A festivalgoer crowd surfs as a band performs during the Holi Festival of Colors held Saturday, March 30, 2019, at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork. An estimated 10,000 people from Utah and beyond attended the annual Hindu cultural celebration according to the assistant manager of the festival, Advaita Das.
is warmer and days are longer as spring settles into Utah.
That means that more and more
assignments take place outside and there's more natural light to work with,
both allowing for more unique photo opportunities than many of winter's often
indoor shoots. Winter sports also wrapped up at the start of March. Now, the
academic school year has shifted into the latter half of its last semester –
graduations and late-spring sports finals will be here before I know it.
March felt like quite
a long month, possibly because of some stretches being unusually light on assignments
and the last week being jam-packed. Most notably this past week, I got to brush
off my food-photography skills for a few shoots for our quarterly food magazine
(Taste of Utah Valley) and also photographed my first "color event",
the Holi Festival of Colors (which my camera survived, after lots of
pre-shoot preparations). Things felt more unpredictable than usual throughout March.
However, the variety of assignments this past month was wonderful (features,
news, sports, portraits, food and a photo story).
On a different front,
there's been changes developing at the Daily Herald (don't worry, nothing bad).
As the month progressed I began spending more time preparing for these changes
to take place. But, more on that next month.
American Fork's Isaac Johnson (33) tries to hold on to a pass in the paint while he's guarded by Davis forward Sam Arrington (13) and guard Trevan Leonhardt (10) during a semifinal game between the American Fork Cavemen and the Davis Darts in the UHSAA 6A Boys Basketball State Tournament held Friday, March 1, 2019, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
Attendees mill about before the Pillar of the Valley awards gala Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo.
Lillian O'Day, 12, of Provo, looks through a pair of glasses simulating what it's like to have glaucoma at the booth of optometrist Kristine Dunn during the Provo Girls Summit held Thursday, March 7, 2019, at the Provo City Library. Female professionals showed hundreds of girls what their futures can hold at the third-annual job fair.
A chocolate-chip "pizookie" is pictured Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at The Wash in Provo.
From left, former Hillcrest Elementary School students and current teachers Adam Ashton and Lisa Almberg look through a 1988-1989 yearbook with fellow current teachers Sherry Grover and Joy Edwards during an open house held Thursday, March 14, 2019, at Hillcrest Elementary School in Orem. The school will close and consolidate with another school at the end of this school year.
Brigham Young University infielder Carson Matthews (5) throws to first base for an out after fielding a ground ball during a game between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Gonzaga University Bulldogs held Saturday, March 16, 2019, at Miller Park in Provo.
Brigham Young University pitcher Jack Sterner (21) jokes with his teammates before a game between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Gonzaga University Bulldogs held Saturday, March 16, 2019, at Miller Park in Provo.
Keith Payne, chairman of the Utah Valley Trails Alliance, poses for a portrait at the Orem Bike Skills Trails Park located next to Mt. Timpanogos Park on Friday, March 29, 2019, in Provo Canyon. The Utah Valley Trails Alliance is aiming to help connect and maintain biking trails throughout Utah County.
Mohammad Altasan, of Orem, receives a flower as he leaves a prayer service during a community gathering held to support Muslims at the Utah Valley Islamic Center's Al Sahaba Mosque on Friday, March 15, 2019, in Orem. The gathering was organized by Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox and Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge in light of the mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand the same day.
American Fork's McKay Smith (2) reacts after a foul with 1.4 seconds left and a slim point differential during a semifinal game between the American Fork Cavemen and the Davis Darts in the UHSAA 6A Boys Basketball State Tournament held Friday, March 1, 2019, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden. The teams went on to play three overtime periods, with American Fork coming out on top.
A glass of boba milk tea is pictured Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at The Wash in Provo.
Tyler Richardson pays for an order using a digital self-order kiosk as he and Jess Holden, both of Provo, joke together Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at The Wash in Provo.
American Fork center Isaac Johnson (33) gestures to the crowd after the Cavemen defeated the Pleasant Grove Vikings 66-57 in the UHSAA 6A Boys Basketball State Championship game Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
Lehi Fire Department recruit Brian Van Blerkom uses a hydraulic rescue tool, also known as the "Jaws of Life", to make entry into a car during vehicle-extrication training Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at Lehi Block.
Community members, who declined to disclose their names, hug at the scene of an auto-pedestrian incident that killed a 6-year-old girl Wednesday, March 27, 2019, across the street from Vineyard Elementary School. Authorities later reported that the girl was Annie González, and that she had died at the scene from injuries sustained when she was playing on a scooter and collided with an SUV backing out of a driveway whose driver didn't see González.
Pleasant Grove guard Casey Brown (3) goes up for a shot while contested by Fremont's Ryken Nye (32) during a semifinal game between the Pleasant Grove Vikings and the Fremont Silver Wolves in the UHSAA 6A Boys Basketball State Tournament held Friday, March 1, 2019, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
Joseph Beltran, 17, of Provo, rides with fellow Independence High School junior Jaycee Doty, 17, during a snowboarding session held by Chill Salt Lake City on Monday, March 4, 2019, at Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Chill Salt Lake City is an after-school program that aims to improve the lives of at-risk youths both on and off the mountain, and has served over 1,000 Utah youths to date. Read more about this Monday Close-Up here: provodh.com/9gaku
Joseph Beltran laughs as he jokes with Jason Beck, a volunteer mentor with Chill Salt Lake City, during a snowboarding session held by Chill SLC on Monday, March 4, 2019, at Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon. "I get to watch their self-esteem improve and see them start actually believing in themselves," said Lynny Anderson, Salt Lake City coordinator with the Chill Foundation.
Joseph Beltran, left, laughs with fellow Independence High School junior Alan Espitia, 17, as they participate in an activity involving Oreos while they and other Chill Salt Lake City participants are bussed toward Brighton Resort for a snowboarding session Monday, March 4, 2019. Each week, different themes are introduced to Chill SLC participants on their way to and from snowboarding. This activity aimed to teach participants patience and persistence by tasking them with getting the cookie from their forehead to their mouths without touching it.
Pennants from various colleges and universities hang in the hallway as Independence High School junior Joseph Beltran walks to an environmental science class Friday, March 8, 2019, at Independence High School in Provo. When Beltran graduates from high school next year, he plans to be the first in his family to go to college and aims to attend Utah Valley University.
Joseph Beltran takes notes on a historical documentary during a U.S. history class Friday, March 8, 2019, at Independence High School in Provo. "At parent-teacher conferences, every single time we go they want to help," said Joseph's father, Alex Arellano, of Independence High School. "They want to do whatever it takes to get them to succeed. It just depends on the kid if they want it or not."
Joseph Beltran kicks up the skateboard of his little brother Damian, 15, as they leave their parent's Provo home Tuesday, March 12, 2019, to go skateboarding at the Provo Recreation Center Skate Park.
Joseph Beltran clears a gap as he skateboards Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at the Provo Recreation Center Skate Park. "I do change my mind a lot in what I want to do, but I know that whatever I do I want to be great at it," said Joseph.
Jaxon Willard stretches his legs before working on choreographing a dance for his sister's upcoming wedding Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, at Pointe Academy in Highland. The 17-year old's dance career recently made national waves when he competed on TV's "World of Dance".
Flexibility was key in February.
It's now that time of the year where sporting event after sporting event goes into the post-season. Having a few sporting events going on during any given day along with a constant need to populate the front page with news and features made planning ahead vital. The Herald's photo editor Evan and I often had to work odd shifts that felt a bit a la carte in terms of picking and choosing what stories we could realistically cover with so much happening at once. Figuring out how to keep momentum throughout the month and also optimizing the newsroom's editorial output during the lulls was a challenge.
Speaking of flexibility, I spent much of my February photographing talented athletes. Along with the wrestling, swimming, basketball and drill team high school state tournaments, I also had a chance to meet and photograph accomplished dancer (at only 17-years old) Jaxon Willard for my most recent Monday Close-Up. His story makes up the first seven images of this blog post, and more of it can be seen here: provodh.com/s512x
Non-sports assignments were few and far between this month. However, the few feature assignments I did get were wonderful. My favorite of them was the "Senior Prom" held at The Seville retirement community. Why? Let's just say an 84-year-old lady named Chrissie really, really wanted me to dance with me, and her persistence may have resulted in me ending my shift dancing with her to Dirty Dancing's "Time of my Life". (For the record, my girlfriend was just as tickled by the whole scenario as I was – Oh the things you can get into on assignment)
Jaxon Willard does an exercise with other dancers during a dance class held Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Pointe Academy in Highland. “He danced from the time he could walk, when he was a year-and-a-half old,” said Jaxon's mother, Cindy Willard. “Movement is his thing.”
Jaxon Willard jokes around between Addie Brems, 15, left, and Brightyn Brems, 13, both of Lehi, during a dance class held Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Pointe Academy in Highland. “There’s always way more girls than guys,” Jaxon said of competitions and the dance world in general. “A lot of guys is like 30-50 dancers, and a lot of girls is like 3,000."
American Fork junior Jaxon Willard laughs as he talks with junior Alexis Brynes during an art class Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, at American Fork High School. “He would get out of school at 2:15, go to dance at 3 until 10, Monday through Friday," said Jaxon's mother, Cindy Willard, of his past routine. Recently, Jaxon has been spending more time with his studies and less on the dance floor to help strike a productive balance.
From left, American Fork juniors Ali Vickers, Jaxon Willard, Megan Taylor, Morgan Nicholson and Sierra Hall head out from American Fork High School for lunch Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Despite dance taking a bit of a backseat to studying, Jaxon still keeps on his feet and has several gigs coming up including an event that a former president will attend, a dance-off hosted by a band with Utah roots that has earned three platinum records, and even two gigs outside of the United States.
Jaxon Willard stretches and gets "into his zone" before performing at the reception for his sister's wedding Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Castle Park Weddings and Events Venue in Lindon.
Jaxon Willard performs a dance he choreographed during the reception for his sister's wedding Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Castle Park Weddings and Events Venue in Lindon. Jaxon strives to make audiences feel as he does by channeling his emotions into often slow, dramatic sequences. Jaxon feels, “If your goal is to have other people feel something, you can’t expect people to feel something that you haven’t felt yourself."
Gordon Miner hugs his son, American Leadership Academy's Rhett Miner, after Rhett defeated Juab's Conner Ingram in the 126-pound weight class during the UHSAA 3A State Wrestling Championships held Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
American Fork center Isaac Johnson (33) dunks the ball during a fast break in a quarterfinal game between the American Fork Cavemen and the Copper Hills Grizzlies in the UHSAA 6A Boys Basketball State Tournament held Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
Olympus forward Jackson Frank (20) falls over Timpanogos guard Trey Anderson (5) after they both went for a rebound during a quarterfinal game between the Timpanogos Timberwolves and the Olympus Titans in the UHSAA 5A Boys Basketball State Tournament held Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
Wasatch's Ashlyn Hicken competes in the women's 500-yard freestyle during the UHSAA 5A State Swimming Championships held Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Brigham Young University's Richards Building pool in Provo.
American Leadership Academy's Rhett Miner celebrates after defeating Juab's Conner Ingram in the 126-pound weight class during the UHSAA 3A State Wrestling Championships held Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Wasatch guard Kymbee Baird (12) watches as a play unfolds late in the fourth quarter during the quarterfinals of the UHSAA 5A Girls Basketball State Tournament in a game between the Wasatch Wasps and the Box Elder Bees held Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Layton's Gage Howard holds down Westlake's Calvin Bishop as they wrestle in the 132-pound weight class during a preliminary match in the 6A division of the UHSAA State Wrestling Tournament held Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Timpanogos guard Colin Christensen (1) walks off the court with his teammates after the Timberwolves fell to the Olympus Titans 62-42 in a quarterfinal game during the UHSAA 5A Boys Basketball State Tournament held Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
Members of the Maple Mountain Dance Drill Team count off after performing during the UHSAA 5A State Drill Team Championships held Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
East guard Margarita Satini (2) recovers the ball after losing control of it as Provo guard Charlee Barker (10) looms near her during the quarterfinals of the UHSAA 5A Girls Basketball State Tournament in a game between the Provo Bulldogs and the East Leopards held Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.
Spanish Fork head coach Alyssa Larsen reacts after an official's call during an inter-region game between the Spanish Fork Dons and the Dixie Flyers in the first round of the UHSAA 4A Girls Basketball State Tournament held Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at Spanish Fork High School.
Spanish Fork's Brenda Jensen competes as the third leg in the men's 200-yard medley relay during the UHSAA 4A State Swimming Championships held Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Brigham Young University's Richards Building pool in Provo.
Pleasant Grove players and fans celebrate after defeating the American Fork Cavemen on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, at Pleasant Grove High School.
The Wasatch women's swim team, including head coach Shawn Marsing, jump into the pool in celebration after winning the women's overall team championship in the UHSAA 5A State Swimming Championships held Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Brigham Young University's Richards Building pool in Provo.
Greg Kelsey, center, and Wayne Gifford, both with the Utah Department of Public Safety's Dive Team, help fellow DPS divers Josh White and Colby Vanderbeek into the water during ice-diving exercises held Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Deer Creek State Park in Provo Canyon. The exercises were a collaboration between the Utah Department of Public Safety's Dive Team and California's Riverside County Sheriff's Office meant to share training practices, how different agencies approach different scenarios and get some divers ice certified. “It’s a very inhospitable environment," said Jeff Nigbur, a captain with the Utah Highway Patrol. "The more we can practice this, the better off we are in the long run when it’s really happening.”
A volunteer with the Utah County Crisis Line poses for a portrait Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at the Daily Herald in Provo. Because all volunteers at the crisis line are anonymous, this volunteer's face is obscured to protect her identity.
Brigham Young University freshman Fatwa Luka performs with the rest of Pretty Hurts during a celebration of Black History Month held Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at the Wilkinson Student Center on the campus of BYU in Provo.
Chrissie Malarkey, 87, dances with Brigham Young University student Brandon Passey during a "Senior Prom" held by the Lumen Scholar Institute on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at The Seville retirement community in Orem.
Vern and Amy Hart, a couple of 34 years, dance together during a "Senior Prom" held by the Lumen Scholar Institute on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at The Seville retirement community in Orem.
Julia Sumer, of Tampa, Florida, moves blocks of ice, which she will use to conceal a trash can, as the Midway Ice Castles are created Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, at Homestead Resort in Midway.
January is usually a slow month at newspapers, but this January kept me running.
Typically, January is a major lull period. Christmas and New Years is over, people are just getting back to work and school, and things tend to be a bit lethargic. Breaking news changed that lull for us at the Daily Herald this past month.
Most notably, Provo Police Officer Joseph Shinners was shot and killed while trying to apprehend a suspect on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. A death of any first responder can be heartbreaking for a community, and the Provo community was particularly shocked due to Utah County generally being known as one of the "safest places in America". The events that followed his death kept my boss, Evan Cobb, and I on our toes and balancing daily assignments and coverage of the slain local police officer. Evan and I tag-teamed coverage of Shinners' funeral. Funerals always choke me up, but it was a powerful experience photographing the funeral of Utah County's first police officer to be killed in the line of duty in roughly the last 100 years. An edit of the events following Shinners' death comprise the last seven images of this blog post.
Besides breaking news the Sundance Film Festival kept both Evan and I busy. The annual internationally-recognized film festival always tasks me with spending an entire day or two photographing street features and premieres. The film festival isn't the most photogenic event to cover (especially from a daily newspaper perspective that doesn't have opportunities for more in-depth feature or portraiture), but it's always an exciting atmosphere in which to be a part of the madness.
Otherwise, sporting events, general news events and a few weather-related features rounded out my first month in 2019. Winter is a wonderful time in Utah, and I look forward to (a hopefully not slow) February and shredding the slopes on my skis in my free time.
Deputy Chief Andrew Engemann demonstrates how to use the fire pole during an open house for the newly-built Pleasant Grove Fire Department held Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. The Pleasant Grove Fire Department, formed in 1906, toured community members throughout their new five-bay facility on Friday, and also handed out Station 71 commemorative coins. Another open house was held Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
Attendees begin making their way toward the Wilkinson Student Center during the Martin Luther King Jr. Walk of Life and Commemoration held Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo. More than 300 students and community members came out for the annual event. "There's a special feeling at events like this where people come out for a meaningful purpose," said Hayley Aiono, cultural programs coordinator of BYU's Multicultural Student Services. "It's a unifying thing."
Actress Amy Ryan responds to a question as she's interviewed by a member of the media before the premiere of "Late Night" held Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, at the Eccles Theatre in Park City.
Christine Wright, of Provo, holds up her sign along with other attendees as they cheer during the Women's Wave Rally held Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, outside the Historic Utah County Courthouse in Provo.
Hannah Hughes, of Orem, listens as a speaker talks about her own experience with rape during the Women's Wave Rally held Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, outside the Historic Utah County Courthouse in Provo.
Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez speaks as she gives her first State of the University address on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, at UVU in Orem.
Carly Pigxton, 5, compares her height to that of a fire truck wheel as her mother, Erika, holds her brother, Colton, 2, all of Pleasant Grove, during an open house for the newly-built Pleasant Grove Fire Department held Friday, Jan. 18, 2019.
Kit Norris shovels snow on the driveway of his Vivian Park home Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Provo Canyon.
Chloe Winget, 10, of Provo, packs snow into a snowball as she and her siblings play at South Fork Park on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Provo Canyon.
Brigham Young University players celebrate after defeating the Gonzaga University Bulldogs 70-68 on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at the Marriott Center in Provo.
Utah Valley University center Va'e Malufau (33) reaches for a loose ball beside Chicago State University forward Alexandria Cliff (4) during a game between the Utah Valley University Wolverines and the Chicago State University Cougars held Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Maple Mountain's Brock Morris wrestles with American Leadership Academy's Lukus Carrillo in the 106-pound weight class during the Dollamur Utah All-Star Dual held Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Pleasant Grove forward Sydney Valgardson (2) reaches out for a loose ball beside Westlake guard Ashley Parrry (4) while they and others scramble for the ball during a game between the Pleasant Grove Vikings and the Westlake Thunder held Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, at Pleasant Grove High School.
Brigham Young University libero Zach Hendrickson (6) celebrates a point during the Cougars' season opener against the Ohio State Buckeyes held Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.
Brigham Young University forward Babalu Ugwu (14) takes a shot while contested by Gonzaga University forward LeeAnne Wirth (4) during a game between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Gonzaga University Bulldogs held Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at the Marriott Center in Provo.
Brigham Young University opposite hitter Gabi Garcia Fernandez (5) bumps the ball during the Cougars' season opener against the Ohio State Buckeyes held Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.
Westlake guard Drake Allen (4) reacts after an official's call against the Thunder during a game between the Pleasant Grove Vikings and the Westlake Thunder held Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, at Pleasant Grove High School.
Tony and Amanda Turecki, friends of the Shinners family from New Hampshire, stand together as they listen to a speaker during a candlelight vigil for recently-slain Provo Police officer Joseph Shinners held Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, outside the Provo Police Department. Officer Shinners was shot and killed during a shootout that occurred when he tried to apprehend a suspect last Saturday night at a Bed Bath & Beyond in Orem.
John Sullivan, a friend of the Shinners family from Massachusetts, wipes tears from his eyes as he listens to a speaker during a candlelight vigil for recently-slain Provo Police officer Joseph Shinners held Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, outside the Provo Police Department. Shinners died due to his injuries that he sustained in the shootout and the suspect was also wounded, but survived his injuries.
Lights shine from Y Mountain in Provo on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, the night before the funeral for recently-slain Provo police officer Joseph Shinners.
Marta Burgess, of Orem, places a flag along 1200 West in Orem while a fellow volunteer gestures to lend a helping hand Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, as volunteers place flags and blue ribbons along the road as part of funeral preparations for recently-slain Provo police officer Joseph Shinners.
Honor guard members walk away from the casket of recently-slain Provo police officer Joseph Shinners after trading their posts with other officers during Shinners' funeral Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Kaylyn Shinners, wife of recently-slain Provo police officer Joseph Shinners, holds their one-year-old son, Logan, as she looks at her husband's casket in the hearse after Officer Shinners' funeral Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
The casket of recently-slain Provo police officer Joseph Shinners is put into the hearse after Shinners' funeral Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.