A Month in Pictures: February 2018

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.

A month in pictures: January 2018

Sam Jolley pumps out a rep as he works out Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, at VASA Fitness in American Fork. Jolley was once an avid motocross rider, but in 2003 a crash during a race left him paralyzed from the waist down.


As I was looking back at all of these photos, it's hard to believe just how much happened in January.

To begin with, I finally got around to doing a Monday Close-Up on Sam Jolley (I had been waiting to do this story for a few months). Sam was once a motocross rider, but a crash during a race ended his career 15 years ago and left him paraplegic. Today, Sam is amazingly active considering his physical state. He often works out, paraglides, skis, and does other adventurous things with his free time. It was a struggle to get winds that were consistent enough for Sam to paraglide, but two days before the story published, he finally took to the skies - which allowed me to make a crucial few photos at the last minute. His journey to where he is today has been long and grueling. His story includes the photo above and the eight that follow below. Read more about Sam here: .

The biggest news of the month was easily the passing of Thomas S. Monson, the late President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, his passing didn't seem to have the outward emotional effect on the people of Utah that I thought it would. Among photographers, we would joke that Monson's death would be the biggest "drop everything and go to work, all hands on deck" news event that we could possibly experience in Utah. Though, once he passed, there was little to cover. I went to Temple Square to photograph scenes there, but found only two floral wreaths and flags at half-staff. Monson's viewing was totally closed to the media. The media was only allowed to be outside of the building where the viewing was held for two hours. During the funeral itself, photographers were confined to the back rows of the LDS Conference Center (which is how access usually is when General Conference is held there, so that wasn't a big surprise or hassle). His casket was loaded into a hearse in an underground tunnel and the burial was also off-limits to the media, so all of those photo opportunities were not possible. It was interesting to hear from more seasoned photographers that when the last Prophet/President of the LDS Church passed away, all of those restrictions to the media were not in place (viewing, hearse loading, burial, etc.). A sort of general news essay from funeral proceedings make up the last seven photos of this blog post.

Besides working with Sam Jolley and Monson's funeral, I had plenty of daily assignments to keep me busy. The political scene was very active with local mayors taking office, entertainment was lively with everything going on at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, and sports teams are in the midst of their seasons before entering playoff season. I sadly got to spend only one afternoon up at the Sundance Film Festival, but I did manage to attend a swanky RSVP-only party in Sundance on one of my days off (one must fit some personal fun time into a busy month).

All in all, I think January was a solid month. Going forward, I hope to really start honing my Monday Close-Ups into more striking projects that will find their way into my portfolio, and also continuing to look for fresh takes on general assignments.

Sam Jolley transfers from his wheelchair to a piece of exercise equipment at VASA Fitness in American Fork. From a young age, Jolley took to motocross to fulfill his love of adrenaline-filled activities. “That’s when I knew I was born to be on wheels…I just wasn’t planning on these wheels,” he said.

Sam Jolley tightens hooks affixed to his wrists as he works out at VASA Fitness in American Fork. The hooks allow him to get a better grip on weights, since Jolley has a lack of dexterity in his fingers in addition to being paraplegic.

Sam Jolley reaches back to put on his sweatshirt at his home in Pleasant Grove before going out with his son.

Sam Jolley watches old footage of himself tandem paragliding as trophies from his motocross career sit on a shelf at his home in Pleasant Grove. “The bike things sort of grew up with me," said Jolley of his passion for motocross. "It’s always been my peaceful time in the middle of chaos.”

Sam Jolley waves to a neighbor as they drive by while he gets into his truck with his son at Jolley's home in Pleasant Grove. Jolley's truck is specially engineered so that he can not only get into the driver's seat, but also drive the vehicle himself.

Sam Jolley throws a stray dodgeball back into the mix as his son, Treven Jolley, 14, left, competes in a pick-up dodgeball match at Get Air Hang Time in Orem. Jolley's son lives with his mother in a rural town about an hour away. “I get him on the weekends," explained Jolley. "He’s been a big part of my life.” 

Sam Jolley practices ground handling and other paragliding skills with the help of Mark Rich, a Draper resident with Project Airtime, before taking flight at the Flight Park State Recreation Area in Draper. Jolley learned how to paraglide with Project Airtime, a Draper-based non-profit that aims to get everyone into the skies. 

Sam Jolley paraglides through the air in the direction of Lake Mountain at the Flight Park State Recreation Area in Draper. Jolley explained that he often tells people, “In the midst of all of your struggle, don’t forget to have fun.”


Provo High School faculty walk through a partially-completed hallway during a tour of the new Provo High School that is currently under construction Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. The high school is located at 1300 N. Lakeshore Dr. in Provo.

Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie looks to fellow commissioner Bill Lee as the seat of commissioner Greg Graves remains vacant during the State of the County Address on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo. Graves failed to appear at several public meetings and events after a female Utah County employee accused the commissioner of sexual harassment.

ALA junior Kaden Dengin, center, performs with fellow students during show choir practice Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork.

Brigham Young Cougars forward Luke Worthington (41) is fouled while his shot is contested by several Loyola Marymount Lions defenders during a game between Brigham Young University and Loyola Marymount University on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Pleasant Grove guard Kael Mikkelsen (24) dives to throw the ball back in bounds during a game between the Pleasant Grove Vikings and the Lone Peak Knights on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Pleasant Grove High School.

Brigham Young Cougars guard TJ Haws (30) and Pepperdine Waves guard Colbey Ross (4) reach for the ball after Ross lost control of it during a game between Brigham Young University and Pepperdine University on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

The BYU bench helps up and cheers on Brigham Young Cougars guard Paisley Johnson (13) as she runs back out into the action after she fell into the bench on a play during a game between Brigham Young University and Saint Mary's College of California on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars guard TJ Haws (30) protests an official's call after fouling Pacific Tigers guard Roberto Gallinat, background, during a game between Brigham Young University and University of the Pacific on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Brandyn VanTassell, of Maple Mountain, sustains a hold on Byron Anderson, of Desert Hills, during the Utah All-Star Dual on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem.

The newly-married couple, Joseph and Claudia Young, both 90, kiss after their sealing ceremony Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, at the Provo Utah Temple.

Anna Dean, left, demonstrates how to use an interactive station where visitors can find out what famous people they're related to, on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, at the FamilySearch Center in Lehi. 

Cindy and David Walter, of Alpine, dance during an inaugural ball for Provo's first female mayor, Michelle Kaufusi, on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, at the Provo City Library. 

Porter's Place owner Bob Trepanier poses for a portrait in the restaurant Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Lehi. A broken sewer pipe has caused the restaurant to close, and it is uncertain if the pipes will be fixed and if the restaurant will be reopened. 

Dan Reynolds, lead vocalist for Imagine Dragons, gives a shoutout as he talks with the media during the premiere of "Believer" at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at the Marc Theatre in Park City. "Believer", a documentary-style film told from the perspective of Reynolds, focuses on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their relationship with the LGBTQ community.


Church officials stand as the casket of Thomas S. Monson, the late prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is brought to the rostrum during his funeral service Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Monson passed away Jan. 2 of natural causes at age 90.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, former second counselor in the First Presidency, right, and President Henry B. Eyring, former first counselor in the First Presidency, sit on either side of the vacant seat of President Thomas S. Monson during Monson's funeral at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

Attendees stand as the funeral party makes their way out to their seats during President Thomas S. Monson's funeral at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

Linda Winegar, of Pleasant Grove, holds her hand on her son, Finn, 8, as the casket of Thomas S. Monson is taken away after the funeral service at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Finn had never been inside the conference center before the funeral.

Church officials talk amongst themselves before the funeral of Thomas S. Monson at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir listens as President Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks during the funeral of President Thomas S. Monson at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

A floral wreath dedicated to the late LDS President and Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, stands in front of the Church Administration Building on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at Temple Square in Salt Lake City following his death the prior night. 

A month in pictures: December

Lucy Riding, 5, peers up at her father, David, as he reads a scripture from the Book of Mormon as her mother, Becca, looks on while the family readies their kids for school at their home in American Fork on Wednesday, December 13, 2017.


For me, December was a pretty colorful end to 2017.

I spent the majority of the past month photographing two main things: holiday events and features, and Brigham Young University men's basketball. That was a pretty enjoyable mix for me, though. I enjoy photographing holiday-related events, and upping the quality and quantity of pictures I pump out during sporting events is something I'm constantly trying to improve upon (I may make learning remotes for sporting events a New Year's resolution if I can get the gear).

December was another month of flux. I was excited to welcome my new boss, Evan Cobb, to the Daily Herald as our photo editor. It's a relief that I'm no longer be a one-man band photo staff, and I'm excited to see some new blood pump into the Herald's veins. In terms of work flow, the start of the month was much busier than the end. Omitting the fact that I was alone for the first part of December, there were simply more assignments at the start of the month. December post-Christmas feels as if things have almost stopped (seeing as the majority of people/events we cover are on vacation, out of town, etc), and now begins the slowest time of the year. Though, the slowdown has come at a decent time. My parents flew out from Ohio to be with me for the holidays, and I'm happy I'm not swamped with assignments during their entire visit.

As I assume many of the coming years of my life will be, 2017 was a year of change. By hitting the one-year mark at the Herald I've become extremely comfortable with covering the ins and outs of Utah County and my duties as a daily newspaper photographer. It's been tough seeing my two friends and photo co-workers move on from the paper and adjusting to work without them, but that's also taught me the importance of being flexible to change. I think I've improved my photography gradually from month-to-month throughout the year. Though, I'll stay hungry for personal improvement in 2018. I hope to achieve that by surrounding myself with creative people, checking out more photojournalism work to think of ways to improve my own shooting, going to a photo conference or two, and not forgetting to better myself personally. 

Erik Pearson, of Pleasant Grove, portrays a shepherd during a scene from the biblical Christmas story where an angel of the lord appears to shepherds during the Night in Bethlehem live Nativity Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, at Stone Gate Weddings and Events in Pleasant Grove.

Mike Downey poses for a portrait in the yard of his home among his holiday light display Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, in Lehi.

Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing during the 2017 Christmas Concert on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

Audience members make their way to their seats before the 2017 Christmas Concert on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

Weber State Wildcats head coach Randy Rahe talks with center Jordan Dallas (3) during a game between Brigham Young University and Weber State University on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.

Brigham Young Cougars forward Payton Dastrup (15) lays the ball up during a game between Brigham Young University and University of Utah on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars guard Jahshire Hardnett (0) looks to an official after fouling Utah Utes guard Justin Bibbins, background, during a game between Brigham Young University and University of Utah on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

A BYU fan points to the boundary line of the court as Idaho State Bengals guard Geno Luzcando (1) throws the ball back in bounds during a game between Brigham Young University and Idaho State University on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars guard McKay Cannon (24) points toward the Cougars' offensive side of the court after the ball went out of bounds during a game between Brigham Young University and University of Utah on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Illinois State Redbirds guard Keyshawn Evans (3) retrieves the ball after losing control of it as he's chased by Brigham Young Cougars guard Jahshire Hardnett (0) during a game between Brigham Young University and Illinois State University on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars guard Elijah Bryant (3) goes up for a heavily contested layup against Texas Southern Tigers center Trayvon Reed (5) during a game between Brigham Young University and Texas Southern University on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, at the Marriott Center in Provo.

From left, Estelle Stevens, 13, Brea Norton, 12, and Havyn Watterson, 7, portray as craftspeople in a street scene depicting old-time Jerusalem on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, at the Living Nativity in Alpine. “When you’re up here during the day it just seems like a typical old farm, but when the sun goes down the lanterns turn on, it feels like you’re in some old village and really back in time,” said Nativity co-founder, Alison Larsen. See more about this Monday Close-Up here: provodh.com/xitww.

Visitors walk about viewing the ice structures at the Midway Ice Castles on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, at Homestead Resort in Midway.

Caleb Oborn, 5, looks up at his mother as he and his sister, Reagan, 2, play in the dirt after a groundbreaking for the new Pleasant Grove Public Safety Building on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Pleasant Grove.

Clockwise, Timpview juniors Sarah Chamberlain, Lizzie Hall and Katie Austin compare shoe sizes as they and other students shop for Sub for Santa families Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at Walmart in Orem.

Traffic flows along Interstate 15 as an inversion, created from a top layer of warm air that keeps pollutants trapped in the cold air beneath, hangs over Utah County on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, as seen from Point of the Mountain in Lehi.

Abby Heywood, who will play Jack's mother, secures a hair cap before putting on a wig as she and other cast members ready themselves backstage before a sensory-friendly production of Jack and the Beanstalk on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at Utah Valley University's Noorda Theatre in Orem.

Steve Nelson, director and "mayor" of the village, watches as a small fire in one of the buildings is quickly extinguished during the Pioneer Christmas Celebration on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at the Provo Pioneer Village.

Camille Leishman, 5, of Pleasant Grove, weaves fabric at one of the interactive stations during the Night in Bethlehem live Nativity on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, at Stone Gate Weddings and Events in Pleasant Grove.