after a memorial service for Riley Powell and Brelynne "Breezy" Otteson held Saturday, April 7, 2018, at the Tintic School District office building in Eureka. The two teenagers were murdered and their bodies thrown into a mineshaft in December. Their bodies were found on March 28.
Aurelia Berryhill, of Elk Ridge and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in media arts, looks to the crowd as she and fellow soon-to-be graduates process before Brigham Young University's Spring Commencement Exercises held Thursday, April 26, 2018, at the Marriott Center in Provo.
Kevin Baillargeon, 13, plays with a drawstring on his mother's, Marisa Baillargeon, hoodie as he sits with his sister, MaKayla Baillargeon, 14, and caregiver, Matt Williamson, while they answer questions from a reporter Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at their temporary home in American Fork. Kevin was born with phocomelia syndrome, which leaves him with no limbs. Local schools have teamed up to fundraise for the family's medical expenses.
Chloe Evans, 14, left, an eighth-grader at Spanish Fork Jr. High School, jokes around with Shae Johnson, 13, also an eighth-grader, as they fold paper while students from local schools create origami flowers for victims of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at Spanish Fork High School.
BYU senior Lauren Holbrook, studying public relations, poses for a portrait next to the "Tree Of Wisdom" art installation Thursday, April 5, 2018, on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo. Holbrook has had three heart transplants.
Jordan Thomas, 10, of Lindon, works to move a rock with fellow Pack 1121 scouts during a service day at the Boy Scouts of America's Camp X on Saturday, April 14, 2018, in the countryside southwest of Cedar Fort.
Utah Rep. Mike Kennedy speaks to community members during a primary campaign kickoff party held Friday, April 27, 2018, at the U.S. Senate candidate's home in Alpine.
Salem Hills forward Lauren Gustin lays the ball up as she poses for a portrait Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Salem Hills High School. A senior and top-scorer in a single season in Utah girls basketball history, Gustin has been named the 2018 Utah Valley Girls Basketball Player of the Year by the Daily Herald.
I played with (studio) lights a whole lot this month.
In March, I worked on several Daily Herald projects that allowed me to practice my lighting skills: our quarterly player of the year stories for winter sports, food shoots for stories in our upcoming food magazine, Taste, and a series on women in male-dominated fields. For the first and last of those projects, I focused on experimenting technically with gels and trying to put myself at unique angles to get a new perspective. I really enjoy shoots that allow for me to use additional lighting because it allows me to manipulate light to make it do exactly what I want as to opposed my usual situation of making unchangeable natural light work for me on general assignments.
The first few days of the month were jam-packed with the end of high school boys and girls basketball tournaments. As I explained last month (which was primarily sports assignments), shooting sports so frequently has allowed me to really tune my workflow and become as efficient as possible while photographing games. Getting to shoot so many games also made me very familiar with each of our players of the year, which made for making representative portraits and interacting with them on shoots a more straight-forward task.
Primarily with my "off time" this month, I did my monthly Monday Close-Up on Brighton Gibson, a male cheerleader at Orem High School who has Fragile X syndrome. I photographed Brighton during the latter portion of February and very start of this month, and the story published the first Monday of March. You can read and see more about Brighton in my story here: provodh.com/vpaw8.
At the end of March, I also traveled back to Ohio to sing with the Singing Men of Ohio (the men's choir I sang in at my alma mater) for the group's annual alumni weekend, and visited a few Ohio friends I hadn't seen in years. Seeing but having to leave so many good friends was a bit of a bittersweet experience, and made me mentally revisit the importance of creating a healthy work/social life balance in my own life. In my opinion, it's extremely hard to be a successful professional and live a full personal life (which is the case with many professions), but I'll keep trying to find that balance as I continue to grow while moving down the path of photojournalism.
Brighton Gibson turns his head and tells a sassy joke as freshman Ellery Davidson reacts and Madi Patten, a senior on the cheer squad with Down syndrome, fixes the hair of freshman Lauren Crawford before basketball senior night Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at Orem High School. Brighton is a senior on the cheer squad who has Fragile X syndrome, which can appear like autism, but autism and Fragile X are not the same thing. Though Brighton loves performing and being sassy, social attention can lead to overstimulation in those with Fragile X, so he often closes his eyes or looks away from people when he's feeling overwhelmed.
Brighton Gibson cheers with the Orem high school cheer squad during basketball senior night Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at Orem High School. Though he has always had a love of singing and performing, Brighton was extremely shy and introverted when he first came to high school. Therefore his parents wanted to work on his social skills and decided that eventually joining the cheer team would be one of his goals to help break out of his shell.
Brighton Gibson and Madi Patten hug senior Gracyn Matthews during basketball senior night Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at Orem High School. "The impact they have been to our team, really can not be expressed in words," said Orem cheer coach, Debi Lee, of Brighton and Madi. "Seeing them both grow in confidence, and become who they are has been not only fulfilling as a coach, but life changing for me."
Brighton Gibson, in hoodie, boards a bus with the rest of the Orem high school cheer squad for the boys basketball team's state semifinal game, held at the UCCU Center, Thursday, March 1, 2018, at Orem High School.
Brighton Gibson puts silverware away under the cover of a blanket Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, at the Gibson's home in Orem. Brighton does chores like any normal teenager, but Fragile X can cause him to be reclusive and seek emotional comfort when he's too overstimulated, especially when outside of his comfort environments like the cheer squad and his home.
Brighton Gibson listens to music and sings into his toy microphone Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in the basement of the Gibson's home in Orem. "He’s always been a singer," said Rachael, his mother. "He’ll come out on the back porch or the front yard and just sing his heart out. Though, as soon as he gets attention, he stops."
A police vehicle pursues the "bandit car" (not pictured) during night pursuit training held by the Utah County Sheriff's Office on Friday, March 9, 2018, at the Emergency Vehicle Operations Range near Camp Williams State Military Reservation in Bluffdale.
McKenna Smith, of Eagle Mountain, practices putting on her breathing apparatus in a time trial during the Firefighter Rookie Challenge on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy in Provo.
Sam Dahl, right, jokes around with Randa Mortensen, both of Provo, after they finished the race during the Rex Lee Run held Saturday, March 9, 2018, in Provo.
Brynnlee Cloward, 11, of Lehi, tells a story during her video audition Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the Orem Public Library. Auditions were recorded on two tablets and then sent off to judges for a chance to be included in the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival or the Biggest Liars Contest.
Halen Hubbard, of Herriman, right, waves his cell-phone flashlight in the air with the rest of the audience as Jake J and the Killjoys performs during Bon Jovi's "This House Is Not For Sale" tour held Friday, March 16, 2018, at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Jonny Peay rests for a moment after completing an exercise during a CrossFit class Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Elevate Fitness & Rehab in Orem. Despite having Down syndrome, Peay strives to live a "normal" life and plans on attending Utah State University in the fall.
Lone Peak forward Max Brenchley (1) hugs guard Steven Ashworth (3) as they go to celebrate after their victory over the Pleasant Grove Vikings in the UHSAA 6A Boys Basketball State Championship on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
Salem Hills' Keanna Vaitohi (13) and Cedar City's Dream Weaver (00) collide as they scramble for a loose ball during the quarterfinals of the UHSAA 4A Girls Basketball State Tournament in a game between the Salem Hills Skyhawks and the Cedar City Redmen on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Salem Hills girls basketball head coach Kyle Francom waves as the boys basketball team congratulates the girls basketball team after the girls team defeated the Logan Grizzlies in the semifinals of the UHSAA 4A Girls Basketball State Tournament on Friday, March 2, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Salem Hills' Savannah Gustin (21) kisses the championship trophy with her teammates after their victory over the Hurricane Tigers in the UHSAA 4A Girls Basketball State Championship on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Lone Peak guard Steven Ashworth (3) jumps into the arms of head coach David Evans after their victory over the Pleasant Grove Vikings in the UHSAA 6A Boys Basketball State Championship on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
Maple Mountain senior Brandyn Van Tassell poses for a portrait Thursday, March 15, 2018, at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork. Wrestling in the 182-pound weight class and a two-time state champion, Van Tassell has been named the Daily Herald's 2018 Utah Valley Wrestler of the Year.
Vineyard mayor Julie Fullmer poses for a portrait Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at the Vineyard Public Safety Building. Fullmer is the first female mayor of Vineyard, a rapidly-growing city in Utah County.
Provo Fire Department Battalion Chief Debby Honeycutt-Shepherd poses for a portrait Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at the Provo Fire Department.
Nisha King, a sergeant in the Provo Police Department and a member of the Orem-Provo-BYU Metro SWAT team, poses for a portrait Thursday, March 8, 2018, at the Provo Shooting Sports Park.
Wasatch's Sammy Heywood takes a moment to himself before the UHSAA 6A and 5A State Wrestling Championships on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem. Heywood went on to win the 5A state title in the 126-pound weight class.
High school state tournaments were my life this month.
Action and reactions were the name of the game throughout different divisions of wrestling, basketball (boys and girls) and drill teams. I can say that covering back-to-back games on deadline has certainly quickened my workflow and improved my time-management skills this month. Though the vast majority of my shoots this month included typical state tournament coverage, I had to bounce to and from some sporting events to photograph a few feature and general news assignments (because we can't put sports on the front page every day, right?)
Though in terms of news, February is typically a pretty slow month. Mitt Romney hanging out with various Utah politicians in Provo after announcing his Senate run was a highlight for sure, but otherwise we had to look a little harder for front-page features at the newspaper. I had to find, photograph and write a few centerpiece stories. Only having two photojournalists at the paper instead of three as it was last year has made this time of year a bit more stressful with state tournaments, but I'm glad Evan is here to help us divide and conquer what we can as a two-man band.
This was a more cut-and-dry month of shooting than most (considering I can't turn in a bunch of random sports features to the newspaper and that be ok for game-coverage stories - though I fit a whole lot of sad high schoolers into this post). However, I still fit in my monthly Monday-Close Up, which I did on a live-action role-playing group here in Utah County. That quick little edit of photos is the last five pictures of this post, and read more about it more here: http://provodh.com/aarue.
American Leadership Academy's Quenton Mortimer holds down South Sevier's Triston Fillmore as they wrestle in the 126-pound weight class during the UHSAA 3A and 4A State Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Members of the Pleasant Grove Military Drill Team perform during the UHSAA State Drill Team Championships on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem. Eighteen schools from around the state, including four Utah County schools, competed throughout the evening in three different categories: military, dance and character.
Timpview guard Taylor Ross (31) is helped off the floor by her father, Dan, of Provo, left, after she sustained an injury on a play during the UHSAA 5A Girls Basketball State Championship between the Timpview Thunderbirds and the East Leopards on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Wasatch's DJ Cohen sustains a hold on Viewmont's W. Taylor Money as they wrestle in the 195-pound weight class during the UHSAA 6A and 5A State Wrestling Championships on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Timpview head coach Aimee Dorais addresses her players just before the start of the fourth quarter during the UHSAA 5A Girls Basketball State Championship between the Timpview Thunderbirds and the East Leopards on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Westlake's Rian Fullmer (22) and Hillcrest forward Taylee Allen (20) both reach for a Westlake offensive rebound during the quarterfinals of the UHSAA 6A Girls Basketball State Tournament in a game between the Westlake Thunder and the Hillcrest Huskies on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Timpview guard Madelyn Boulton (2) reacts after she fell to the floor from an East player's crossover during the UHSAA 5A Girls Basketball State Championship between the Timpview Thunderbirds and the East Leopards on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Dave Rose walks toward his players during a timeout in a game between Brigham Young University and Gonzaga University on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at the Marriott Center in Provo.
The Salem Hills bench celebrates after Dixie Lainhart (5) made a three-point shot to put the Skyhawks up 34-31 late in the fourth quarter of a game between the Salem Hills Skyhawks and the Mountain View Bruins on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, at Salem Hills High School.
Westlake head coach Michael O'Connor puts his arm around Samantha Hester (10) after she fouled out of the game in overtime during the semifinals of the UHSAA 6A Girls Basketball State Tournament in a game between the Westlake Thunder and the Fremont Silver Wolves on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Orem's Cooper Legas celebrates his victory over Desert Hills' Byron Anderson in the 195-pound weight class during the UHSAA 3A and 4A State Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the Lincoln Day Dinner held by the Utah County Republican Party on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo.
The Maple Mountain drumline performs during a surprise hot-tub-reveal party for Army veteran Jared Vivyan on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at Vivyan's home in Payson.
Dentist Darren Gardner talks with Angelique Lozan, 7, of Orem, during the Give Kids A Smile event Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at the Utah College of Dental Hygiene in Orem. Give Kids A Smile brought together dentists throughout the area to donate over $100,000 of dental-care services to the community.
Tayshaun Keck, 13, right, enjoys ice cream with Jason Rowland, 14, both of Pleasant Grove, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, at the Purple Turtle in Pleasant Grove. This year, the Purple Turtle is celebrating 50 years of business in the community.
Aaron Gonzales, left, also known by his in-game persona as Chaco, duels with James Stich, both of Orem, also known by his persona as Stich, before battle games held by the Duchy of Iron Hold on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at Orem City Center Park in Orem, Utah. Iron Hold, which is Utah County's Amtgard group, currently has about 30 active members, and grows to about 50 members in summer months.
Jeffrey Fields, of Provo, also know by his in-game persona as Arc, works on creating a chain-mail shirt during craft night Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, at the home of the group's monarch in Orem, Utah. Amtgard players make their own weapons, armor and other items.
Alyssa Hunter, center, of Provo, also know by her in-game persona as Silent Kitten, looks up as she sketches weapons to create while Beth Egnew, left, of Orem, also know by her persona as Galastacia, looks up from playing a video game during craft night Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, at the home of the group's monarch in Orem, Utah. Craft night is a chance for Amtgard players to get together to bolster their in-game wares, but also to hangout with one another.
Players including Maya Frazier, second from right, of Orem, also known by her in-game persona as Kara, fight during battle games held by the Duchy of Iron Hold on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at Orem City Center Park in Orem, Utah. Battle games can be played in many different ways: some are more traditional team death match style, whereas others are more objective-based with overarching story elements.
Aaron Gonzales, of Orem, also known by his in-game persona as Chaco, is hit by a spell ball, right in red, during battle games held by the Duchy of Iron Hold on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at Orem City Center Park in Orem, Utah. In-game magic falls into three categories: verbal spells, spell balls and enchantments.