Brigham Young University junior Justyn Luedke slides down a foam slip-and-slide during BYU’s True Blue Foam event Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at Helaman Fields in Provo. For the first time, the BYU homecoming staple was held prior to homecoming week due to inclement weather concerns that are more common later in fall, according to Anthony Holt, an event specialist with BYU’s Department of Student Leadership’s activity team. “It’s always been a part of homecoming, but unfortunately the weather is just so unpredictable,” said Holt. “We decided that we would move the event up to try and serve the most students possible.”
September was a reality check for me.
I can't be everywhere. Being the only photographer at the Daily Herald in a coverage area of 600,000 people, I cannot make it to every photo assignment (even important ones). Since becoming a one-man band in April, I've been more or less working whenever. Yes, I (mostly) stuck to a Monday through Friday work week, but my schedule was totally à la carte when it came to assignments. I'd bounce between morning and evening shifts most days of the week, and sometimes work odd split/double shifts resulting in morning, afternoon and nighttime assignments all in one day.
To be honest, nobody told me that I had to work that way. I felt devoted to doing as much as I could to ensure the community got coverage, and to shoulder as much of the photo work as possible to keep reporters focused on what they do best: writing stories. I never wanted to miss an assignment that had the potential for a great photo – Frankly, many assignments have the potential for a great photo, but one never knows what could have been if they don't show up themselves. It's a mentality that results in a fruitful portfolio, but often in an anxious, lonely life.
However, in September I came to the realization that this lifestyle simply isn't sustainable if I want any hope of being happy when I'm not holding a camera. I came to my boss and explained that I was burnt out, and wanted to stick to a Monday through Friday, 1-9pm schedule, and she absolutely understood me and accepted my request without issue. I am blessed to work among people that not only appreciate what I do professionally, but value my well-being and overall happiness.
I think there's an unspoken mentality of giving your life to your craft in photojournalism, of work never stopping, and that saying no or sending someone else to cover bases "shows a lack of dedication". On the contrary, I've felt more dedicated to photojournalism and happier with my job by placing boundaries in my professional life. Doing so has allowed me to reestablish routines in my personal life, and made me feel more whole as a person. That makes me happy, and that bleeds over into my professional work, allowing for a mutual, healthy balance. That's not at all to say I've stopped being flexible with my job. I still do projects on my days off, answer texts and emails before my shift, schedule freelancers for upcoming assignments late at night in order to give ample notice – But, I'm realizing that I am not the only solution to every work situation.
Even if I was somehow able to work every hour of every day, I'd still miss pictures. I can't keep working consistently and sustainably if I'm not feeding myself, enriching my own life. I should not hang myself out to dry in dejection over the "what ifs", but rather should revel in what I do get to experience in a day's 24 short hours, both with and without a camera.
The Daniels and Kimber families, both of Lehi, check out granny’s gravity house during a private event held at Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest at Thanksgiving Point on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Lehi.
Samantha Lloyd practices mediating among fellow inmates with the guidance of Jeffery Jones, a lieutenant with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, during a class covering mindfulness techniques and topics Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, at the Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork.
Vocalist Brandon Robbins performs with The Moth & The Flame during the final show of the final season for the Provo Rooftop Concert Series held Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in downtown Provo.
Fans react as iDKHOW BUT THEY FOUND ME performs during the final show of the final season for the Provo Rooftop Concert Series held Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in downtown Provo.
Elton John performs “Bennie and the Jets” during his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Brody Barson, left, and Kyle Stevenson, both wildlife technicians with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, load bags of seeds in the seed warehouse at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources’ Great Basin Research Center on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Ephraim. The warehouse stores approximately 1.2 million pounds of seeds. Being the only such seed warehouse in Utah, the facility is responsible for seed collection and mixing, as well as habitat research, range trend monitoring and providing habitat restoration equipment for the whole state.
Westlake cornerback Jacksen Christensen (23) breaks up a pass intended for Lone Peak wide receiver Trajan Hansen (3) during a game between the Lone Peak Knights and the Westlake Thunder held Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Lone Peak High School in Highland.
Tyler Toone, 8, traverses the vendor floor on all fours while dressed as a character inspired by movies like “The Ring” and “The Exorcist” during the second day of FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention held Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
Ethan Braithwaite, 15, a snare drummer in the Utah Pipe Band, poses for a portrait Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, at his family’s home in Lindon. Braithwaite drums partially to honor one of his instructors, Zach Lees, who died by suicide on Jan. 28 of this year. “I use drumming like as a memory of Zach and other people I knew that have passed away,” Ethan said.
Staci Stout holds a necklace with the name of her late son, Baylor, 13, engraved on it Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, at the Stout family’s home in South Jordan. Baylor died last July while asleep in the car with his father when another driver, under the influence of marijuana and falling asleep at the wheel, forced the Stouts to be driven off a mountain road near Birdseye in Spanish Fork Canyon.
Orem freshman Ford Robinson (99) dons his helmet before a game between the Orem Golden Tigers and the Skyridge Falcons held Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at Orem High School.
Ross Uipi, a detective with the Provo Police Department, readies himself at the 18th annual Healing Field in Sandy on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, before a service to commemorate those who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Londyn Bambrough, 14, walks through a portion of her brother’s haunted house, The Nebo Nightmare Haunted Forest, located next to their family’s home in Woodland Hills on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019.
Third-grader Autumn Lodder, 8, reacts while accompanied by her teacher, Joy Edwards, and fellow student, Anna Purcell, 8, as Lodder sees that a book she wants is available to check out from the library at Liberty Hills Elementary School on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in Lehi.
Skyridge players enter their locker room during halftime in a game between the Orem Golden Tigers and the Skyridge Falcons held Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at Orem High School.
Scott Schwarz twirls a drumstick as he drums a rhythm on a bucket while he bikes along State Street on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in Orem. Schwarz’s rhythmic rides came to be during a pivotal turning point in his life: while transitioning out of rehab for an alcohol addiction. See more from this Monday Close-Up here: provodh.com/m10mu.
Salem Hills tight end Deven Johnson (88) celebrates as he evades Springville linebacker Alejandro Quezada (10) to score a touchdown during a game between the Springville Red Devils and the Salem Hills Skyhawks held Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, at Springville High School.
Gerry Jensen poses for a portrait with a photograph of her extended family at her family’s farm on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Benjamin. Her husband, Ronald Jensen, 87, currently heads up work on the farm, which was built by his grandfather in the 1860’s according to Gerry. Their son Eric currently lives on the property, another son, Ryan, lives next door, and Jensen stated that they and their siblings will eventually take over the family farm.
Pedro Vargas helps disassemble a ferris wheel along with other workers as the City of Fun Carnival tears down after Freedom Days held Friday, July 5, 2019, in downtown Provo. “This job is not for everybody,” said Pam Zoeller, general manager and vice president of City of Fun Carnival, based out of Pleasant Grove in Utah County. “It’s a hard life to live, and it takes a special kind of person to do it.”
August was a personal whirlwind.
Besides the typical craziness of work, this past month I went on two short out-of-state vacations and moved from Midvale to Orem to live with my partner and be closer to work. The time off was much needed. I went to Arizona and Los Angeles, visiting friends and family while experiencing new things along the way. However, the trips made work pile up much more when I returned to Provo.
Most notably, early in August a project about a local carnival published after working on it for two months. Sadly, I think projects are going to become much leaner in photos now that prep sports and school has started back up, but I hope to continue to squeeze out some longer-term work. Check out more from that project here: provodh.com/dmppd.
Besides juggling projects, August was all about quick-hit assignments. I typically had about three assignments a day (oftentimes one after another) so I had to do my best to make the best photos I could with the little time I had. When I couldn't cover all the bases of all the newspaper's sections, I dived out assignments to freelancers where I could, and kept educating the reporters on improving their own photography.
Chris Roundy, left, holds his daughter Sanowah, 3, both of Nephi, while they go down a slide beside Chris Willard as he holds his daughter Mikartee, 2, both of Ogden, at the City of Fun Carnival during the Ute Stampede Rodeo held Friday, July 12, 2019, at the Juab County Fairgrounds in Nephi. Through five generations of family ownership and more than 50 years in business, the carnival travels approximately 7,000 miles a year through Utah, Arizona, Idaho and New Mexico.
Jesus Sanchez winds up a ride's support beam as the City of Fun Carnival prepares for Pleasant Grove's Strawberry Days celebration Monday, June 17, 2019, at Downtown Park in Pleasant Grove. Carnivals always have to pay rent for the land they use during celebrations, and when attendance is low or inclement weather strikes, its the carnival that takes the financial hit. Whoever we’re doing the celebration with always gets paid,” said Zoeller. “We don’t always end up at the end of the week with money.”
Daylin Bonilla, 2, holds onto her older sister Ashley, 7, both of Ephraim, as they go up, down and around on a ride at the City of Fun Carnival during the Ute Stampede Rodeo held Friday, July 12, 2019, at the Juab County Fairgrounds in Nephi. According to the Outdoor Amusement Business Association, an estimated 500 million attendees visit carnivals, fairs and festivals across the United States annually.
Manuel Quintero watches while fellow workers disassemble a ride as the City of Fun Carnival tears down after Freedom Days held Friday, July 5, 2019, in downtown Provo. “My midway manager and this crew that we have here can get this all down, loaded on the trucks and ready to pull out in about five hours,” said Zoeller. She explained that rides can cost her anywhere from $200,000 to $900,000 for a single attraction.
Carnival-goers wait in lines for rides as other attendees swing above the crowd during American Fork's Steel Days celebration Friday, July 19, 2019, at Art Dye Park. City of Fun was featured in the carnival scene of the 1993 coming-of-age comedy film, “The Sandlot.” The carnival scene was filmed in American Fork, and other Utah locations were featured as well.
Colton Young, of Nephi, reacts as he grabs an inflatable banana he won in a game for his friend's daughter, Hayzlee Smith, 3, at the City of Fun Carnival during the Ute Stampede Rodeo held Friday, July 12, 2019, at the Juab County Fairgrounds in Nephi.
A family makes their way toward the City of Fun Carnival during the Ute Stampede Rodeo held Friday, July 12, 2019, at the Juab County Fairgrounds in Nephi.
Workers secure track for a roller-coaster as the City of Fun Carnival prepares for Pleasant Grove's Strawberry Days celebration Monday, June 17, 2019, at Downtown Park in Pleasant Grove. Crucial to keep the carnival running is the H-2B Program, which sends Zoeller about 25 workers from Mexico each year. H-2B is a federal program that allows employers to temporarily hire non-immigrants to do non-agricultural labor or services in the United States, as stated by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A carnival-goer walks toward rides during American Fork's Steel Days celebration Friday, July 19, 2019, at Art Dye Park. City of Fun Carnival owns 22 rides.
Katyln Brough, of St. George, spins about on a ride with her sons Mazdin and Tayden Brimhall at the City of Fun Carnival during the Ute Stampede Rodeo held Friday, July 12, 2019, at the Juab County Fairgrounds in Nephi. The carnival is full of family, both literal and honorary. Of the approximately 65 employees, 10 are directly related to general manager Pam Zoeller, spanning from her mother to her granddaughters.
Carnival workers joke with each other as they turn in for the night after working at the City of Fun Carnival during the Ute Stampede Rodeo held Friday, July 12, 2019, at the Juab County Fairgrounds in Nephi. In the case of back-to-back carnivals, employees begin work around noon, teardown from midnight until about 5 a.m., and then go to a new spot to begin setting up the carnival once again for another event. The written story from this Monday Close-Up can be seen here: provodh.com/dmppd
Sego lead vocalist Spencer Petersen sails above the crowd on an inflatable slice of pizza as he performs with the rest of the band during the third show of the final season for the Provo Rooftop Concert Series held Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, in downtown Provo.
Brigham Young University junior offensive lineman Tristen Hoge poses for a portrait during the football program’s photo day Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at BYU’s Indoor Practice Facility in Provo.
From left, Brigham Young University wide receivers senior Aleva Hifo, senior Talon Shumway and sophomore Gunner Romney pose for a portrait during the football program’s photo day Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at BYU’s Indoor Practice Facility in Provo.
Brigham Young University sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson poses for a portrait during the football program’s photo day Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at BYU’s Indoor Practice Facility in Provo.
Shawn Whitaker, with the Provo Parks and Recreation Department, tests out a Spin electric scooter during the launch of Provo’s e-scooter program Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, near the intersection of 700 North and 200 East in Provo.
Tod Spencer searches for a movie disc a customer purchased Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, at Larsen Video in Springville. Tod’s father, Leon Larsen, and late mother, Carolyn, co-founded the movie store in 1987, and it will be totally closed by September 12. Larsen stated that the business is the last movie-rental store in Utah County.
Ryan Bartholomew, 15, of Highland, slides through a puddle during Alpine Days’ Foam Party held Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, at Creekside Park.
Kyle Gay, assistant conductor of the Payson City Band, poses for a portrait Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, at his home in Payson. Gay, 56, has been a lifelong fan of the band, and began helping conduct it about five years ago.
From left, Lehi High School specialist Dane Henderson and advocates Kellie Jo Jones and Angie Lantz react as balloons drop from the ceiling during the finale of Alpine School District’s Shine Alpine employee institute Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Lead vocalist Aubrey Auclair performs with The Rubies during the third show of the final season for the Provo Rooftop Concert Series held Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, in downtown Provo.
Gordon Kelley, 4, of Spanish Fork, works on crafts with his family as part of a program Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in the program room of the Spanish Fork Library.
Brigham Young University President Kevin J Worthen poses for a portrait in his office Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, at BYU in Provo.
Clifford Rice, of Spanish Fork, sports a Brigham Young University and University of Utah hat before BYU football’s season-opener against local rival the University of Utah on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. He graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree, and the U of U with a master’s degree.
Brigham Young University defensive lineman Lorenzo Fauatea (55) gestures to the crowd as he and his teammates take the field just before a game between the BYU Cougars and the University of Utah Utes held Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Kyle Nelson, of Alpine, reacts after the University of Utah caught an interception during a game between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the University of Utah Utes held Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Hot air balloons float as others take off from Fox Field during preliminary flights as part of the Freedom Festival's Balloon Fest on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in Provo.
summertime vibes that began in June only intensified in July.
As I've said before,
Americana, summertime and Utah County simply go hand-in-hand. The
Fourth of July and Pioneer Day (essentially a second, pioneer-themed Fourth of
July for Utah – complete with fireworks and nicknamed by some locals as "Pie and Beer Day") bookend the month with red, white and blue.
Several city celebrations, essentially fairs with quirky historical events
specific to some cities, round out the month, and the summer in general.
Among the typical
Americana of the month, July offered up several unique photo opportunities.
Last year, three large wildfires ripped through the rural areas in and around
Utah County, so fire-related follow-up stories (including two extensive tours
of the burn areas) were a focus. Besides the three past fires, two
smaller-scale fires also cropped up for several days within a mile of homes in
the county in July. The summer wildfire season in the mountain west is no joke.
A police K-9 memorial service and a press conference preluding a court case concerning
two grizzly murders rounded out the month in spot news. Another focus last
month was the sports department's annual high school football special section,
which is published the first weekend of high school football season. This
was my first time being totally in charge of working with the sports team to
conceptualize, plan and photograph the project, and doing so between daily
assignments without any other staff photographers to help out. The special
section was themed "putting in the work", and centered around
portrait shoots for a composite cover concept, along with several candid shoots
of preseason practices. Fortunately, sports reporter Jared Lloyd stepped in to
help photograph schools I couldn't get to, and assist with the portrait shoots.
Throughout July, I
spent what free time I had to continue working on a photo story I began in
June. It was inspired by summertime themes I've seen while photographing
carnivals. The story will publish on August 5th, and I look forward to sharing
it in next month’s blog post.
Steve Bullock, of Orem, jokes with family and friends before Stadium of Fire held Thursday, July 4, 2019, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
Kash Kay, 9, of Santaquin, works to properly place an arrow on the string of his bow during bow-and-arrow exercises Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at Camp Jeremiah Johnson in Hobble Creek Canyon.
Paul Gauchay, Acting Spanish Fork District Ranger with the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, listens to a speaker during a tour to examine conditions within Payson Canyon following last year's Pole Creek and Bald Mountain wildfires Tuesday, July 16, 2019, along Nebo Loop Road.
A burned pickup truck remains beside where a mobile home once stood during a tour to examine conditions near the Wildcat Wildlife Management Area roughly a year after the Dollar Ridge Fire on Monday, July 8, 2019, in Duchesne County.
Deputy Brad Ryan handles his K9 partner, Axe, before introducing themselves among other deputies and their K-9 partners during a memorial service for Havoc, a sheriff's K-9 who died from injuries after being hit by a car, held Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in Spanish Fork.
A memorial to Lindsay Dougal's late son, Theo, who was stillborn at 39 weeks and five days and who would now be 4-years old if he were still living, is displayed on a shelf as Lindsay gets snacks for her sons Albert, 6, and Felix, 3, on Tuesday, July 22, 2019, at the Dougal family's home in Springville. Doulas who offer bereavement services, such as Dougal, support families who are experiencing losses ranging from miscarriages, to stillbirth, to babies who are not expected to live long after birth.
Amanda Hunt, center, “Breezy’s” aunt, consoles Nikka Powell, Riley’s sister, while they sit beside Bill Powell, Riley’s father, as Utah County Attorney David Leavitt speaks during a press conference concerning Leavitt’s intent on whether or not to seek the death penalty for Jerrod Baum on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the Utah County Commission Chambers in Provo. Among eight felony charges, Baum is charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the case of teenagers Brelynne "Breezy" Otteson and Riley Powell.
Unexploded ordnance technicians with contractor Parsons sweep an area near Eagle Mountain Ranch Bike Park with metal detectors for possible munitions debris from historical military training Wednesday, July 17, 2019.
Karl Liechty, of Lindon, blends chalks near the eyes of a monster as he and his brother, Nathan, work on their piece of art during the inaugural Chalk It Up chalk-art festival as part of American Fork's Steel Days on Thursday, July 18, 2019, in the parking lot across the street from the Harrington Center for the Arts.
A hot air balloon floats near Rock Canyon during preliminary flights as part of the Freedom Festival's Balloon Fest on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in Provo.
Crew members of Just Ducky pack away the hot air balloon behind businesses during preliminary flights as part of the Freedom Festival's Balloon Fest on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, near Fox Field in Provo.
Lone Peak Knights senior linebacker Keegan Nitta poses for a portrait before preseason practice Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at Lone Peak High School in Highland.
Provo Bulldogs senior safety Ryan Harward poses for a portrait during preseason practice Monday, July 22, 2019, at Provo High School.
Maple Mountain Golden Eagles senior running back poses for a portrait during preseason practice Monday, July 29, 2019, at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork.
Orem Golden Tigers senior defensive back Jake Robinson poses for a portrait during preseason practice Monday, July 22, 2019, at Orem High School.
Juan Leno Fonseca, 3, of Vineyard, splashes into the water at the bottom of a slide Friday, July 12, 2019, at the Vineyard Grove Park Splash Pad.
Aimee Pond, owner of Champions Sports Center, helps guide Cassi Buchanan, 11, of Saratoga Springs, on her back walkover during a practice Friday, July 26, 2019, at Pond’s gymnastics center in Lehi. Pond teaches her students without speech, because she is deaf, and also partially blind.
Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen, clinical director at Flourish Therapy, poses for a portrait Monday, July 15, 2019, at the organization's offices, located at 379 N. University Ave. in Provo. Flourish specializes in providing services for the LGBTQ community, and now operates only on donations after it recently split from non-profit Encircle.
U.S. Army veteran Jim Taylor, 74, and his sister, LuAnn Stones, bike up Nebo Loop Road on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Payson Canyon south of Payson, Utah. Taylor bikes roughly 18 miles round-trip up and down the canyon every morning he can as a means of combating his PTSD.
Provo senior offensive tackle Jake Haloma works with tension bands as he conditions with other players during preseason practice Monday, July 22, 2019, at Provo High School.
Jimi Gragg, with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, adjusts his hat while burned trees from the Dollar Ridge Fire stand on a ridge behind him during a tour to examine conditions within the Wildcat Wildlife Management Area roughly a year after the Dollar Ridge Fire on Monday, July 8, 2019, in Duchesne County, Utah.
Bride-to-be Meagan Pinales, of Vineyard, looks over her colonial clothing while she gets dressed with the help of her sister, Briana Pinales, as part of Meagan's wedding during the Colonial Heritage Festival held Friday, July 5, 2019, at SCERA Park in Orem.
From left, Nick Hoopiiaina, Kelly Shelledy and Nick Pacheco, all with Innovative Sheet Metal, move in cooling equipment while an American flag waves atop the new Fourth Judicial District Courthouse and construction crews renovate the former Fourth Judicial District Courthouse to become a new campus for Mountainland Technical College on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Provo.
Isabelle Bramble, 11, of Vineyard, grimaces as she holds the balloon of Dee III open while hot air is pumped into it before preliminary flights as part of the Freedom Festival's Balloon Fest on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, at Fox Field in Provo.