A Month in Pictures: May 2018

Syracuse's Nathan Kaufusi crosses the finish line in celebration after his team won their heat of the 6A boy's 4x4-meter relay during the UHSAA State Track and Field Championships on Friday, May 18, 2018 at Brigham Young University in Provo.


Ok, so this should be the last blog post with the majority of the pictures being related to high school sports for a little while.


Though I'll only be able to keep that promise for a month or two until the next volley of prep sports start up. Because I work for a daily newspaper with 33 high schools in our coverage area (and me being "the night-shift guy"), I shoot a lot of sports. Utah County teams had a tough year (none of "our" schools got near the championship games in baseball and softball), but with so many schools in so many sports, there was plenty of the "thrill of victory" and "agony of defeat" sort of moments to photograph.


This month was mainly comprised of such sporting events, peppered with several graduations and with a feature/news assignment every now and then. The last 31 days I found myself spending more time in the viewfinder waiting for decisive moments to make a picture come together. Generally I find myself especially draw to compositionally-driven photographs, but it's been a long-term goal of mine to pair decisive moments and thoughtful compositions more cohesively to really take my skills to the next level.


As for blog layout this month, I decided to intermix all of my images in a more portfolio-presentation style. Typically I order my photos generally in categories (sports with sports, features with features, portrait with portraits, and so on), but I decided to mix things up a bit to keep images more varied and fresh. 


On the project front, I did a story on a local school district's Title VI Indian (Native American) Education program for my Monday Close-Up this month. The written story and more photos from that quick project can be seen here: provodh.com/iynsr. I also began working on a longer-term rodeo project that I hope will come together in the following months.

Ella Donovan, 4, looks questioningly at her sister, Addision, 6, both of Springville, as Ella checks to see if she is tall enough to ride the slides in the activity-pool area after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at the Clyde Recreation Center in Springville. The aquatic center opened to the public on May 24. 

Spanish Fork pitcher Jordyn Bate sports her three state-championship rings as she poses for a portrait Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at the Spanish Fork Sports Park. A senior who also plays as an outfielder, Bate has been selected as the Daily Herald's 2018 Utah Valley Softball Player of the Year. 

Timpview's Josh Pearce serves the ball to Brighton's Redd Owen during their 5A first singles match in the UHSAA 5A/6A Boys State Tennis Championships on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the Liberty Park Tennis Center in Salt Lake City. 

Axel McBride sings "We Are the Skyhawks" with the rest of Salem Hills High School's concert choir during the school's graduation ceremony Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Salem. This year Salem Hills High School graduated 382 students. 

Rep. John Curtis listens to a question during a post-debate media scrum after Utah's Republican primary debate for the Third Congressional District seat held Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at KBYU Studios on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. 

Audrey Pestana, 9, dressed as Marie Antoinette painted by Vigee Le Brun, waits her turn to speak during the Portrait Stories living art show presented by Mrs. Nielsen's fourth-grade class Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at Ivy Hall Academy in Provo. Students took the stage dressed as famous painted portraits and held the pose depicted in the painting as other students described the original work of art.

Springville's Sean Holloway celebrates as he crosses the finish line after winning his heat of the 5A boy's 200-meter race during the UHSAA State Track and Field Championships on Friday, May 18, 2018 at Brigham Young University in Provo. 

Orem's Devin Robins (6) heads the ball while guarded by Juan Diego Catholic midfielder Christian Carabajal (8) during a UHSAA quarterfinals match between the Orem Golden Tigers and the Juan Diego Catholic Soaring Eagles on Saturday, May 5, 2018, at Orem High School.

Lone Peak's Maddie Moss hugs a teammate after the Knights were announced grand champions after the UHSAA 6A girls golf championship Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Meadow Brook Golf Course in Taylorsville. 

Pleasant Grove forward Carson Ecalono (8) watches as the ball gets loose from him during the 6A boy's soccer state championship match between the Pleasant Grove Vikings and the Herriman Mustangs on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. 

American Fork pitcher Ryan Hardman poses for a portrait Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at American Fork High School. A senior who also plays shortstop, Hardman has been selected as the Daily Herald's 2018 Utah Valley Baseball Player of the Year.

Skyridge midfielder McCoy Evers (4) and midfielder Austin Wallace (44) celebrate Evers' goal that increased the Falcons' lead over the Thunderbirds 3-1 late in the second half during the UHSAA 5A boys soccer tournament Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at Skyridge High School.

Soon-to-be graduates make their way toward the UCCU Center before Utah Valley University's 77th Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Orem. 

Timpanogos center fielder Derik Eaquinto (17) watches after being tagged out as Olympus' Hayden Curtis (9) throws to first base, but can't quite make a double play, during a 5A state playoff game against the Olympus Titans on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Kearns High School. 

Lone Peak's Dominic Bentil reacts atop the winner's podium after claiming first place in the 6A boy's 200-meter race and making a new state record in the event during the UHSAA State Track and Field Championships on Friday, May 18, 2018 at Brigham Young University in Provo.

Pleasant Grove defender Tyler Ashby (13) and head coach Chris Ecalono celebrate Ashby's game-tying goal during the 6A boy's soccer state championship match between the Pleasant Grove Vikings and the Herriman Mustangs on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. 

Cole Griffin, former Skyhawks point guard, dunks a basketball as he plays with friends before Salem Hills High School's graduation ceremony Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at the school in Salem. This year both the boys and girls basketball teams at Salem Hills High School took home the 4A state championship.

From left, Kenedee Bodily, Aryanna Lundahl and Kameron Hitesman, all soon-to-be graduates of the cosmetology program, take a selfie together before Mountainland Technical College's graduation ceremony held Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem. The graduation is the institution's first since it changed its name from Mountainland Applied Technology College (MATC).

Phoebe Clark, 6, of Orem, looks back as she runs away with a shawl during a dance class held by Alpine School District's Title VI American Indian Education program Wednesday, April 25, 2018, at Mountain View High School in Orem. More from this Monday Close-Up can be seen here: provodh.com/iynsr .

Pleasant Grove head coach Chris Ecalono cheers after being doused in water by his players after the Vikings won the 6A boy's soccer state championship over the Herriman Mustangs in a penalty shootout Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

Amanda Davis Arthur, one of Kiplyn's cousins, holds a candle while Amazing Grace is performed during a vigil held for missing people in Utah, including Kiplyn Davis, who has been missing for 23 years, on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at the Spanish Fork City Cemetery.

A Month in Pictures: April 2018

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.


Winter 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 photojournalist.

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.

A Month in Pictures: March 2018

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.