Cowboys watch as a charity auction takes place during the UHSRA finals Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Wasatch County Event Complex in Heber.
It's officially summertime, and for the most part things are slowing down in Utah County.
Sporting events have become much more scarce, school-related events are over, people are leaving for summer vacations and there hasn't been a boatload of news happening lately. Summertime at newspapers typically means photos generally revolve around the following things: hot-weather features, fairs, city celebrations, water fights and foam pits, summer camps, and with July upon us, American flags - lots of them. However, I've felt a yearning for a photographic change of pace during these summer months. Something about the hot days of summer in an area steeped in Americana make for fun assignments, and an opportunity to riff off of the visual tropes of summer.
Early June was busy, but steadily slowed down as the month progressed. I began the month finishing up my most recently Monday Close-Up on Nick Rios, a local woodworker who creates pens, pen boxes and cutting boards despite being blind. You can read more about Nick's story here: provodh.com/5uzrj. Despite assignments being fewer and further between, it seems many of them fall around the same time, so the challenge of getting between point A and B quickly has remained constant.
As we roll into the most patriotic month of the year in America, I look forward to enjoying the fruits of summer along the Wasatch.
Nick Rios covers up a machine after finishing a day's work at his workshop Friday, June 1, 2018, at Provo Central Storage in Provo. Rios started his woodworking business, Blind Gorilla Business, with his girlfriend in January of this year and currently produces pens, pen boxes and cutting boards.
Nick Rios whittles down two blocks of wood into rounded cylindrical shapes to be used used for one of his pens as he works at his workshop in Provo. Rios' products incorporate several different kinds of woods, such as: redwood, oak, walnut, cedar, oak and poplar.
Nick Rios navigates his way away from his workshop at Provo Central Storage as he begins to walk home in Provo. Each day he works, Rios walks the mile back to his home at The Boulders alone.
Susana Fragoso looks on as her boyfriend, Nick Rios, gets an item from a cupboard as they prepare a meal at Rios' home in Provo. Nick generally prepares the meals for he and his girlfriend.
Susana Fragoso nudges her boyfriend, Nick Rios, as they laugh together while waiting for customers during the opening day of the Provo Farmers Market at Pioneer Park in Provo. Rios is currently working on creating a stockpile of products to sell and hopes to take their business door-to-door in the future.
Kiery Rask, 8, looks up as she eats a slice of pie while her cousin, Trey Parks, 8, both of Orem, looks over at her during the kids heat of the first-ever Village Inn Pie Eating Competition as part of Orem Summerfest on Thursday, June 7, 2018, at Orem City Center Park. Kids had 40 seconds to finish as much of a single slice of pie as possible, and later adults had one minute to finish as much as they could of one half of a pie. Rask finished third in the kids heat.
Emma Thurgood, 14, of Saratoga Springs, tries to avoid the foam during the Splash Bash Water Party as part of Saratoga Springs' Splash Days on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at Sunrise Meadow Park in Saratoga Springs.
Pleasant Grove center forward Connor Ecalono poses for a portrait Friday, June 1, 2018, at Pleasant Grove High School. A senior, Ecalono has been chosen as the Daily Herald's 2018 Utah Valley Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Orem Owlz second baseman Alvaro Rubalcaba (4) can't reel in the throw from the outfield allowing Ogden Raptors second baseman Jeremy Arocho (8) to safely make it to second base during a game between the Orem Owlz and the Ogden Raptors on Thursday, June 28, 2018, at UCCU Ballpark in Orem.
VIPS volunteer Dustin Manis talks with Vicki Lybbert, of American Fork, after retrieving her car keys from her locked vehicle during the Night Out Against Crime as part of the Cedar Hills Family Festival on Friday, June 8, 2018, at Heritage Park in Cedar Hills.
REO Speedwagon keyboardist Neal Doughty performs during Chicago and REO Speedwagon's "North American Summer Tour" on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City.
Shanna Ballard, of Highland and a volunteer with Team Up for Tibble Fork, cleans up trash near Tibble Fork Reservoir on Saturday, June 2, 2018, in American Fork Canyon. Only a handful of volunteers came out for the clean-up effort.
Amanda Butler, of the South Utah County rodeo club, competes in the barrel-racing event during the UHSRA finals Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Wasatch County Event Complex in Heber.
Drake Weber, of Emery, watches as a charity auction takes place during the UHSRA finals Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Wasatch County Event Complex in Heber.
Shayla Gourdin, of the Lehi Longhorn rodeo club, competes in the goat-tying event during the UHSRA finals Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Wasatch County Event Complex in Heber.
Nedra Norton is presented with an American flag by a member of the American Legion Honor Guard for her late husband, Wallace H. Norton, a U.S. Army veteran from WWII, during a military funeral honors ceremony Saturday, June 16, 2018, at the Lindon City Cemetery. Nedra wore a sweatshirt despite temperatures at the time being in the mid 70's because it was Wallace's favorite shirt of hers.
Orem Owlz pitcher Jerryell Rivera (1) walks back to the dugout after giving up two runs and being subbed out for pitcher Anfernee Benitez (14) in the top of the first inning during a game between the Orem Owlz and the Ogden Raptors on Friday, June 29, 2018, at UCCU Ballpark in Orem.
Chelsea Peahl, of Spectrum Queer Student Alliance at UVU, speaks during a press conference held Thursday, June 14, 2018, in front of Provo City Center. The gathering was organized following the Freedom Festival's parade-entry denial of five LGBTQ groups.
Steelworker Pablo Gallegos welds Friday, June 15, 2018, at Clegg Steel in Orem. President Trump signed two proclamations on May 31issuing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. The president stated that steel and aluminum workers will see positives from the proclamations, but those working in the industry locally have yet to see the upside.
speeds along Eagle Mountain Boulevard during the Limitless Supercar Shoot-Out
held Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Eagle Mountain. Proceeds from the
closed-highway event benefitted Make-A-Wish Utah and Tyson Juber, a youth from
Chris Hoskins, of Provo, sports a Donald Trump button during a watch party held for U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney as results come in from the primary elections Tuesday, June 26, 2018, outside of Romney's campaign headquarters in Orem.
Mitt Romney looks up as his grandson, Dane, 2, points out an airplane in the sky outside of Romney's campaign headquarters after it was announced that he had won the Republican nomination in Utah's U.S. Senate race during a watch party held for Romney as results come in from the primary elections Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Orem.
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.
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.