A month in pictures: August

Jude Larsen, 2, of Lehi, looks around as he tours a fire truck during National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, at City Center Park in Orem. Police departments across the country held public events on National Night Out to strengthen the bonds between law enforcement and the communities they serve.


Well folks, I've spent a year at the Daily Herald!

Besides my work anniversary, August was a relatively normal month. Assignments came and went in the consistency they have the past few months, but things started really picking up these past few days. Most notably, high school and college sports started up. It feels like August is the month where everything seems to happen at once, but that means there's no shortage of things to cover.

This past month I've done some reflecting on my year in Utah (between shooting all those events I just mentioned). It's a pretty fulfilling feeling to spend an entire year in one place. I'm starting to see events I covered last year pop up again, and having that repetition makes me feel like I know this community's "schedule" now. I know what big events are coming up each month, and that gives me a bit of peace of mind. There's fewer surprises (though there's always surprises) and I feel in the groove. 

Though, I've also certainly learned that unlike internships, staff jobs are marathons, not sprints. Keeping things fresh is something I often have to challenge myself with while shooting. It's easy to fall into the same-old-same-old, and keeping myself motivated to try new things is vital to my growth. Unlike my past internships, which often only lasted 10 weeks, I have to think about the long haul. In internships, I'd often just totally throw myself into my job and frequently neglect finding a work-personal-life balance. Now I not only have to be a productive photographer at work, but I can't forget to be myself when I'm not working. Though, I think I've done a decent job of finding that balance and not feeling guilty about work when I'm not working. Since moving to Utah I've learned how to ski and mountain bike, and those things have become fun hobbies that have also given me a much deeper appreciation for the outdoors.

The fringe benefit that's perhaps most rewarding from being at the Herald for a year is running into people from past assignments. Almost every time, people remember me. One of my favorite parts of working for a newspaper is getting to cover stories that are important to the community. When community members recognize you and say hey, it makes me feel like people genuinely value what we as journalists do. It's a cliche saying, but working as a photojournalist has allowed me to meet so many people I wouldn't typically meet and truly become part of the community. In the process it has greatly enriched my own life views.

I've meet more remarkable people than I can really recall in the past year, and I sincerely look forward to meeting many more interesting folks and getting to know them through pictures. 

Brigham Young Cougars linebacker, Fred Warner, poses for a portrait Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in BYU's locker room at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Tyler Daniel, 10, of Highland, runs past the starting line along with other kids and their families during the Highland Fling Family Adventure Race on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, at Highland Glen Park in Highland.

Wash Hut owner Vic Oldroyd poses for a portrait with his wife and business partner Joyce Oldroyd on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, at their business in Provo. After 53 years in business, Friday is Wash Hut's last day of operations.

Alan Walker, of American Fork, performs a scene from the story of Ora Chipman during the American Fork History and Heritage Pageant on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, at the American Fork Cemetery.

During his watch party Republican congressional candidate, Christopher Herrod, scratches his head after being shown a live-stream of the celebration at candidate John Curtis' watch party on a cell phone as results come in for Utah's 3rd Congressional District Special Election on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 at Entrata's headquarters in Lehi.

The Utah Bacon Burger is pictured Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, at Asado Argentinian Grill in Orem.

Gage Bowls talks to his mother on his phone at the Bowls' home Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Spanish Fork. Gage has cerebral palsy resulting from four hours of oxygen deprivation at birth, which left Gage with physical and mental deficiencies. “For me, I just support him,” said his mother Jodi concerning the dog-walking business Gage runs. “Gage does really well, and we have a nice network of people we know.” To see more from this story, check it out here: http://provodh.com/pn63y .

Kruz Harris, 2, of American Fork, looks up as he explores the shore at Tibble Fork Reservoir on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in American Fork Canyon.

Tristyn Morgan, 10, left, and Myah Cobbley, 8, both of Santaquin, hold on as they spin about on a ride during the Utah County Fair on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.

Lehi senior quarterback, Cammon Cooper, poses for a portrait Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, at Lehi High School. In Lehi's season opener  against Alta on Aug. 18, Cooper set the state record for touchdown passes in a single game with 10 and threw for 599 yards.

A sparse crowd dots the stands during pregame festivities before a game against the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. Since classes at BYU hadn't begun yet, pregame festivities were especially quiet before BYU took on Portland State.

Austin Ethington, 10, of Provo, rests underneath his sign while waiting  to get into the stadium during pregame festivities before a game against the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars linebacker, Phillip Amone (22), cheers as he and his teammates make their way out onto the field before a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars running back, Squally Canada (22), is taken down by Portland State Vikings linebacker, Kasun Jackett (46), during a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Brianna Patterson, 9, right, shades her eyes as she looks out onto the field while standing next to her cousin, Camilla Patterson, 9, both of Orem, during a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Brigham Young Cougars tight end, Matt Bushman (89), pulls in a deep pass while guarded by Portland State Vikings cornerback, Donovan Olumba (29), during a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

A month in pictures: July

Richard Brunst, Mayor of Orem, wipes his face as he and other attendees walk through one of the splash pad's waterfalls during the grand opening of Orem's splash pad Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at Palisade Park in Orem, Utah.


July didn't really feel like July.


Sure, several of the photos in this blog post are pretty representative of what I think of when I think of July (fireworks, kids playing at the pool, patriotic concerts, outdoor recreation, etc), but those sort of summertime cornerstones were relatively few and far between this month. One Utah summertime jewel that's new to me (rodeos) has eluded me so far this year - I hope that changes soon (cowboys and beautiful light sounds so, so lovely). July, like June, was another slow month for news - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. School's out, people on are vacation, and thus there isn't as much organized activity to make pictures. I've spent my past few summers at different newspapers learning how things go in various communities, and also how things are done at different newspaper, so I suppose I've been preoccupied with more logistical issues most summers. These slower days make me romanticize about October evenings shooting football and other sports while school's in session. But, I'm sure when those more tightly-packed days come I'll think, "man, I miss those feast-or-famine days of July" because the grass is always greener on the other side, isn't it?


Personally, I've been feeling in need of some change this past month. Thankfully, I'll be getting a good amount of change when I move up to Midvale (a suburb south of Salt Lake City) this weekend. Provo's been good to me, but I think moving up towards "the big city", as well as a spot near a few folks I know, ski resorts and night life will help me be a bit more in-tune with my personal life.


Next month will mark my one-year anniversary at the Daily Herald. I certainly feel like I've been here a while, but a full year in a community I've never experienced before working full-time at a newspaper has been a new adventure for me that has pretty well preoccupied me. I'd certainly say working at the Daily Herald and living in Utah has been an extremely productive venture with a lot of personal growth. Though, I'll save my sappy reflections and realizations for next month (I'll try and keep it short).

Lucy Taylor, 7, has her hair sprayed another color by Vicki Wallace, both of Alpine, before Stadium of Fire on Saturday, July 1, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.

The Rockwell Airtime Skydivers make their entrance over the crowd and into the stadium during Stadium of Fire on Saturday, July 1, 2017 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.

Kristen Randle, of Provo, checks out quilts during the Steel Days Quilt Show on Thursday, July 6, 2017 at the American Fork City Senior Center in American Fork, Utah.

Matthew Johnson, owner of Our Backyard Greenhouse, stretches the roofing material of the greenhouse over its roof supports during a greenhouse-building demonstration Saturday, July 29, 2017 at the Provo Community Garden in Provo, Utah.

Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Kamel Greene (10) stretches using a track hurdle during BYU football's fall camp Thursday, July 27, 2017 on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Guy Hansen rides his mountain unicycle through a patch of snow along Mount Timpanogos Trail on Thursday, July 13, 2017 in American Fork Canyon outside of American Fork, Utah.

John Thill watches a movie with his children, from right, Zeke, 6, Elsie, 4, and Elijah, 7, as his wife, Cayce, far left, plays with their daughter, Daviana, 5, on a slide during the Thill family's movie and pizza night Friday, July 7, 2017 at their home in Orem, Utah. The Thills have 20 children. Two of them are biologically their own, 18 are adopted, and of those 18, 16 of them came from foster care. 

Scott Gridley, left, and Andrew Hampton, both of Pleasant Grove, paddle their boat on Utah Lake on Monday, July 17, 2017 at Utah Lake State Park in Provo, Utah.

John Curtis, Mayor of Provo and a candidate for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District seat, poses for a portrait Friday, July 14, 2017 at the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah.

Tanner Ainge, a candidate for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District seat, poses for a portrait Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah.

Aleisha McDaniel wipes a tear from her eye as she holds her son, Camren, 7, while they listen to a speaker during a celebration of life for Michael Sproul on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at Cascade Golf Course in Orem, Utah. Camren was one of the children with autism that Michael worked with through his job at Vivint Gives Back.


The last pictures are a quick, three-picture combo from a one-day shoot for a story I wrote about a local fireworks company. The full story can be read here: http://provodh.com/h4onu .

Spectators watch Firestorm Pyrotechnics' fireworks show during Mapleton's Pioneer Day Celebration on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Ira Allen Park in Mapleton, Utah. During the show, Firestorm Pyrotechnics shot off approximately 6,000 fireworks. 

Brent Parkin, of Salt Lake City, scratches his head with his hat as he and other technicians finish up setting up the fireworks during Mapleton's Pioneer Day Celebration on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Ira Allen Park in Mapleton, Utah. Preparations for the pre-Pioneer Day show took a crew of about 20 people approximately 14 hours over two days to set everything in place and wire all of the fireworks together.

Baylor Owens, of Provo, hops out of the back of a semi-truck trailer as he helps pack discarded boxes of pyrotechnics away during Mapleton's Pioneer Day Celebration on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Ira Allen Park in Mapleton, Utah.

A month in pictures: June

The women of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake pull their handcarts without the help of the men as they complete the Women's Pull on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at the Mosida Handcart Trek Site near Elberta. The site brings youth, typically ages 14-18, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closer to their families, faith and also themselves through reenacting handcart experiences, like the first Mormon handcart pioneers that came to Salt Lake City from Iowa City beginning in 1856.


June was an odd mix of personal and professional experiences.


Professionally, I got to work on a photo essay on something that really interested me and also got to know the ebb and flows at a newspaper during summer months.


For my Monday Close-Up this month I followed along with LDS youth reenacting what it was like to be the Mormon handcart pioneers of the 1850's crossing the United States west to Salt Lake City. This took place at the Mosida Handcart Trek Site, which is about a 50-minute drive into an exceptionally rural part of Utah County (a few miles north of Elberta). The site aims to build communal and spiritual bonds in the youth through the reenactments of what those pioneers of the past might have endured. The story is made up of the picture above and the 12 following below. Should you be interested in more of the story, the captions of the photos will elaborate more, and the full story and photo gallery can be seen here: http://provodh.com/yskqf.


It seems during the summer months at a newspaper that it can be feast or famine in terms of workload. Some days are calm, cool and collected, whereas as others keep one on their feet. Mainly, things are quite calm. A slower pace has allowed me to digest shoots a bit more, but has also forced me to search around a bit for features when it comes to a slow news day. Despite a bit of unpredictability, this past month has been refreshing in terms of my photographing at work.


Personally, I was also gone half the month. I had very good reason to be elsewhere: my sister was graduating from UCLA with a PhD. in Anthropology, and my extended family gathered together to hold a funeral for my grandmother who had passed away. The graduation obviously took me to Los Angeles, which is incidentally one of my favorite cities. It was wonderful to get to hangout with my sister (the graduate being one of my four sisters) and parents, though metro L.A. isn't exactly a place to get comfortable. As for my grandmother's funeral, that took me to Arthur, Nebraska - where she grew up. She lived a hell of a life (ask me about her sometime - she had many stories to tell and a sense of adventure unlike anyone I know). She saw more years than most (94), and her passing wasn't totally out of the blue. I'm still decompressing from it all (I don't feel as if I've been able to synthesize my thoughts on all of that lately), but that's a story for another time.


Despite a whole lot of moving around, I feel happy with how June came together (both for myself personally and at work). I'm excited to move another month into life in Utah, and see what July has to hold.

Hannah Gillespie, left, 18, helps apply sun screen to Adelaide Nielson, 18, as members of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake rest during their last day of trekking Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at the Mosida Handcart Trek Site near Elberta. The site aims for authenticity, but trekkers aren't without some comforts such as sun screen, toilets, modern tents, a portable water supply, as well as medical and food staffs. 

Kelli Banks is carried by her husband, Derek Banks, and Justin Mott as members of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake complete the River Crossing during their last day of trekking. The original handcart pioneers had to cross rivers several times to shorten their journey, but the rivers were often frozen and added more toil to the trail.

Members of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake make their way along the trail. Trekkers embark on a three-day, two-night journey through 23 miles of trails on 25,000-acres of land owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The women of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake pull their handcarts without the help of the men as they complete the Women's Pull during their last day of trekking. “We’ll say ‘your ancestors did this, you may not go starving or anything, but you’re going to have situations where you’re going to need to stand strong and be strong to survive,’" explained Barbara Tarwater, director of the site.

Kyle Hafen, 13, looks at fellow trekkers drink water as Hafen stands with no water bottle of his own as members of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake rest during their last day of trekking.

The women of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake pull their handcarts without the help of the men as they complete the Women's Pull during their last day of trekking.The Women's Pull is a section of the trail in which the women of each family must pull their handcarts uphill through a half mile of ankle-deep sand and dust. This honors the women who pulled their own handcarts because they were single or their husband died along the trail.

Cohen Cecil, 13, holds his hat over his heart as he watches the women of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake pull their handcarts without the help of the men as they complete the Women's Pull. During the women's pull, the men and boys stand to the side of the trails and hold their hats over their hearts to honor the women's struggle.

The women of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake walk together as they complete the Women's Pull during their last day of trekking.

Ryan Craig, 17, center, reads a letter from his parents about life and faith while he and other members of the Santaquin Utah Stake read letters from loved ones as they rest for the day at their campsite.

Preston Taito, 14, holds his "trek baby" as he and other members of the Henderson Nevada Lake Mead Stake rest during their last day of trekking. Some trekkers were given dolls to help simulate how it would be to endure the journey to Salt Lake City while also caring for babies.

Savannah Johnson, 16, shares her religious testimony inspired by experiences along the trail with other members of the Santaquin Utah Stake in a circle as they rest for the day at their campsite. “A lot of them are of the LDS faith, and they’re learning about their heritage,” said Angela Olson, one of the Senior Missionaries who helps trekkers along their journey.

Tylee Leiter, 18, reads a letter from her parents about life and faith while she also takes notes on their thoughts as she and other trekkers from the Santaquin Utah Stake rest for the day at their campsite. She explained that she was taking notes about, "the good times, the hard times and the mosquitoes." 


Dallin Stevens, of Logan, covers his face from the sun as he takes a nap while floating down the lazy river during a private event Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at Seven Peaks Resort in Provo. With temperatures consistently staying in the high 80s and into the mid-90s throughout the week, residents in Utah County are looking for ways to beat the heat. 

Taylor Burke, 8, kicks a soccer ball through a ring held by volunteer Savannah Nichols, 13, during Moving Mountains Soccer Camp on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at the playing fields near Utah Valley University in Orem. 

Janelle Purdy, 9, looks intently at her computer as Afton Jones, 7, plays with a fidget spinner as they work on a project during the Inside Sales Girls Code Camp on Friday, June 23, 2017 at the InsideSales.com World Headquarters in Provo. The coding camp aims to inspire and empower girls to pursue careers in coding and technology.

Steve Nelson, director and "mayor" of the village, poses for a portrait Saturday, June 2, 2017 at the Provo Pioneer Village. 

Keith Evans pilots his balloon, Smiley's Dream, as other hot air balloons float above the area surrounding Provo High School during the preliminary Freedom Festival balloon rides Friday, June 30, 2017 in Provo. 

Corey Fox, owner of Velour, right, and Brandon Robbins, of The Moth and the Flame, show off their surgery scars during a celebration for the successful kidney transplant from Robbins to Fox on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo. 

Wildfires burn on West Mountain as teenagers participating in the Mosida Handcart Trek Site run around near Utah Lake on Friday, June 23, 2017 as seen from near Elberta.