A month in pictures: November

Casey, left, and Kayci Treu practice during a dance lesson Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 at Strictly Ballroom in Orem. The duo met out of a mutual need for a dance partner, and eventually became romantically involved after many practices together and a first date. They married on March 26, 2014, about a year after their first date. “Essentially a ballroom partnership is like a marriage in every form except the romance: you have money, scheduling, you have to learn how to communicate, work through conflict, pursue a common goal,” said Kayci. “It’s a great preparation for marriage actually.” 


November was much like October, except a bit colder in spots.

Other than a stabbing that involved a sixteen-year-old boy and five other students at a high school (which was a bit of a rush and brought all three of us photographers to the school early in the morning straight out of our beds), Utah County remained pretty quiet through the second-to-last month of 2016. This month I got to work on a quick story about two ballroom dancers at Brigham Young University for a Monday Close Up. I've pulled out a few pictures from that story to kick off this blog post (the one above, and four following below).

Though I shot the story in just two days, it was refreshing to hang around people for extended periods of time again and think through all the things that come with a photo story. Monday Close Ups take me back (not far at all) to my days in college searching for projects to work on, except now I have daily assignments between each story instead of just a story every few weeks. It's been a challenge finding new stories every month to work on, but I'm glad I have the opportunity to spend more time on Monday Close Ups and get a healthy mix of shorter and longer assignments at work. Though making a good photo story is obviously dependent on finding a unique story in the first place and planning ahead, having subjects that understand what it is you're trying to do is just as crucial. In the case of Kayci and Casey Treu (the ballroom dancers), they were the epitome of wonderful subjects - happy to let me into their lives whenever, accustomed to a quick turnaround, and knew how to forget I was there photographing. For more from their story, take a look here: http://provodh.com/7feg2.

One thing I've begun to notice in my work is my tendency to "shoot at" people when photographing. I gravitate towards always having a face in a photo, and usually hangout in front of my subjects. Though that's commonplace in most newspaper images, I want to use body language and non-facial/pictures of backs more effectively. When I shot the picture of the rock climber (eighth picture in this blog post) it felt solid, but something outside what I'd typically shoot (and admittedly inspired by my homie Dominic Valente). I feel the picture expresses what needs to be communicated about climbing, and it doesn't need a person's face to help relate that feeling. I'm in the process of how to actively work on that style of shooting, but like most things, it'll take some time to get used to. 

Kayci Treu grimaces with laughter as Brenda Crutchfield, Director of the Dance Medicine and Wellness Facility, performs muscle adjustments on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 at the Stephen L. Richards Building on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo. Kayci and her dance partner juggle completing their senior year at BYU, part-time jobs, a full practice and performance schedule for the BYU ballroom touring company, their own personal practices, lessons, and competitions. Between it all, they constantly try to hone their dancing skills when they get a free moment. “Whether it’s 15 minutes in a hallway or an hour early in the morning, we take what we can get,” said Kayci.

Casey Treu leaves a changing room to begin a dance lesson Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 at Strictly Ballroom in Orem. Casey began dancing when he was 7-years old and his dance partner began she was 7.

Casey and Kayci Treu dance the Waltz in the Amateur Ballroom finals of the BYU Dancesport Championships on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 in the Wilkinson Student Center in Provo. Casey and Kayci Treu have won several dance championships around Utah and far beyond while they've been dance partners. “When you walk into the ballroom, there’s a palpable energy,” explained Kayci. “Ballroom is like football in a way — there’s lots of cheering. You give them energy and they give you energy back, and it’s this really neat reciprocal process." In December they will be representing the U.S. at the Paris Worlds Dance Championships in France.

Kayci and Casey Treu share a kiss backstage as another couple is announced and takes the dance floor just before the final round of the Amateur Ballroom finals of the BYU Dancesport Championships on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 in the Wilkinson Student Center in Provo. The Treus also plan to pursue a professional life in dancing upon graduation from BYU in the Spring of 2017. “The most beautiful thing about ballroom to me is the fact that it takes two people working together for a common goal,” described Kayci. “It takes a man and a woman in ballroom to together make something more whole and complete. It’s not that I’m doing 50 percent of the work or he’s doing 50 percent. We’re each doing 100 percent of our own role, and together it makes something even more beautiful."

Thomas Weiler, 3, relaxes in a pile of leaves his mother raked Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 in the backyard of his home in Pleasant Grove. The first snowfall in Utah Valley on Thursday was light, but the wintry temperatures kept people bundled up as they enjoyed the tail-end of Fall.

Dave Sheen, former Utah County Sheriffs Deputy, poses for a portrait during his retirement party Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 at the Utah County Health Department in Provo. Sheen spent 45 years in law enforcement.

Sean Faulkner, 15, of Park City, nears the finish of his route during the Prolo bouldering competition Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 at Momentum Indoor Climbing in Lehi. Prolo, short for pros and locals, is an unique climbing competition that allows both groups to compete together.

Alicia Ransom wipes tears away after her son Paxton exited the school after a stabbing occurred Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 inside Mountain View High School in Orem. A sixteen-year-old male was taken into custody, and six people, including the suspect, were injured. Paxton was in the locker room where the stabbing occurred when it happened. 

Michelle Allred, left, waves an American flag as she talks with Tim Heaton during an election-night rally for independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 at The Depot in Salt Lake City.

Ethan Taylor poses for a portrait Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 at Mini Moustachery located at University Mall in Orem. People will submit pictures of their mustaches by November 27 to be judged November 28-30.

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Mitchell Juergens (87) can't complete the catch as he's pulled down by Southern Utah Thunderbirds linebacker Mike Needham (34) during a game between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.

Seth Hannemann grills burgers during pregame festivities before a football game between BYU and SUU on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. Hannemann has a brother on both BYU and SUU, both #7, so he and his family made custom shirts honoring the two players. 

Lone Peak cheerleader Jenna Copeland reacts as Bingham scores a touchdown during the division 5A championship game between the Lone Peak Knights and the Bingham Miners on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. 

Lone Peak wide receiver Jaxson Harward (13) holds back tears as he waits to shake hands with Bingham players after they were defeated by Bingham in the division 5A championship game between the Lone Peak Knights and the Bingham Miners on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Springville quarterback Jantsen Thorpe (16) holds the second place trophy while he stands around other team captains after being defeated by East 48-20 in the division 4A championship game between the Springville Red Devils and the East Leopards on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. 

Timpview midfielder junior Ashton Brockbank juggles the ball as she poses for a portrait Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Timpview High School in Provo. Brockbank was named the Daily Herald's high school soccer player of the year.

Pleasant Grove setter Baylie Bishop (14) bumps the ball back over the net during a 5A state volleyball quarterfinal match Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 at Utah Valley University's UCCU Center in Orem. 

Kate Doxey, 2, of Salem, passively watches the the volleyball match between the UVU Wolverines and the Weber State Wildcats on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 in the PE Building at Utah Valley University in Orem. The PE Building gym was recently renovated.

Brigham Young Cougars forward Eric Mika (12) dunks the ball during a game between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Utah State University Aggies on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt lake City.

A month in pictures: October

Springville forward senior Anna Smith (3) and Skyridge midfielder junior Sage Gentry (30) compete for the ball as Springville defender senior Diana Sanchez (4) helps up Skyridge midfielder senior Breesa Nawahine (10) during the first round of the division 4A state tournament between the Skyridge Falcons and the Springville Red Devils on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 at Springville High School. 


Aside from seeing a surplus of pumpkins and a few trick-or-treat assignments, October was a relatively regular month for me.


I started off the month photographing the LDS Church's semi-annual General Conference, which was something unlike I've never experienced before. Since moving to Utah I've learned about the Mormon faith (being that 89% of people in Utah County are Mormon), and getting to photograph the largest gathering in the Mormon Church (with the church's president and most of the higher-ups present) was a first for me. 


Otherwise, I've been pushing myself to find more off-moments in everyday assignments. The sort of off-moments that don't necessarily make for a solid newspaper picture, but something weird. I consider myself a relatively straightforward photographer when it comes to style, so I'm trying to photograph the weird moments I usually wouldn't consider as picture-worthy to try and break out of my own mold. In that spirit, I recently sold a Nikon mirrorless camera I won in a contest and bought a Fujifilm X-T2, which I've been using to revive my Instagram account. I'm using it in tandem with my typical DSLR setup to spur me to shoot a bit differently. It's also a trusty (and silent) secondary camera to take with me on assignments.


Now winter's beginning to set in. Snow hasn't fallen, and it hasn't gotten freezing cold yet, but winter in Utah will be something unlike the Ohio winters I've experienced my whole life. I look forward to what the chillier months have to bring at the Daily Herald.



Trick-or-treaters make their way along the candy route along the track during Trunk-or-Treat on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 at Mountain View High School in Orem.

Michael Graf, left, holds hands with his fiancé Sarah Baker as they head towards their seats before the afternoon session of the 186th semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 in Salt Lake City.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cover themselves as a rain storm quickly moves through the area while they make their way towards the Conference Center from Temple Square before the afternoon session of the 186th semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 in Salt Lake City. 

Mak Oberg, 3, swings on a rope swing while his brothers Zak, 3, front center, and Kaydon, 4, play on the trampoline next to their grandmother Laura Oberg outside the Oberg's home Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 in Santaquin. The three boys moved in about two years ago when their father ran into personal issues and are now taken care of by their grandparents, Laura and Blain Oberg.

Wendy Asay, right, and McKay Ahping stand with signs during a sidewalk rally for independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the intersection of University Avenue and Bulldog Boulevard in Provo. Ahping organized the event, and encouraged people to bring copies of the U.S. Constitution and signs to support Evan McMullin.

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin looks out from a side room to Brimhall Room 302 as he's introduced before speaking at the Provo City Library on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.

Miley, 6, and Lola Meng, 4, wait for independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin as he takes pictures with audience members after he spoke at the Provo City Library on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. 

Springville defender senior Jensena Warren (11) lays on the field in frustration just after after Springville fell to Skyridge 2-1 in the first round of the division 4A state tournament between the Skyridge Falcons and the Springville Red Devils on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 at Springville High School. 

Salem Hills' Kaden Stewart's face paint runs after a sweaty first half during the first round of the state football tournament between the Timpview Thunderbirds and the Salem Hills Skyhawks on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 at Timpview High School in Provo. 

Timpview players celebrate around senior Mikayla Powell (28) as she hoists up the championship trophy after shutting out East 2-0 in the girls soccer state championship Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. 

Utah Valley University forward Isaac Neilson (22) poses for a portrait during media day Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 at the UCCU Center in Orem. 

Brigham Young Cougars running back Jamaal Williams high-fives fans as he makes his way through the Cougar Walk on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Springfield outside linebacker Vili Kolomalu (92) takes a moment to himself at halftime during the first round of the state football tournament between the Orem Tigers and the Springville Red Devils on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 at Springville High School. 

Draft horse teams circle the rodeo grounds before being judged during the draft horse show at the Fall Festival at the Young Living Lavender Farm on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 in Mona.

Peyton Smith, 6, of Eagle Mountain, relaxes as she watches "Horton Hears a Who!" after a celebration in honor of the school becoming a National PTA School of Excellence on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 at Pony Express Elementary School in Eagle Mountain. 

Amanda Lauret, center, holds her son Rexton, 4, in her lap as she and her family claps along with the rest of the crowd during a celebration in honor of the school becoming a National PTA School of Excellence on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 at Pony Express Elementary School in Eagle Mountain.

Chris Palmer, role playing as a judge, covers his face while the Bountiful Metro SWAT Team secures the courtroom during an active-shooter scenario Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 at the Fourth Judicial District Court in Provo. 

Andrew Smith secures a suspect with a riot shield as the rest of the Bountiful Metro SWAT Team secures the courtroom during an active-shooter scenario Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 at the Fourth Judicial District Court in Provo. 

Byron Burwell, center, shovels mulch with other volunteers for the playground at Geneva Elementary School on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 in Orem. 

Angalee Bodell, 3, dressed as Ariel from "The Little Mermaid' covers her eyes from the sun as she stands with her sister Alexis, 6, dressed as a witch, as their parents take a picture of them at the Trick-or-Treat Village held at Nolen Park on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 in Eagle Mountain. Roughly 2,500 people came out to the event on the sunny afternoon.

Landon Coones, an event tech with UVU, smiles as he holds a lightsaber somebody offered him after a meeting of the Lightsaber club Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 at Utah Valley University in Orem. 

Julie Tamez, 11, and other performers head towards the stage during a Day of the Dead celebration Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.

Remi Toolson, 2, checks her elbow as Asher Toolson, 5, shouts with excitement while coming down the slide with other kids at Hee Haw Farms on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 in Lindon. 

First weeks at my first job

Myron Gebhardt, a Provo Parking Enforcement Officer, enters vehicle information into an app on his phone before issuing a parking ticket while a vehicle he just ticketed is reflected in his vehicle window Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 during a patrol in the area surrounding BYU's campus in Provo. Gebhardt enters the information and any pictures of evidence into Citewrite, a mobile-phone app used by police to issue citations. The information and pictures can then be seen by whoever the ticket was issued to as well as the authorities.


It's been just about two months since I moved to Provo, Utah and it's been quite the ride at the Daily Herald. Here's some of my work from the second half of August when I started this job up until the end of September (an October post will soon follow).


To begin on a scary note (I promise the rest is all good stuff), in my second week at the newspaper, Lee Enterprises sold the newspaper to Ogden Newspapers Inc. (based in West Virginia, not Ogden, Utah) and everyone had to reapply to their jobs. As most know, in the journalism industry when a paper is sold, it's generally bad news. In fact, layoffs practically always come with a sale, especially for the photo department. After a very, very scary few days (holy crap, I just moved 2,000 miles away from home and now I'm going to lose my first job in less than two weeks) and a lot of thoughtful vouching by paper's leadership team, all three of us on the photo staff are still here. The Daily Herald has a reputation for being a solid photo paper, and thankfully the new company appreciated that. The newspaper sadly lost two from the editorial department and two from the advertising department, but most of the newspaper has been relatively unchanged. Frankly, we dodged a bullet, and I'm so unbelievably grateful to have this job.

Speaking of the job, it's great! I work with two young and extremely talented folks, Dominic Valente and Sammy Jo Hester, who have become close friends. We often bounce work off each other and it's been a wonderful place to continue to grow as a photographer. I get to photograph a healthy variety of everything, including some longer-term projects, called Monday Close Ups.

Each month we have to find a story to photograph and write about, and it ends up on the front page each Monday (one story for each photographer, and one story by a reporter and we cover the pictures). I did my first Monday Close Up on Cougar Tails, which is a donut treat served at Brigham Young University athletic events. You can see more of it here: http://provodh.com/j8uea.

It's actually quite enjoyable to write a story to accompany my pictures. I think it leaves me with a deeper understand of something than if I only took pictures of it. I also have to write and photograph 2-3 stand-alone stories a week. For those, I shoot a general assignment and then write around 200 words for a mini-story to run with the pictures, typically for the lead story on the front page.

Work jargon aside, the bottom line is I couldn't be happier with my job. It's a bit difficult adjusting to a new community so far away from home, but I don't think I would be any happier elsewhere. I can finally say I got a full-time job doing what I love, and I think that's pretty amazing. I look forward to using this as a new beginning to reevaluate my shootings skills and push myself into new ways of shooting and becoming a better photojournalist. 

Springville centenarian Ora Hardy sits for a portrait in her home on Thursday, August 18, 2016. Hardy was born on May 10, 1916, and lives in her home by herself.

Jaden Giles, 9, climbs while his sister Jordan Giles, 13, stretches and others participate in the one-mile run during the Courageous Kid’s Invitational on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016 at the track on the campus of Brigham Young University. The event was started five years ago by Lionheart founder Tammy Bowers, who's son, Landen Lion Bowers, had a heart transplant. Bowers was involved with track and field in college and always wanted her son to participate, so she started the event to allow children with special needs to enjoy the sport.

Chris Martin of Coldplay dances as he sings amidst confetti Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.

Timpview wide receiver Kyle Van Leeuwen (19) reaches, but can't reel in the catch while hit by Alta cornerback Zach Alsop (24) during their football game Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 at Alta High School in Sandy.

Timpview players listen to their coaches talk in their locker room before their football game Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 at Alta High School in Sandy.

Lone Peak wide receiver senior Payton Freeman (6) tires to reel in the catch in the end zone, but it is called incomplete, during their football game Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 at Lone Peak High School in Highland. 

Fans watch the game between the Knights and the Miners from the baseball field's outfield fence during the football game Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 at Lone Peak High School in Highland.

Timpview tackle Jacob Jefferies (74) waits for teammates to gather in the showers of the locker room for pre-game meetings with coaches before the football game Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 at Alta High School in Sandy.

Timpview midfielder Tiana Tolman (16) jumps to hit the ball with her chest while guarded by Alta midfielder Kaity Morton (18) during their soccer match Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 at Timpview High School in Provo.

Bringham University fans cheer while a cardboard-cut-out of Ken Jeong (who starred in "The Hangover") sits idly by during the volleyball match Friday, Aug. 26, 2016 at BYU's Smith Fieldhouse in Provo.

Salem Hills' Megan Treanor (2) celebrates after the Skyhawks scored during a volleyball match between the Salem Hills Skyhawks and the Springville Red Devils on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 at Salem Hills High School. Salem Hills swept Springville 3-0.

Bingham defensive back junior Tanner Merrill (9) intercepts the pass intended for Lone Peak wide receiver senior Tyler MacPherson (2) during their football game Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 at Lone Peak High School in Highland.

Bingham wide receiver senior Dylan DeVoogd (15) concentrates as coaches talk through the first half in their lockeroom at halftime of the football game Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 at Lone Peak High School in Highland.

Grizzbee of the Utah Grizzlies picks his nose on the sidelines Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 during the Mascot Bowl held at Skyridge High School in Lehi.

Rocky of Rocky Mountain Raceways pushes off Skyridge Parker's David Donaldson (17) as he runs the ball up the field Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 during the Mascot Bowl held at Skyridge High School in Lehi.

American Fork outside linebacker Hunter Fry (89) gathers himself while he relaxes with his teammates before heading out to begin the second half during halftime at a football game between the American Fork Cavemen and the Lehi Pioneers on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 at American Fork High School.

Brigham Young Cougars running back Jamaal Williams (21) runs the ball into the end zone for his fifth touchdown of the night during a game between the BYU and the Toledo on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The BYU band takes the stands before the game Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 inside Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Sam Baldwin (45) is consoled by a teammate after Toledo pulled away from BYU with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter during a game between the BYU and the Toledo on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Jerry Larriva, 13, has his sombrero picked off his head jokingly by Benjamin Lopez as they wait to perform Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 during Festival Latinoamericano in downtown Provo.

Adam Dove, a senior Fine Art Illustration major at Utah Valley University, paints a piece of glass alongside other artists Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at the Art Institute at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. Each artist will paint individual parts of each panel, then they will be eventually be put together to create the final piece.

Jeff Hill, left, and Jim Brau pose for a portrait with their financial calculators Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016 outside the N. Eldon Tanner Building on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo. The duo are the hottest professors in America, according to ratemyprofessors.com. Hill is a professor in the School of Family Life, and Brau, also a former Army Ranger, is a Joel C. Peterson Professor of Finance.

Calvin Cook, 16, of Provo, sleeps in his hammock as other students mill about their campsite Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016 at Timpooneke campground in American Fork Canyon. The group was a collection of students from Walden High School who were climbing Mount Timpanogos as part of Walkabout, a backpacking trip put on by the school spanning three days.

Sharon Offley, assistant donut crew supervisor, takes fried Cougar Tails off the conveyor belt once they're out of the proof box and through the automatic fryer Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 at the Culinary Support Center on the campus of BYU in Provo. Offley has been creating Cougar Tails since their creation in 2006. See the full story here: http://provodh.com/j8uea.

Mark Allen, founding member of Protect American Fork Canyon and American Fork Canyon Alliance, holds up a sign as he speaks to the tour crowd Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 near Yankee Mine in American Fork Canyon.

American Fork police officer Diego Garcia consoles Marisela Gonzalez, the wife of the deceased worker according to a family friend at the scene, as she sits nearby the scene of a trench collapse Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 located at 530 S. 860 E. in American Fork. Responders stated that one construction worker is dead and two others were involved in the accident.

Cyrus Chapman, a sophomore at Independence High School, reaches for the last bit of rope as he completes the single-rope bridge Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 at the Provo River in Paul Reams Park. Students combined several skills they learned in the JROTC program to cross the roughly 60-foot expanse above the river.