Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CMU Men's Basketball - Mostly Wide

Decided to change it up and shot with a wide angle a large portion of the first half. Had and early deadline and only could stay about six minutes into the second half. The game went to double overtime and I can only imagine what I missed, but it's a "digital first" world strangled by print deadlines. I digress, enjoy the photos.











Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rosebush apple orchard





Sometimes you arrive 30 minutes early and they are running 40 minutes late.

Sometimes there is a lack of emotion.

Sometimes you get yelled at for taking photos of people wiping themselves free of apple pure.

Sometimes you label your photos in the order they should run.

Sometimes the designer chooses other wise.

Sometimes is a good way to characterize the life a photojournalist.

Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Never, ever the same.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

15 minutes of practice


Sometimes you have an a couple hours for an assignment. Other times, 15 minutes. The pressure to make images in a limited time frame is sometimes what makes the job so much fun.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Window light stalking


A man, who asked to be unidentified, looks through science and nature books Tuesday afternoon at Alma Area Used Book Sale. The annual sale continues today and Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church, 495 Charles Ave. in Alma. The funds raised from the sale fund scholarships for local non-traditional college students.

Some times you have to wait, wait some more, wait a little longer and then just maybe everything will align.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jingles and Chandler


Chandler Denton, 12 of Clare, takes a break Friday at the Clare County Fair after walking his quarter horse Jingles who was dehydrated. "She doesn't like the water here," Denton said. Denton, a member of the Giddy Up 4-H Club, had to walk Jingles to keep her from eating dirt and laying down to prevent colic. "There's nothing I'd rather be doing than riding," he said.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Isabella County Fair


We did a feature on rides at the fair. I knew immediately I wanted to do some long exposure(something I've never seen in our paper). I arrive just before dusk and as I set up, the lights go out and the rides suddenly stop. An hour and a half later and a fixed generator I made this.

Sometimes all you can do is wait.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Light Stalker


Spent the afternoon with a young female racer at the Mount Pleasant Speedway. It's a story I think needs further exploring. We'll see what happens I guess.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Volunteer Kid


Steven Stokes, 12, of Mt. Pleasant helps unload potatoes from a pallet Saturday morning during the Community Compassion Network at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, 320 S. Bradley St. Stokes said he has been volunteering with organization, that provides food to those in need, for three or four years. Stokes said it's important to help because, "God wants us to help people and God is really what it's about."

I really haven't updated because I haven't been in love with anything I've shot lately besides sports. I met Steven last Saturday and I spent more time than I was supposed to with him. I'm not really happy with this frame, but to be honest the kid totally touched me. He really loves helping others and not for the selfish reasons a lot of young volunteers to do it for. His parents grounded him once and his punishment was he couldn't volunteer for the week. I'm not making that up either.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Running them down


Alma anchor Lupe Garza attempts to catch Ovid-Elsie's runner in the 3200 meter relay Wednesday afternoon at Alma College. Alma finished second in the relay.

Not the greatest of sports moments, but I love this light.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Roller Derby


Andrea "Getcha Pawz Off" Mata, 38 of Mt. Pleasant, gets up after being knocked down during roller derby practice with the Mountain Town Mayhem Thursday night at Spinning Wheels on North Mission Road south of Rosebush.

I feel like this was the millionth time I've shot this assignment and I finally walked away with something worth keeping.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Home plate


CMU's Amanda Patrick jumps on Brittini Merchant in excitement as she crosses home plate tying the game Sunday against Ball State. CMU won 9-5.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Winners and Losers



As one team celebrates, another morns.

Winners and losers.

Athletes compete for the emotional high that follows the buzzer.

They play to win. No one wants to lose. And certainly no one wants to feels the crash course of emotions that come with it.

When your winning you're immortal and nothing matters except winning.

When your losing the whole world is pinned against you and nothing matters except not losing.

It's about winners and losers; otherwise, why keep score?

Readers claimed the crying photo was incentive.

Fans hate losing and love winning almost as much as the athletes themselves.

As the final seconds run off the clock one team basked in glory, the other stood in the shadow.

One the winner, the other the loser.

They celebrate, because this is what they spent an entire season working toward.

They cry because this isn't how it's supposed to end.

It's hard to watch the array of emotions. It's probably even harder as parent.

The truth is it happens. It's why they play the game.

Winners and losers.

Sunday, March 6, 2011



Fulton cheerleader Bailey Steiss, senior, celebrates after junior Brandon Trefil knocks down a three-point shot during Friday's win against Pewamo-Westphalia, 81-50.


CMU senior Antonio Weary leans against the wall outside of the men's locker room after Saturday's loss to Western during the final regular season home game of the year. Weary scored 6 points and played 21 minutes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Maple Building


The Maple Building, the old elementary school in Shepherd, Mich., was being torn down.

When I arrived on scene I took my typical construction photos and I knew if I waited long enough somebody would pass to stop and look at what was going on.

It was cold, but I was dressed warm and I was set on coming back to the office with something different.

I remembered a similar conversation when I was in college and a fellow photograph had to photograph an apartment which had been vandalized with spray painted swastikas.

He came back with a generic photo of stair case and spray painted swastikas. Brett Marshall's reaction was, "Where is the little girl jump roping."

I posted early about waiting. Persistence and patients always pay off.

It's not perfect, but it feel victorious.

All three photos took an hour of waiting and happened within about five minutes of each other.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Finding the drive and making the fight


I can't believe I'm already a month into the new year.

I seem to be fighting all kinds of battles.

My days run together working the night shift. At times it can be a daunting task to find the motivation to wake, rinse, drag yourself to work for three or four hours of sun light, enter a dark gym, leave to a dark parking lot, edit, caption, tone, then to leave work knowing not only is it dark, but also freezing cold.

This all leads me to my next topic. I shoot basketball everyday and sometimes I cover two games. A college photographer asked why I was leaving a Central Michigan University game early and it got me thinking about how drastically different my life is from a year ago.

Being at a college newspaper you print three times a week and you maybe shoot three or four assignments a week. You have a rough web deadline and you pretty much do things at your pace.

It's great in theory to want to shoot an entire game, but there are many reasons it's not always applicable at a daily.

  • Web first - Despite what you want to do or know will produce the best content your editor and bosses know differently and they have expectation you have to meet.
  • Deadlines - Much like the first point other people (page designers) are waiting for you so they can do their job. They have friends and most importantly families.
  • People - Not everyone understands you or what you do. They have families which are more important than their jobs, whether you think it's fair or not. To many it's about the paycheck.
  • Real world - It's not college. You have three assignments a day instead of three a week. "Don't forget video," they politely remind you, so make that four. Your a staff of few instead of many. The reality is it's not feasible and you have to budget your time properly. You learn what to and what not to spend your time on.

All of this brings me to a final point.

Pick and choose your battles.

Not everyone you work with is as dedicated as you. So choose what you fight for wisely. Otherwise you alienate yourself and are labeled a with giant asshole target.

This doesn't mean you give up and give in. This means you lead by example. You show others you care and use your passion to motivate them. Instead of being the complaining gnat, be the caterpillar. Cheesy, yes, but little by little you achieve change. As others see the greatness in your work they will be inspired to do the same. They will also be inspired if they see you getting a pay raise.

The truth is you have to change your game plan sometimes. Instead of spending three hours on basketball, spend one. Spend the other two working on real projects and finding features. When the big games comes the editors will understand and take full advantage of it.

It's all a game.

Pick your battles, plan accordingly, do the right things, control the tempo, attack and you'll sometimes win.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nadine's, a family tradition

Nadine Voisin, 64, of Mount Pleasant attempts to the cut the hair of William McClintic, 2, as he reaches for his mother Rachel Friday afternoon at Nadine's Beauty Salon, 701 E. Michigan St. Voisin has owned her shop for 44 years and has been cutting four generation of McClintic family hair. When asked why the family comes back to her Nadine said with a laugh, "Because I'm good."


Since William didn't get a haircut and either did any of his other family members the assignment was looking like a wash. I stuck around Nadine's and photographed a few of other appointments and made photos of her doing what she does.

As I came back to the office I was a little disappointed William wasn't cooperating. As I edited through photos I realized how valuable and story telling the top photo is. Had he sat in the chair and had his hair trimmed the photo would have been just that. Instead I was able to create a unique moment in the life of both William and Nadine.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CMU basketball

Will McClure

CMU center Will McClure lays on the floor after being fouled in the first half against the University of Detroit. The Chippewas lost, 75-49.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Here's to looking at you 2011

As Facebook and Twitter flooded with posts cursing the year known as 2010 and casting it away, I thought about how great the past year was for me.

Two ago I set out on journey to find myself as photographer. What was supposed to be a one year voyage morphed into something greater than I ever visioned. I'm still searching, but to see the growth from then to know astonishes me.

What 2010 brought me:
1. I completed multiple photo stories
Even though I feel there is work left to do, it is something I always put on my to do list and never finished. Finishing these projects and more specifically the one above led me to so much. I just want to say it's amazing what you learn from others.

2. I landed a full-time job at the daily in my college town

Bottom line I'm thankful I have a job doing what I love. My friends warned me about this job and made me pledge not to "lose my soul." There are many things this paper could do better, but instead of being jobless I'm actively attempting changing things. It's not easy, but isn't active change why we all wanted to become journalist?

3. I stopped worrying and started taking control of my life

Putting yourself out there is scary. When you stop everything in life and start driving the other direction it's dangerous, but along the way I found so much I thought was ahead of me I had passed because I was never paying attention. Slowing down helped me to become a better photographer and a happier person.

4. Living a positive progressive lifestyle

The truth about journalist is a lot of them are failures who become super jaded at the world and have fallen into a dark place of anger and spite. This type of person uses their AP Style (or photo) intellect to make others feel inept. Surround yourself with good people. Find people willing to help you and lead by example. Those kind of people never advance in life. It's not that they aren't smart enough or good enough, but it's attitude. It's about wanting it and not losing site of how and why.

5. My internship with Dan Stewart

It was undoubtedly the most valuable experience I have had as a photographer. I learned not only what it is to be an outstanding photographer, but also an outstanding husband, brother and friend. No matter how terrible a shoot went Dan somehow always remained optimistic and walked away positive. He is the exact opposite of the jaded journalist. I'm thankful for Dan, his wife Liz and brother Jason who always made me feel welcome.

Yes, 2010 was filled with long wedding days, too many "you've just go to do it" assignments, but it made all of the little wins seem sweeter.

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
~John Wooden