Colorado Springs, Colorado
© Dougal Brownlie 2017


December 2017 - Pictures of the Month

The Snow Queen, Emma Michaux, is carried off by the King during 'A Colorado Nutcracker' in the dress rehearsal at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday December 20, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A fourth-grade student of Chinook Trail Elementary School, Maggie Stephenson is also part of the cast and she is a patient at Children's Hospital Colorado and has undergone two open heart surgeries due to a congenital heart defect and is the 2017 Colorado Nutcracker ‘Dancer for A Day.' (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

People dance at the Snow Ball: A Silent Disco which was a disco dance party underneath Buck Walsky’s 'Beach Front', an interactive art installation featuring fiber optics and LED lights at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College on Saturday December 16, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

Denver Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) signals 'it's time to eat' as he enters through the smoke at the start of the game between the Denver Broncos and New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday December 10, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos shut out the Jets 23-0 at home to snap a eight game losing streak. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

Senior and quarterback JC Coulter, right, hugs wide receiver Eddie Kyle as both players were visibly emotional in the locker room following their 25-14 loss to Pueblo South in the CHSAA 4A football championships held at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium on Saturday December 02, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

A photo illustration of the Boys' Cross Country Peak Performer of the Year 2017 Mason Norman of The Classical Academy. The poster was inspired by his choice of movie 'IT.' (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

New York Jets fullback Lawrence Thomas (44) is tackled by Denver Broncos inside linebacker Todd Davis (51) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday December 10, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

Colorado College Tigers forward Trevor Gooch (2), left, is checked into the boards by Denver Pioneers defenseman Erich Fear (2) at The Broadmoor World Arena on Saturday December 9, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The game ended officially in a tie. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

Laura Wolff, center, a biomedical major and Spanish minor turns her tassel after she and other students graduated from the UCCS fall commencement at the Broadmoor World Arena on Friday December 15, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

Pueblo South celebrates a touchdown by John Weary (5) who holds the football that put the game out of reach for the Pine Creek Eagles during CHSAA 4A football championships held at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium on Saturday December 02, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Pine Creek lost to Pueblo South 25-14. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

A view of the Martin Drake Power Station unit 6 Stack on Wednesday December 13, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

A photo illustration of the Football 3A-1A Peak Performer of the Year 2017 Ty Evans of Palmer Ridge. The poster was inspired by his choice of movie 'Creed.' (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).  

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) spikes the ball in celebration of his touchdown in the first quarter as the Denver Broncos took on the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday December 10, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).  

The sun rises as David Artusi, center, laughs and talks with Tim Mcelderry on the Barr Trail Friday December 22, 2017 in Manitou Springs. Mcelderry was a three time guest for the AdAmAn Club, the famous group that hikes up Pikes Peak to shoot fireworks every New Years. This year, Artusi is the 100th addition to the organization. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).  

Volunteer Katie Alleman, left, talks with Abriel, 3, while training wheels are added to his free Spiderman themed bicycle at The Bob Telmosse' Christmas Giveaway at Springs Church on Saturday December 16, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is the first year that the organization has given away the bikes based on a first come, first serve basis versus in the past years where it had been a raffle drawing. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

A photo illustration of the Football 5A-4A Peak Performer of the Year 2017 David Moore III of Pine Creek. The poster was inspired by his choice of movie 'Superman.' (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).  

The Brownlie family portrait on Christmas day in Bellingham, Washington on December 25, 2017. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

November 2017 - Pictures of the Month

Air Force Falcons defensive back Robert Bullard (16) yells as he exits the tunnel with his teammates before the Falcons took on the Army West Point Black Knights at Falcon Stadium on Saturday November 4, 2017 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Army West Point defeated the Air Force by a score of 21-0. The last time the Falcons were held scoreless was by Mississippi in the 1992 Liberty Bowl. It was the first time the Falcons were shut out at home since Nov. 1, 1980, according to the school.

Air Force Falcons offensive lineman Ryan Beveridge's breath shows up from the cold weather with the temperature being around 32f as he stands and joins in singing "The U.S Air Force Song" following the Air Force Falcons win over the Utah State Aggies 38-35 at Falcon Stadium in an NCAA college football game at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday November 25, 2017. 

Sean holds his son Micah, 1, up to the hoop as he dunks the ball during sunset at Discovery Park on Thanksgiving Thursday November 23, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Emmalynn Isenberg,2, meets Santa Claus at Acacia Park before the lighting of the Christmas Tree on Saturday November 18, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Connor Cribben, 5, peers around at the casket as he holds the scriptures readings during his father Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Baxter Cribben's funeral service that was held at New Life Church in Colorado Springs on Tuesday November 28, 2017. Cribben died after being wounded in Afghanistan’s eastern Logar Province.

Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) avoids being brought down by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (90) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday November 19, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos fell short to the Bengals 20-17. 

Claire Ross, known by her soccer friends as "Scooter", shows her skills at soccer at Cheyenne Mountain High School on Friday November 17, 2017 in Colorado Springs,Colorado. Ross will miss her senior season because she's enrolling at Mississippi State, where she recently signed to play soccer, for the spring semester.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) yells before the next play as the Denver Broncos faced off against New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado on Sunday November 12, 2017. The Patriots won the game 41-16.

Du'Wayne Hall, 60, a veteran, lives on a fixed income, deals with physical challenges, and conspired with skyrocketing rents keep him where he is: a bug-infested 500-square-foot efficiency in a complex where police are constantly being called and gunfire punctuates the night. He takes the bus to get to his appointments, pay bills, and purchase groceries in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Fans walk around the the Mile High Stadium before the start of the Sunday night game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots on Sunday, November 12, 2017. The Patriots were victorious 41-16.

A parachutist carrying the American Flag enters Falcon Stadium before the Air Force Falcons faced off against Wyoming Cowboys at Falcon Stadium at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday November 11, 2017. 

Utah State Aggies linebacker Jamaal Evans (18) fends off the tackle from Air Force Falcons defensive back Marquis Griffin (2) for extra yards at Falcon Stadium in an NCAA college football game at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday November 25, 2017.

The Middle fork South Platte River flows between Highway 24 and CO 9 as the Mosquito Range stands in the background on November 14, 2017 just outside of Hartsel, Colorado.

Jim Jonez walks past the ski map and sign after he exited the BreckConnect Gondola at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado on Tuesday November 14, 2017. 

The view of the greater part of Colorado Springs from the Flight for Life helicopter that is piloted by Shawn McFarland and also in the cockpit is Paul Oldfield, a registered nurse, as they took off from St. Francis Memorial Hospital on Monday November 6, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They help to serve those in need of medical attention and to be airlifted to hospitals including the St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

October 2017 - Pictures of the Month

Maddie Marine posed for a portrait on the elevator going to The Broad Museum on Monday October 3, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Ashley Chandler performs a heel click for a portrait at the St. Joseph Riverwalk on Monday October 25, 2017 in St. Joseph, Missouri. 

Air Force Falcons quarterback Arion Worthman (2) celebrates after a touchdown, one of five total on the day, as the Air Force Falcons took on the UNLV Rebels at Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday October 14, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Worthman had a total of 116 yards rushing as the Falcons overcame a 27 point deficit to win the game 34-30 and the second largest comeback by Air Force since they overcame a 28-point deficit in a 44-38 overtime victory over Fresno State in 1996. 

Goalkeeper Ben Kucera (14) of the Air Force, right, blocks the shot on goal by Louie Rowe (32) of the Arizona State as the Falcons took on the Sun Devils at the Cadet Ice Arena at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Friday October 13, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Falcons won the game 4-3 for their home opening game. 

Charles Rockey, dressed as Gandalf from Lord of the Rings sits in the doorway of his art studio called "Rockey's Storyook Art Studio" as he apologizes to the numerous  kids after he ran out of candy as the younger crowd enjoyed trick or treating at the various businesses that handed out candy and prizes in Manitou Springs, Colorado for Halloween on Tuesday October 31, 2017. 

Members of SunWater Spa round the corner as they compete in the 23rd annual Emma Crawford Coffin Race in Manitou Springs, Colorado on Saturday October 28, 2017. SunWater Spa placed 9th with a time of 30.6 seconds. 

Second grader James Brickell reacts in excitement to the launching of rockets as the Falcon High School's Junior ROTC worked with the after school Rocket Club at Miami-Yoder School District JT-60 and helped blast off rockets for 32 elementary school kids on Wednesday October 4, 2017 in Rush, Colorado. 

Emma's Wake members Shellie Finn, left, Dru Waldrop, back, McKenzie Finn, front and Bart Finn, right, stand before the start of the 23rd annual Emma Crawford Coffin Race and Parade in Manitou Springs, Colorado on Saturday October 28, 2017. Shellie Finn was awarded Ms. Emma Crawford 2017.

Sgt. Olav Chaney walks through the gauntlet as Colorado Springs Police Department's Drill Team passes their Remington 870's as they practice their routine at the CSPD training academy on Wednesday October 25, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Drill Team will be competing for the first time in Washington D.C. in May as part of Peace Officer Memorial Week. 

A skeleton waves through the back window of a hearse for part of the 23rd annual Emma Crawford Coffin Race and Parade in Manitou Springs, Colorado on Saturday October 28, 2017. 

Denver Broncos wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (84) is assisted by the medical staff after he injured his ankle in the third quarter as the Denver Broncos fell short against the New York Giants on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos lost to the Giants by a score of 23-10.

The Air Academy Kadet football team practices the field goals on Wednesday October 11, 2017 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Broncos running back C.J. Anderson talks with the media at UCHealth Training Center on Wednesday September 27, 2017 in Englewood, Colorado. One of the hot button issues addressed was NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem after president Donald Trump's remarks about the NFL and the subsequent result of players kneeling during the games. 

Crews mopped up hot spots after a grass fire threatened homes near Fillmore and Centennial on Thursday October 26, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Colorado Springs Fire Department said the the fire was out at 7:45 a.m but expect to be managing the area all day. 

Jessica Love (now Mengel) laughs as she receives a kiss from her fiancé Christian Mengel as they enjoy the Garden of the Gods views on Saturday September 23, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The couple were married in Rushville, Missouri on Sunday October 24, 2017 and currently reside in St. Joseph, Missouri. 

Denver Broncos nose tackle Domata Peko (94) celebrates after New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) is brought down in the first quarter as the Denver Broncos faced off against the New York Giants on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. 

Hannah Mulqueen, left, a fourth grade teacher at Wildflower Elementary School, helps her students with reading on Wednesday October 18, 2017 in Colorado Springs. The school, a Harrison School District 2 elementary school, was just named a National Blue Ribbon Award, for improving academic achievement in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Regis Jesuit forward Regan Cadieux, right, celebrates with her teammates after she scored the teams lone goal over Palmer Ridge during the 2017 CHSAA Field Hockey Semifinals at All City Stadium on Tuesday October 24, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Palmer Ridge ended up wining the game 3-1 and won the state championship over Kent Denver in a shootout 5-4. 

Air Force Falcons wide receiver Ronald Cleveland (3) jumps for the pylon but was stopped short of the one yard line at Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday October 14, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

A photo illustration of David whose last name has been withheld has to register for a child molestation charge that his fiancée, Priscilla, said he got in Missouri for being with a girl he started dating when he was 17 and she was 14. After they broke up, her parents filed charges. Ten years later, that charge is still causing him problems in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

September 2017 - Pictures of the Month

US Air Force Academy defensive back Brett Baldwin, center, and the rest of the team get ready to enter Falcon Stadium before the start of their game against the Virginia Military Institute Keydets on Saturday September 2, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Falcons won the game 62-0. 

Running back Julian Cooks of Doherty High School is posed for a portrait at the football field on Monday September 4, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cooks was the peak performer of the week as he rushed 303 yards and completed five touchdowns in a 83-55 win over Rangeview High School last Friday September 1.

Joann Massey Izzarelli, of University Park, Texas, looks up at the name of her late husband Rusty Massey on the walls of the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial on Saturday September 16, 2017. Rusty who died in February of 2016 of cancer served as a Battalion Chief for University Park for twenty-four years. The 2017 Observance of the annual IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial was held at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday September 16, 2017. 

Caleb Aldrich, 6, right, a junior reporter from the Children's Hospital Colorado runs though a list of questions as he talks with wide receiver Bennie Fowler III. One of the questions he posed was what was Fowler's favorite type of pizza at UCHealth Training Center on Wednesday September 27, 2017 in Englewood, Colorado. 

Denver Broncos running back Jamaal Charles (28) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (27) during the game on Sunday September 17, 2017 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos won the game 42-17.

David Daniel Peña, 3, rides his bike through the pews at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His father Elmer Peña Peña, 37, a married father of three, recently became the first person known to seek protection from ICE at a Colorado Springs church. David and his father Elmer spend their days shaded by light filtering through 19th-century stained glass of the church, roughly 70 miles from the rest of the family in Aurora, Colorado. 

Elmer Peña Peña, right, folds sheets and adds covers to pillows as his son David Daniel, 3, lays on the remaining pillows that were on the ground at the All Souls Unitarian Church in Colorado Springs on Thursday September 21, 2017. 

A heavy fog covers Garden of the Gods as seen from the trails at Red Rocks Open Space on Tuesday September 26, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Head coach Jake Novotny of the Fountain-Fort Carson football watches as Rayshaun Anthony takes down the Roll Tackle Ring as the team practiced their drills at home on Wednesday September 6, 2017 in Fountain, Colorado. 

The Pine Creek football team breaks into formation as they practice at home on Wednesday September 20, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado before their game against Vista Ridge on Friday September 22 at 7 p.m. 

A Pine Creek cheerleader performs her routine during the halftime show as Pine Creek took on Vista Ridge in football at the District 20 Stadium at Liberty High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Friday September 22, 2017. Pine Creek won the game by a score of 26-0.

A late practice produced a sunset at Cheyenne Mountain high school as the football team worked on drills on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado before their Friday game against Widefield. 

Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (85) celebrates at the end zone after his completed touchdown during the game on Sunday September 17, 2017 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. 

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) jumps over Denver Broncos strong safety Justin Simmons (31) for a touchdown as the two teams faced off in the season opening game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Monday, September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado with the Broncos winning 24-21. 

The hills outside of Divide, Colorado begin to change leaf color with trees, many which are Aspens, showcase the start to fall that officially begins on Friday September 22, 2017.

Defending champion of Kadet Invitational Luke Trujillo of Discovery Canyon chips from the bunker at the first hole at the Eisenhower Golf Course at the US Air Force Academy Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Trujillo ended up shooting 69 for a three under par.

Shane Swanson praises his two 5-month-old Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Jackson, center, and phoenix, after they retrieved the ball at the Bear Creek Dog Park on Tuesday September 5, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 'Pawtoberfest' that includes a dog walk and beer will take place at the park on September 16, 2017.

Colorado Springs Gazette Fall Photo Intern Nadav Soroker posed for a portrait at the Gazette photo studio on September 15, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Lt Gen Jay B. Silveria, left, talks with Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education, as they walk past Cadet Chapel as she visited the U.S. Air Force Academy on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado as part of her "Rethink School" Tour. 

Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education, visited the U.S. Air Force Academy on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado as part of her "Rethink School" Tour. 

Various supplies and military vehicles are loaded into the C-17 Loadmaster as approximately 150 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division soldiers were deployed to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to provide sustainment support to Hurricane Maria Relief efforts at Fort Carson ADAC/G on Friday September 29, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

A parachutist comes into the stadium as the Denver Broncos faced off against the Los Angeles Chargers for their season opening game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Monday, September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. 

Crew members of Zach Burgess' Claw'd balloon help to get it inflated and positioned so that spectators could view it on the final day of the Labor Day Lift Off that took place at Memorial Park on Monday September 4, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Due to the higher wind speeds and poor visibility the balloons were grounded for the event. 

August 2017 - Pictures of the Month

The full diamond ring effect occurs at 11:42am during totality with the 2017 solar eclipse over the surrounding fields of Thomas Memorial Airport in Glendo, Wyoming on Monday August 21, 2017.

James Wooldridge and his boyfriend Everardo "Ev" Lopez posed for couples portraits at the Colorado Springs Gazette studio on Monday July 31, 2017.

Will Sailor, bottom, floods the Broadmoor World Arena as Joe Palato picks up the remainder of the hose as they work on the preparation of Colorado College's hockey season on Wednesday August 9, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Becky Brownlie, posed for a portrait, with sunflowers at Palmer Park on Sunday August 27, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Tashi Gomang Stupa, a religious destination just outside of Crestone, Colorado on June 31, 2017. It was founded by His Holiness the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. Stupas were created after the Buddha’s death, and evolved from being used as shrines to the dead and into places to honor the living. They were erected to remind people far into the future that they, while living, had the seed of enlightenment.

Bryce Raynsford, left, and Kodi Newsome both of Woodland Park, Colorado fish at the ponds at the Red Rocks Open Space in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday August 26, 2017.

Jordan Titoni looks for fish as he carries his spearfishing gun at the Chatfield Reservoir on Saturday August 5, 2017 in Littleton, Colorado. 

Eric DeSilva and Charlie Cuellar, back, and Jennifer Cuellar and Alison DeSilva, front, who holds onto her son Alex, 9, look at the sun through their solar glasses as it completes first contact as they have their photo taken by an attendee at the event in the fields surrounding the Thomas Memorial Airport in Glendo, Wyoming on Monday August 21, 2017.

A group of college-aged students are seen near the summit as they help to build trails just under 13,000 feet up off of Kit Carson Peak on Saturday July 29, 2017 as they work with the local nonprofit Rocky Mountain Field Institute. The organization invites them to a 30-day program that starts in the classroom and ends in the field. The students work on the realignment of the Kit Carson-Challenger Ridge Summit Trail in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. 

Jennifer Peterson, right, hands letters to Michelle Miller, left, and Anna Socha, 21, of Seattle, Washington and a student of the University of Victoria, from their family and friends at base camp on Saturday July 29, 2017. The local nonprofit Rocky Mountain Field Institute invites college-aged students from around the country to a 30-day program that starts in the classroom and ends in the field. The students work on the realignment of the Kit Carson-Challenger Ridge Summit Trail in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.

After a long day of trail building for the local nonprofit Rocky Mountain Field Institute several of the college students who were picked from around the country take a swim in Willow Lake on Saturday, July 29, 2017. 

Austin Barnes, part of an eight soldier team, swims for the final leg for his team with each soldier having to swim 100 meters as the 4th Infantry Division hosted Iron Horse Week for soldiers for the combat swim at Iron Horse Physical Fitness Center at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. 

People enjoy the use of the Academy Riding Stables on Wednesday August 2, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The organization which rented horses for people to ride through Garden of the Gods, is closing by the end of August. 

Melissa Beadle of Seattle, Washington laughs as her best friend Nathan Wendel of Los Angeles, California puts together their homemade solar binoculars that they made for the 2017 eclipse at the fields surrounding the Thomas Memorial Airport in Glendo, Wyoming on Monday August 21, 2017. 

The women's peloton heads down the hill at Garden of the Gods during Stage 1 of the Colorado Classic in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Thursday, August 10, 2017.

Stormy skies loom over the iconic sight of Garden of the Gods as the Men's peloton rides past during Stage 1 of the Colorado Classic in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Thursday, August 10, 2017. 

The men's peloton heads down the hill at Garden of the Gods during Stage 1 of the Colorado Classic for the sixth lap as rain made the road more slick of the last lap of the race in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Thursday, August 10, 2017. 

A group of Liberty football players get ready for their practice sessions at Liberty High School on Wednesday August 23, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Rick Velliquette, owner of The Bistro on 2nd, makes a savory waffle made with tater tots, cheddar cheese, sour cream, raspberries and bacon in Monument, Colorado on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. 

James Wooldridge, the photo department's summer intern, posed for a portrait at the Colorado Springs Gazette's photo studio on August 11, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Wooldridge, a rising junior at the University of Lincoln Nebraska, worked with the Gazette for ten weeks as part photo staff. 

A patch of daylight sun hits a portion of the lettuce while the rest are grown by indoor grow lamps at Daily Harvest Aquaponics. The phrase aquaponics means a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water. At this location 1100 fish supply the nutrients for a bunch of lettuce varieties that are then distributed to area restaurants, including The Broadmoor and Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Kris Jones, right, and her husband Steve Jones pose for a portrait at their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. The Jones' volunteer their time to take photos of the animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

A Big Horned sheep appears at the summit of Pikes Peak before the runners participate in the Pikes Peak Ascent on Saturday August 19, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Spectators watch as Joseph Gray, of Colorado Springs, right, makes the final hairpin turn as he placed first for the men's race with a time of 2:08:20 in the Pikes Peak Ascent on Saturday, August 19, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Colorado Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra, right, kisses his bat before exiting the dugout as teammate and shortstop Trevor Story looks on as Rockies faced off against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on Thursday, August 17, 2017. The Braves won the encounter 10-4.

Two basic cadets fight it out as the field training portion of Basic Cadet Training wrapped up on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Eight men and women competed for the “Big Bad Basic” title at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The competition was a single-elimination- pugil stick tournament, in men’s and women’s divisions and took place in the presence of cheering members of the Class of 2021, cadre and the Academy’s senior staff. The basics marched back on Thursday. 

Capt. Brian Guyette, B-1 Lancer pilot and 2008 graduate poses for a portrait at Arnold Hall at the US Air Force Academy on Friday August 25, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Guyette received the Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship which goes to a graduate whose “accomplishments demonstrate superior performance in fields directly involved with aerospace vehicles,” according to the award’s criteria. Guyette flew combat missions over Iraq and Syria in 2015, eradicating Islamic State personnel and positions among his other achievements, from February to July 2015. 

Cassandra Minard, center, wipes away tears after being handed tissues by her husband DA after her and Bob Tretheway became overcome with emotions during the hospice care at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Friday, August 11, 2017. Minard and her husband were married two years after DA introduced his wife to Tretheway and officiated their wedding. Tretheway passed away a few days later in hospice care. 

July 2017 - Pictures of the Month

Jesse Clark of Portales, NM attempts to rope calf during Tie-Down Roping at the 77th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo matinee at the Norris-Penrose Event Center on Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Clark's time did not advance him to the championships held Saturday evening.

Daryl Richmond of Monument waves to the crowd during the annual Monument 4th of July Parade in Monument, Colorado on Tuesday July 4, 2017. 

Kaligh Minton, 6, enjoys one of the obstacles at the Great Inflatable 5K Race that took place at Memorial Park on Saturday July 22, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Second string Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch signs autographs following the first day of training camp practice at the UC Health Training Center on Thursday, July 27, 2017 in Englewood, Colorado. 

The projector beam is seen in the sky as people watch Transformers: The Last Knight at the Star Drive-in on Wednesday June 21, 2017 in Monte Vista, Colorado. The Star Drive-in is part of the Best Western Movie Manor.

People sit on the dock to watch the fireworks that are launched over Prospect Lake at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Tuesday July 4, 2017 for 4th of July celebrations. 

Martha Maldonado and her husband Mike Maldonado grieve during a candlelight vigil that was held at Full Throttle Auto Service, on Friday, July 14, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their son and owner of the business George Maldonado was killed in an apparent robbery. 

Alison West, general manager at Prime25 Steakhouse West has been in the restaurant business for 20 years. In her management positions, gaining trust and respect seemed to take longer than she expected. "The lack of the owners or bosses letting me execute the decisions quickly has been my biggest hurdle," she said. "In a male-dominated world, I'm not sure if that qualifies. With the exception of two bosses, all the others have been men. 

Ryan Michalesko, posed for a portrait at the Dallas Morning News Studio on Saturday July 8, 2017 in Dallas Texas. Michalesko, a photojournalism student at Southern Illinois University at the Carbondale campus, is an intern for the Dallas Morning News for the summer.

Hannah Tran, posed for a portrait at the Gazette studio on Tuesday July 25, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tran is the videographer for the Gazette.

Ellie Leonard, posed for a portrait at the Gazette studio on Thursday July 20, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Leonard is the crime reporter for the Gazette. 

Five-year-old Jaxson Wallace of Colorado Springs, Colorado pushes Lady Baa-Baa off of him after they wiped out in the mud during the mutton busting at the 77th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo matinee at the Norris-Penrose Event Center on Saturday, July 15, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Cory Teunissen, gets air as he flips on his wakeboard at the Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour at Prospect Lake on Friday July 21, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Teunissen who is originally from Brisbane, Australia currently resides in Orlando, Florida. 

A group of women athletes enjoy the practice pool following their event at the 2017 U.S. Paralympics Swimming World Championships Trials that were held at US Air Force Academy pool on Sunday July 23, 2017 in Colorado Springs. This event helps to determine the team for the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships taking place in Mexico City from Sept. 30-Oct. 6. 2017. 

Chelsea Purgahn enjoys a swing on Sunday July 9, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. Purgahn is currently a staff photojournalist for the Tyler Morning Telegraph in Tyler, Texas. 

Jemma Soderberg, 3, and her farther Matt Soderberg both of Boulder, Colorado enjoy the swing-set during sunset before the start of them watching 'Captain Underpants' at the Best Western Movie Manor and Star Drive-in on Wednesday June 21, 2017 in Monte Vista, Colorado. 

David Hodge, 3, waits for his older sister Caitlyn Hodge,7, during the mutton busting event at 77th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo at the Norris-Penrose Event Center on Thursday, July 13, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. With the age requirement being a minimum of four, Hodge has another year to wait before he can compete. 

Courtney Cunard, poses for a portrait in her tiny home, sized at 399 square feet at Peak View Park on Thursday, July 20, 2017 in Woodland Park, Colorado. Cunard works in Colorado Springs as a licensed Esthetician at Alpenglow Skin Spa. 

Sharon Milito walks up side of the dried-up rive bank at Jimmy Camp Creek Park on Thursday June 28, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On July 15, 2017, the city opened Jimmy Camp Creek Park to the public for the first time, for a "BioBlitz" intended to teach people about the area and for various different scientists to discover new life. 

Tim Nwachukw poses for a portrait at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Saturday July 23, 2017 in Morrison, Colorado. Nwachukw, a University of Missouri graduate and Kentucky native, now lives in Denver, Colorado working for Clarkson Collective.

An audience gathers in a gold shipping container in Mexico City, Mexico listen to Gerard Mali, Claude Petersen and Ed Parsons, from left to right who are part of the band Momungas who were performing in a similar setup outside of the Pioneer Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado on July 1, 2017. The gold shipping containers known as a portals are equipped with immersive audio-visual technology that allows the band to perform and interact face-to-face, full-body, with others around the all around the world and for both parties to enjoy the sharing of music and conversations. So far these portals have been internationally in Afghanistan, Jordan, Germany, Honduras, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Palestine, Rwanda, and the UK. 

A member of Denver Broncos holds offensive tackle Garett Bolles' (72) son Kingston after the first day of training camp practice at UC Health Training Center on Thursday, July 27, 2017 in Englewood, Colorado.

Young children crouch and play by the various water fountains at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas, Texas on Sunday July 9, 2017.

Members of the US Air Force's Class of 2021 laugh as rodeo clown Justin Rumford pretends to fall of the ledge to the arena during at the annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo matinee on Saturday, July 15, 2017, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest body of water in the state of Colorado is shown here on Friday 22, 2017 in Gunnison, Colorado. It was created by the construction of Blue Mesa Dam, a 390-foot tall earthen fill dam constructed on the Gunnison by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1966 for the generation of hydroelectric power. 

ada Smith, Kenny Bert, and Jasper Morgan from left to right share laughs as they enjoy the new location of the Inside Out Youth Services, a haven for vulnerable youths Inside Out - serving LGBT and identity-questioning people ages 13 to 22, on Friday June 30, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "It takes a village. It's a Queer and crazy village but it's mine." says Inside Out Executive Director Mary Malia. About 50 percent of parents are supportive when they learn that a child has a different sexual identity according to Malia.

The view from the Painted Hand trail at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument on Thursday June 21, 2017 in Cortez, Colorado. The small village consisting of about 20 rooms was constructed around AD 1200. 

Thank you Ryan and Chelsea for being amazing hosts in Texas for the birthday weekend! Y'all are the best... 

June 2017 - Pictures of the Month

A horse stands during a sunset on County Line road on Wednesday June 7, 2017 in Monument, Colorado. 

A buffalo at sunset at the intersection of US Highway 24 and Colorado State Highway 9 on Friday 22, 2017. 

Jake Allen of New Jersey jumps off the cliffs at Paradise Cove in Guffey, Colorado on Saturday June 24, 2017. 

Steven Driver of Thornton, Colorado fishes at Ramah State Wildlife Reservoir on Wednesday 28, 2017 in Calhan, Colorado. Water levels at the reservoir are so low that Colorado Parks and Wildlife has lifted all bagging and possession requirements, allowing licensed anglers to catch and take as many fish as they want.

Katie Spencer walks through the various rafts at American Adventures Expeditions. The company takes people whitewater river rafting on the Arkansas River on Tuesday June 13, 2017 in Buena Vista, Colorado.

A chain American Adventures Expeditions rafts tackle Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River Tuesday June 13, 2017 in Buena Vista, Colorado. The half day day trip is 13 miles long and has parties going parts of the river that are rated as class III rapids. They include famous rapids such as Zoom Flume, Big Drop, and the Toilet Bowl. 

Yann Lapotre, left, and Ariel Demarest, both biological technicians for the Colorado State Forest Service help to set up nets behind Devil's Head to study the various different species of bats that live in Colorado on Saturday June 3, 2017. 

Animal ecologist Rob Shorr with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program for Colorado State University inspects a Hoary bat behind Devil's Head on Saturday June 3, 2017. The Hoary bat is one of various different species of bats that live in Colorado.

Spencer Steele of Denver, Colorado gets ready to drive his 1995 PVA 2 for another lap during the first day of sanctioned practice for the 95th Annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Tuesday June 20, 2017. Steele is competing in the Pikes Peak Challenge - Open Wheel Division.

Cheyenne Mountain girls No. 1 singles Morgan Hall is the Peak Performer of the Year. She was photographed for a portrait at the Cheyenne Mountain tennis courts on Friday June 2, 2017. 

Joel Walker of Vista Ridge has a near miss during a bicycle kick attempt for a goal in the first half the the 2017 All Star boys soccer game that was held at Cheyenne Mountain High School on Thursday June 15, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Walker scored two of the five goals by the white team in the first half of the game. 

Riders stand before the first day of sanctioned practice for the 95th Annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Tuesday June 20, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Seth Starnes of Aurora, Colorado races his 2016 KTM 690 Duke bike during the first day of sanctioned practice for the 95th Annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Tuesday June 20, 2017. Starnes, a rookie, is competing in the Pikes Peak Middleweight Division.

Former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa waits inside of the Terry R. Harris Judicial Complex on the first day of his jury selection for the trial on Tuesday June 27, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Andrew Stadler drives his 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to get ready for his next run during the Heuberger Subaru Pikes Peak 4th annual Airstrip Attack on Saturday June 17, 2017. The event has a half-mile side-by-side roll race and trap speed competition on the Colorado Springs Airport tarmac in Colorado Springs, Colorado that features a selection of the fastest stock and modified street cars from across the world.

A Porsche 911 Turbo speeds down the tarmac during the 4th annual Heuberger Subaru Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack was held on Saturday June 17, 2017 and the event has a half-mile side-by-side roll race and trap speed competition on the Colorado Springs Airport tarmac in Colorado Springs, Colorado that features a selection of the fastest stock and modified street cars from across the world.

Trveco Wengert, center, lays on the ground as the 'victim' of a right leg fracture as Alexander Watrous, right, works on the M10 Station that had soldiers performing First Aid for a suspected fracture within a three minute time frame on Wednesday 28, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Fort Carson Soldiers were testing to earn the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB).

One of the 100 Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division salutes before receiving his reenlistment pin during a ceremony on Wednesday June 14, 2017 at Fort Carson's Founders Field. The ceremony is part of the yearlong celebration in honor of Fort Caron's 4th Infantry Division's 100 years of service in defense of the nation. 

Members of the Fountain Police Department enter the front of Fountain Middle School as they hosted an Active Shooter Response Training on Friday June 9, 2017. 

Cecilia Francisa Cynthia DeLuna, right, takes a selfie before the group photo during the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind graduation that was held on campus Friday June 2, 2017. DeLuna was the class’ valedictorian and student speaker.  

Juan Mijares of Mijares Violins works on a violin that was in for repair at his repair shop. Mijares has been at the same location for about 25 years and was photographed on Friday June 9, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

A wide variety of different bows seen at Mijares Violins on Friday June 9, 2017 are in for repair. 

CSFD fire mitigation crews clear brush and mitigate against the threat of wildfire at Cedar Heights on Wednesday May 31, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Motorcycle bikers ride as a group from the summit of Pikes Peak to the bottom after all the competitors finished the 95th Annual Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday June 25, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Llamas run in the sunset at County Line road on Wednesday June 7, 2017 in Monument, Colorado. 

May 2017 - Pictures of the Month

Well... It has been the first month on the job here at the Gazette and one of the most crazy thirty days with lots of firsts, graduations, sun and snow as well as a lot of military events. I felt that I was able to push myself into trying new angles, lenses, and really look for the decisive moment to push the shutter. Can't wait to see what June brings. 

A member of the Cadet rifle team leaves through a flurry of snow after a volley of shots following the memorial service at Cadet Protestant Chapel on Thursday May 18, 2017 for 1st Class (senior) Kaleb Estes. Estes, who was part of Cadet Squadron 39, died May 7 in a commercial skydiving accident near Ellicott, Colorado.

Colorado College seniors celebrate their last day of classes at the flag pole on campus and opening bottles of champagne for a toast on Wednesday May 17, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Class of 2017 graduates on Monday.

Caleb Anderson, Chris Carr, Austin Flues, and Madeline Gloss celebrate the hat toss as nearly 1,000 Air Force Academy cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants during graduation at Falcon Field at the US Air Force Academy on Wednesday May 24, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

David Mann, part of the Sons of the American Revolution, Pikes Peak Chapter fires his gun during a historic reenactment on Memorial Day at the Evergreen Cemetery on Monday 29, 2017.

Chaparral players swarm Brett Boss, #1, after he scored a goal over Lewis-Palmer in the first round of the 2017 CHSAA Boys Lacrosse Championships at Lewis-Palmer High School on Wednesday May 10, 2017. Chaparral won the game 9-8.

Retired Lt. Col. James Harvey​ stands to attention as the Air Force cadets participate in the tribute parade on the Terrazzo on Tuesday May 2, 2017. The Air Force Academy paid its annual tribute for the 76th year to the Tuskegee Airmen with a wreath laying ceremony and parade. The tribute recognized a major historical milestone for diversity in the Air Force, honoring the first African-American aviators who began serving during World War II.

Marcus Echols embraces his mother Shandell Echols and presents her with a rose to thank her for her help along the way to get to the Welte Education Center graduation on Thursday May 25, 2017 in Fountain, Colorado.

Maxine Choi of Cheyenne Mountain, right, waits for her group to finish on the second hole during the second day of 4A Girls State golf tournament held at Colorado National Golf Course on Tuesday May 23, 2017 in Erie, Colorado. Choi ended up placing 8th in state.

Air Academy High School's AJ Murphy puts his arm around catcher Justin Richardson as they lost to Valor Christian in a loser-goes-home game 7-0 at Auraria Campus Athletic Field at Metro State University of Denver during the 4A state baseball action in Denver, Colorado on May 26, 2017.

Jonas Housari 2, helps his mother Alysha Housari place flowers on the gravestones for those fallen in action during Memorial Day at the Evergreen Cemetery on Monday May 29, 2017. 

The 360 degree view from the Devil's Head tower on Friday April 28, 2017. For the past 35 years, Bill Ellis, 85, and his wife Margaret Ellis, 77, have watched for smoke at the Devil's Head tower, one of Colorado's last operating fire lookout towers.

Cheyenne Mountain's Cory Patton Lossner covers her face as she cries tears of happiness after her win over Niwot's Julia Pentz in the CHSAA Girls 4A tennis No. 2 semi-finals in a three hour battle 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4 at Pueblo City Park on Friday May 12, 2017. Patton Lossner's win helped Cheyenne Mountain with their record 9th team title and she went on to win the Girls No. 2 singles state title the following day. 

Behind the gallery of nostalgic art, from knitted work to pottery, is a corner-sized factory where rubber stamps are made. The designs on those stamps and the owner of this local staple, is Kathy Reed, 75. From her hand-drawn shapes, like flowers & butterflies, she takes pride in seeing people make their own arts & crafts.

Firefighters help to carry a victim on a stretcher who was part of the "mass casualty" to an ambulance for assessment as they all took part in the simulation on Wednesday morning May 3, 2017 at the Colorado Springs Airport. More than 700 police, fire, ambulance, hospital and other emergency personnel from more than 40 agencies took part in the event. 

One of the many cars that were part of the show that also included food and other vendors for a Cinco De Mayo celebration for the 34th Annual Fiesta and Car Show on Saturday May 6, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Makala Crist, center, an associate of arts study, peers into arena before the start of the Pikes Peak Community College morning commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 13, 2017, at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Chelsea Walter wears a hat she created herself to celebrate the 143rd Kentucky Derby as she attended the first Annual Kentucky Derby Party at Axe and the Oak Whiskey House on Saturday May 6, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Goal-keeper Moise Pouaty, left, and Defender Pascal Eboussi, both soccer players for the FC Switchbacks laugh after being asked about the funniest joke they knew at Weidner Field on Thursday April 27, 2017. The two players who have known each other for five years started their journey from poverty in Cameroon and now play pro soccer in Colorado Springs. 

Taps is performed as family and other members of the community attend the memorial service for Capt. Roger D. Helwig at the Memorial Pavilion at the Air Force Academy on Tuesday May 9, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Helwig was listed as killed-in-action during the Vietnam War. 

Members of the 'Living History Colorado' prepare for their reenactment event for Memorial Day at the Evergreen Chapel inside the Evergreen Cemetery on Monday May 29, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A view from the summit of Wilkerson Pass overlooking South Park, Colorado.

Lewis Palmer's Emma Gaydos eyes the ball as she serves to Discovery Canyon's Mattie Kuntzelman during their playback match for the CHSAA Girls 4A tennis No. 1 singles at Pueblo City Park in Pueblo, Colorado on Friday May 12, 2017. Kuntzelman won match 6-4 7-5.

April 2017 - Pictures of the Month

Wow... Where to start. March madness is the title they give for college basketball but I'd like to think that April was the most crazy month I have had so far. I left family and Washington behind and flew to New York City to gratefully assist my friend Steve Ryan with the Dicks National Championships for high school basketball. I was able to learn about remotes and strobes for the basketball court. I came away with a much better understanding of what to do and look forward to implementing those lessons at the new work space. From there I flew to Kansas City, Missouri and spent under twenty-four hours before flying again to Denver to attend The Image Deconstructed. There is a separate blog post below talking about my growth from that workshop but in short I 'found my way' and felt inspired. I then flew back to Kansas City and less than a day later drove up to Peoria, Illinois (first time to visit Illinois) and spent two days with a very good friend of mine Ryan Michalesko. He took me around on his assignments for the Peoria Star Journal and was a great host. I then drove back to Kansas City (six hour drive by the way) and packed all my stuff into a U-Haul, got my mom from the airport and eight hours later we made a day trip from Missouri to Colorado Springs. I am not sure where to start with Colorado. It has been now two weeks in this state and I am already so in love. It truly is ColoRADo. The rad part is no joke. I just wake up every day so thankful to able to make pictures for the Gazette and to do what I love. I've included a blog this month that has actual photos not ones taken with the iPhone 7 Plus... finally, I know. Anyways to another amazing month. Onward and to new adventures. 

 A horse has snow and icicles covering it's face at Palmer Lake, Colorado after spring storm hit the area on Friday night and brought with it 12 inches of snow on Saturday April 29, 2017.

Ryan Michalesko, posed for a portrait, at the Community of St. John Church on Wednesday April 12, 2017 in Princeville, Illinois while working on a story. Michalesko, a student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, finds his interests in photography to include breaking news and sports photography.

Ron Dolecek posed for a portrait at Lucky Devil Tattoo in Colorado Springs. Dolecek is a rare tattoo artist who builds his own machines started his career in Kansas and has an obsession with tattoo history. He constructs his tattoo machines - measuring and cutting iron wires from a roll to form the two electromagnetic coils that spring the armature bar that he welds himself, the bar that goes up and down from that electromagnetic force and drives the needle. 

Pine Creek baseball player Toby Scoles, second from the left, brings the team in for some final words following their warm up at Spurgeon Field at Memorial Park on Wednesday April 26, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The team took on home team Palmer.

The brothers of St. John Church participate in morning mass on Wednesday April 12, 2017 in Princeville, Illinois.

The view of New York City skyline from a rooftop apartment on April 2, 2017 in Manhattan, New York. 

Crime scene tape blocks the area following a shooting in the 2700 block of West Montana Street. A male in his early twenties was transported to Saint Francis Medical Center for serious injuries, according to the Peoria Police Department on April 12, 2017 in Peoria, Illinois. 

(Editors note: This photo was made with an in camera double exposure). Gov. Bruce Rauner talks wth those in attendance during a campaign stop at Brewers Distributing Company on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 in Peoria, Illinois.

A Cuban sandwich at Bella's Bakery and Cafe on Friday April 21, 2017.

Myself and good friend Steve Ryan testing the overhead basketball remote before the Dick's National Championships basketball game in Middle Village, New York. The Championships had the eight best boys basketball teams who elected to play in the tournament duke it out for the title of national champions. LaLumiere of Indiana was crowned the champions at the end of the tournament. 

Balloons were released and many of them stuck the nearby tree on April 12, 2017 in Perkin, Illinois during a memorial for nine-year-old Haylee Garrison, who died Tuesday morning, four days after the young girl was accidentally shot in her home. 

Hadley Ahrens, left, 10, laughs as her friend Isabel Ritz, 10, holds a doll they called 'creepy Jolenea' by the hair as they found her during the clean up event and thought the doll was the most interesting thing they found on Earth Day Saturday April 22, 2017. UpaDowna partnered with the Great American Cleanup Pikes Peak Partners as volunteers helped to clear and remove various pieces of trash from UpaDowna's adopted waterway trail. The event started at America The Beautiful Park and volunteers were provided with trash bags and gloves to help with the process. 

Bernice Sinner, posed for a portrait, at Mildred's Cafe in Cascade, Colorado on Sunday April 23, 2017. Cascade has a population of 1,588 people and Mildred's has been open for the past 11 years. Sinner, who has been a server at the Cafe for the past three years moved to the area 35 years ago. She is originally from Southwest Michigan and says that her whole family still lives out there. She was the only one that moved all around the country including Phoenix and Bend, Oregon. She said that the four distinctive seasons are what has kept her her.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo of Colorado Springs, Colorado, announced the birth of its newest giraffe, the 199th born during the zoo's history. The calf, born early Wednesday, April 26, 2017, is the second offspring of mom Msitu, and the third to be sired by dad Khalid. 

The Image Deconstructed 2017 - Find your way

Well... It is now down to the last day before I start at the Colorado Springs Gazette as their newest staff photographer. I am not sure exactly where to begin. It all still seems so surreal that I now live in Colorado and I am sitting at a Starbucks Coffee shop with the view of Pikes Peak towering in the background. First things first- by now most of you should know that I am a visual man and not the words person. As much as I have started to enjoy to write, the structure of my blog posts is very much like how I speak. Fast and often all over the map but this post is dedicated to Ross Taylor. Ross - your words of 'Find your way' have stuck with me since we wrapped up TID in Denver only a short time ago. I am not sure what made me do the workshop (besides the hounding of Andy Whitaker) but going to the workshop made me feel more grounded, secure in who I am and where I need to go to achieve my dreams. It gave me the chance to meet new people and make some friends that I feel I can trust and have their love and support no matter the distance. This workshop took me on a personal journey and allowed me to feel more connected to people that before. So I don't feel I need to wander and go on and on but I simply want to say that I will be back for many years to come. 

March 2017 - Pictures of the Month

Backcountry Mt.Baker, WA

Subway Q-Train tintype, NYC. 

Bellingham, WA. 

Mt. Baker, WA. 

Double exposure. NYC. 

Bellingham, WA. 

Prospect Park, Brooklyn- NYC. 

Dick's National High School Basketball Champions. La Lumiere, Middle Village, NYC

Dick's National High School Basketball upset. Greensboro of North Carolina. Middle Village, NYC

To New Beginnings: The Colorado Springs Gazette 

Well it's finally official... I will be accepting a position as staff photojournalist at the Colorado Springs Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colorado starting on 4/20. Thank you so much to Mark, Christian and Jerilee for all your support and help throughout the hiring process. I look forward to being part of your team. A special shout to Stacie for encouraging me to apply to this job and thanks to all my friends who support during this transition. It takes a village to raise a Dougal. In the words of John Muir "The mountains are calling and I must go."  

February 2017 - Pictures of the Month

Ariel view. Seattle, Washington. 

Sea-Tac International Airport. Seattle, Washington.

Ice flows. Bellingham, Washington. 

Lake Whatcom. Bellingham, Washington. 

Peter Popek. Marine Park. Bellingham, Washington. 

TinType App. Joe Gosen. Bellingham, Washington. 

Highway 243. Mattawa, Washington. 

Up & Up. Downtown Bellingham, Washington. 

542-E. Glacier, Washington. 

Grandparents. West Richard, Washington. 

St. John's Bridge. Portland, Oregon. 

January 2017 - Pictures of the Month

Fr. Lawrence Carney, an ordained Catholic priest originally from Wichita, Kansas, walks the streets of downtown St. Joseph and the surrounding neighborhoods on Wednesday January 18, 2017. Fr. Carney is seen often walking the streets of St. Joseph and blessing people and sharing the Lord's message and estimates he talks to ten people a day, totaling between 2,000 and 5,000 different people in the last three years.

Chloe Barrymore, 10, Trinay Fowler, 12, and Dayton Barrymore, 12, from left, walk up the hill behind the baseball fields at Hyde Park on Thursday January 5, 2017 to go sledding in St. Joseph, Missouri. The St. Joseph School District canceled classes after the snowfall was reported to be as much as 2" was recorded to have fallen.

St. Joe Figure Skating Club who were seen practicing their synchronized routine on Tuesday January 17, 2016 at Bode Ice Arena in St. Joseph, Missouri. They are attending the National Figure Skating Competition that is held in Kansas City, Missouri.

Benton boys basketball team including forward Chase Petersen, (33), center, watches the intro video that played before the Cardinals faced off against the Maryville Spoofhounds on Thursday January 19, 2017 at Springer Gymnasium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Fifth grader Ta'Shaun Wilson practices the trombone at Potter Hall on the campus of Missouri Western on Thursday January 12, 2017 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Instrumental Infusion that allowed every fifth grader in the district will have an opportunity to try out band and strings instruments.

Andy Whitaker, posed for a portrait, on January 1, 2017 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

William Gomer, better known as Bill, posed for a portrait in his studio at home in Highland, Kansas on Tuesday January 17, 2017. The population of Highland, Kansas is 1,008 and just the way that Gomer liked it as he is less known for his famous work. At 76 years old, he has been doing works with leather for the last 70 years and is best known created the Kansas Saddle. The saddle has been appraised at $125,000 and seen many different places around the world including Mexico, Taiwan, Canada, and many other places.

Family, friends and members of the community watch as Central high school girls swim team members compete in the 50-yard Freestyle during the team's last home meet and senior night on Wednesday January 11, 2017 at the Thomas Eagleton Indoor Pool on the campus of Missouri Western State University.

A start to the new year shows the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on January 1, 2017.

Snow day part ii Ashlee Forister ,11, wipes out on her saucer sled as she hits her dad Larry Forister from behind at the hill behind the baseball fields at Hyde Park on Thursday January 5, 2017 in St Joseph, Missouri. The St. Joseph School District canceled classes after the snowfall was reported to be as much as 2" was recorded to have fallen.

Central high school senior Audrey Schank, center, holds a beard trimmer as she carefully shaves head coach Kevin Bigham's beard to much laughter from her fellow seniors who surrounded her during the process during the team's last home meet and senior night on Wednesday January 11, 2017 at the Thomas Eagleton Indoor Pool on the campus of Missouri Western State University. Each senior was able to shave a portion of Bigham's beard.

Cows are seen during a sunset off of Interstate 29 on January 12, 2017 in Maryville, Missouri.

January 20, 2017 - Region’s lasting image: community is everything

Middle of nowhere. It’s so flat. There are no mountains – or an ocean for that matter.

“You don’t know anyone.” “You will be so lonely.” “Why are you moving there?”

My mind raced with these thoughts 15 months ago when I entered the state of Missouri and passed by Tarkio – population roughly 1,500. My life was about to change as I began my journey in the Midwest. I felt scared, nervous and, frankly, unsure if I had made a mistake in taking my first full-time job as a photojournalist at the News-Press.

I tried to hide my fears, but my father, road trip companion of 25 hours from Los Angeles, picked up my energy immediately. He did his best to settle me emotionally and, of course, financially. But after he boarded his flight home from KCI, it all hit me. I was alone, and there was no other alternative but to bite the bullet and face my fears head on.

To the Northwest Missouri community, and in particular St. Joe, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking me in as a “stepson” and allowing me to create some 120,000 photos. Many of these made into print; all of these will stick with me as visual memories of my time here.

The heartland of America is a place where community is everything. Instead of moving, generation after generation have kept their roots here. It is something I have grown to admire. I have met people who don’t forget a face, greeting me a year later asking about my life.

On Jan. 20 I will be laying down my camera at the News-Press and saying my goodbyes. A new chapter is about to begin. But I can say with unfaltering certainty that this community has welcomed me with so much acceptance and support that I can’t begin to give credit to all those who have impacted my life.

For all those who place their trust in the local paper, especially during a time when our nation stands so divided in the media, it has been a real privilege to showcase daily life here. I may be leaving for now, but a part of my heart always will live in Northwest Missouri.

December 2016 - Pictures of the Month

University of North Alabama defensive lineman DeAndre Harrison celebrates after his team got a fumble recovery during the NCAA Division II college football championships on Saturday December 19, 2016 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas against Northwest Missouri State. Northwest Missouri State won the game to set a school-record, 30-game winning streak which included back-to-back national titles in 2015 and 2016.

Christy Bruner, Isabel Bruner, 7, David Bruner, Haven Bruner, 3, from left, of Fair Grove, Missouri visit Snow Creek on Wednesday in Weston, Missouri. The family was on vacation and it was the girls first time going skiing and Christy felt that it was a better ski environment to learn on than going to Colorado.

Chelsey Purgahn posed for a portrait on December 30, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Northwest Missouri State kicker Simon Mathiesen, right, is embraced by backup quarterback Jonathan Baker after the Bearcats defeated the University of North Alabama 29-3 to win the NCAA Division II college football championships on Saturday December 19, 2016 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The win saw Northwest Missouri State set a school-record, 30-game winning streak which included back-to-back national titles in 2015 and 2016.

A goose slips some water at Krug Park on December 27, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Bob Murphy, posed for a portrait, celebrates both his 90th birthday as well as his retirement from the Murphy Law Offices. Murphy was the company's bookkeeper, a job that he started when he was 75 had his last day on Thursday December 29, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Murphy served in World War II In 1944, just nine days before turning 18.

The window of "Just Desserts by Mom' as the demolition of the Pioneer Building was worked on Thursday December 22, 2016 that was previously destroyed by a fire and affected businesses in the surrounding areas including the locally owned dessert shop to remain closed to health and hazard concerns.

Maryville High School Defensive end Tucker Tripp posed for a portrait in the St. Joseph News Studio as he was an All News-Press athlete this year. Maryville went 14-1 falling short in the Class 3 championship game to Monett 27-18.

Emily Fite posed for a portrait as she performs her yoga barefoot, in freezing temperatures, along Missouri's riverfront on December 6, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Fite owns The Yoga Room in Downtown St. Joseph and has been practicing yoga since 1997, traveling to India several times for medical missions and spiritual pilgrimages. “All of creation is an infinite web connecting all living and non-living beings,” Fite says. “Yoga gives us the tools to experience life to the ultimate fullest.

Northwest Missouri State University defensive end Cass Weitl, bottom, brings down Harding University running back Michael Latu with the help of line backer Ben Althoff for a lose of yards on Saturday December 3, 2016 during the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals held at Bearcat Arena in Maryville, Missouri. The Bearcats won the game in a shutout 35-0 making it only the third time in playoffs that there has been a shutout game.

George Stanton, a graphic editor and artist posed for a portrait on Christmas Day December 25, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Northwest Missouri State University enters against their NCAA Division II Quarterfinals against Harding University on Saturday December 3, 2016 at Bearcat Arena in Maryville, Missouri. The Bearcats won the game in a shutout 35-0 making it only the third time in playoffs that there has been a shutout game.

A two car accident occurred on North Belt Highway resulting in both cars ending up in the Subway parking lot on December 2, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. It is unclear how the accident forced both vehicles over the retaining wall.

 Daniel Ford, one of the homeless in St. Joseph, Missouri. He is seen here filling up his chainsaw to saw some wood for both his fire and house's architecture Ford is hoping to make tent city better this time for all the homeless people who are scattered throughout the city. The homeless encampment in the wooded spot tucked away near Fourth and Monterey streets was moved, through a collaborative effort of local service agencies and law enforcement.

Northwest Missouri State running back Phil Jackson II stiffarms University of North Alabama defensive lineman DeAndre Harrison during the NCAA Division II college football championships on Saturday December 17, 2016 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Andrew Whitaker posed for a portrait on Saturday December 31, 2016 in Cape Giradeau, Missouri at the Southeast Missourian studio.

Nadav Soroker, a senior at the University of Missouri, posed for a portrait at 'Say It So Tomato' on December 16, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Detective Richard Shelton of the St. Joseph Police Department 'makes it rain' with counterfeit money for a portrait on Tuesday December 13, 3016 at the Law Enforcemet Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. Shelton said that counterfeit bills are on the rise and for companies should have better training in identifying fake money.

November 2016 - Pictures of the Month

Northwest Missouri State safety Jack Young celebrates as he holds the 2016 MIAA Championship trophy on Saturday November 12, 2016 as the Bearcats defeated their rival Missouri Western State University 44-3 at Bearcat Stadium in Maryville, Missouri. This title brought their total collection to twenty-eight titles. 

Joseph Canchola Sr., 90, holds a photo of his younger self from the U.S. Navy in his home on Thursday November 10, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Canchola became the first of the family to enlist when he joined the U.S. Navy in 1943. The family has given more than 130 years of service to the nation.

Mariatul Dianah Hidzir better known to those around her as Dena, smiles as she holds a sparkler during Diwali. Hidzir, a student at Missouri Western State University, celebrates the traditional Hindu festival Diwali that occurs annually in the autumn on Friday November 4, 2016 at the south pond on Missouri Western State University's campus in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Whitney Adkins, left, gets her face painted by Tessa Courtois Tuesday as part of the Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebration at Leah Spratt Hall on November 1, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Día de Los Muertos is an annual Hispanic holiday similar to Halloween, but with an emphasis on remembering friends and family who have died.

Ali Paquin, right, holds her son Emery Paquin, 2, on Wednesday October 26, 2016. Although he looks normal outwardly, Emery is fighting a rate disease called Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome. Born in July 2014, prematurely, weighing one pound, 15 ounces, doctors originally didn't think anything was wrong until later on when he was giving the diagnosis. His condition affects less than one in 1 million people.

Nathan Asher, 14, one of the kids in the Sharky's youth pool practices sinking his pool balls into the various pockets on Saturday November 5, 2016 at Sharky’s Billiards Room in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Northwest Missouri State safety and birthday boy Kevin Berg celebrates as his team won the 2016 MIAA Championship trophy as the Bearcats defeated their rival Missouri Western State University 44-3 at Bearcat Stadium on Saturday November 12, 2016 in Maryville, Missouri. This title brought their total collection to twenty-eight titles.

Missouri Western State University wide receiver Jesse Dickens, top, losses the ball in an incomplete pass because of Emporia State University defensive back A. J. West's attempt to break up the play on Saturday November 5, 2016 at Spratt Memorial Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Calisha Popplewell, left, and her wife Ariana Popplewell play airplane with their two foster sons on Thursday evening November 10, 2016 at their home in St. Joseph, Missouri while they all enjoy the TV show series "Power Rangers".

Police take photos and inspect the ground for evidence after they responded to a shots fired incident at 13th and Francis streets on Wednesday night November 16, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Lafayette junior Diego Bernard attempts a dunk against Benton on Saturday November 18, 2016 during the City Round Robin held at St. Joseph Civic Arena in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Staley freshman Koa Grace, left, and Central sophomore Tyler Mann dual in their 132-pound weight class on Tuesday November 29, 2016 at CHS Coliseum in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Michael Scroggs, an employee of Missouri Western State University, measures the rocket flame for the "NASA and the Moon Landing" on Tuesday November 1, 2016 at the Walter Cronkite Exhibit on the Missouri Western State University campus in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Rev. Tim Doyle posed for a portrait on Tuesday November 22, 2016 at his church, the Restoration Church of St. Joseph in St. Joseph, Missouri. Records show that the building was constructed in the 1850s. "As a church, we want to see people personally restored as well and to find the beauty in the imperfect. We realized we are a work in process," Doyle says. "It's been fun to go through the layers of dirt and peel back 150 years of stuff and to find the hidden treasures. Isn't that just like life? It's imperfect. It's a little dirty. It's not exactly pristine and sanitized."

Andy Whitaker known to his friends as "coach" is illuminated by a sign at Beale Street Sunday November 13, 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Christmas lights at the house dubbed the "Dancing Lights" on the 3000 block of Newport Road on Wednesday November 30, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. The lights are linked to viewers radios when they tune their radios into 107.1 FM. The house was playing 'Let it go' from the hit animated Disney film 'Frozen'.

Deng Kuol, 11, plays connect 4 against Mati Kotu, 12, on Saturday November 19, 2016 at the Rolling Hills Library in St. Joseph, Missouri. Saturday was International Game Day celebration and the library had a wide variety of games for kids to play.

Cafe Acoustic Concert Hall officially opens on Wednesday November 23, 2016 with its sixth annual Turdrunken concert in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Mary Brinton checks the polls on her phone during the GOP watch party held at Paradox Coffee and Theatre during election night on November 8, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Paul Brownlie posed for a portrait by his 1989 Nissan 240sx on Saturday November 16, 2016 at Bloedel Donovan by Lake Whatcom in Bellingham, Washington. Paul's car has been a three year project, that has him pour close to $18,000 into the car and various modifications. The car has a horsepower of 335 HP and he believes it could reach speeds upwards of 130 MPH. "I don't drive it that much just because I'm always on the look out for cops," Paul says. "Anytime you drive a car that is low, loud, and modified you draw attention to yourself." The car drove for the first time a few days before his 21st birthday this past March.

Emporia State University running back Landon Nault jumps over Missouri Western State University defensive back Donte Watkins on Saturday November 5, 2016 at Spratt Memorial Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

October 2016 - Pictures of the Month

 Firefighters respond to 3100 block of Penn Street on Thursday October 20, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Intersections leading to the area were cordoned off and neighbors watched as crews battled the blaze from the sidewalk. The house had moderate to severe damage and a portion of the roof was caved in.

From left, David Stephens and Jamie Jaramillo, parents of Kaytlin Angela Root share a moment in remembrance of their daughter whose body was discovered Sunday morning at Krug Park. Root’s younger brother 10-year-old Caden Root, center, was visibly emotional during the candlelight vigil held Wednesday October 19, 2016 at Krug Park in St. Joseph, Missouri. Various family, community members and friends were in attendance to remember Kaytlin’s, 17, life with candles and lanterns.

The side of a three alarm, fully engulfed five story structure fire, falls to the ground on Friday night October 21, 2016 at 310 Slyvanie St. in St. Joseph, Missouri. As of late Friday night the blaze was still being attended to by firefighters and the cause for the fire was unknown and currently under investigation.

Top ranked Class 1 8 man football team North Andrew stands a top the hill for the National Anthem before the start of the Class 1 District 2 semifinal game against St. Joseph Christian on Friday October 28, 2016 at North Andrew High School in St. Joseph, Missouri. North Andrew won the game by a score of 54-6 to advance to the district final and remain undefeated.

Kip Wilson, left, shows his Regional Law Enforcement Academy cadets how to use the Forensic light source on Thursday October 13, 2016 in the Criminalistics Lab at Wilson Hall on the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri.

A crossover accident occurred in Wathena, Kansas that left one dead and three other injured on the 2200 block of highway 36 near the Wilbur Ellis Facility and left Highway 36 in both directions closed as crews worked to clear the accident on Saturday October 15, 2016. Authorities reported that a passenger in one of the two pickup trucks died on scene and three others were in serious but stable condition and were transported to hospital.

A member of the JROTC waits for the start of the Cadet Commissioning ceremony as Battalions from Benton, Central and Lafayette High Schools added 29 new cadets Thursday October 13, 2016 during the 32nd annual JROTC Cadet Commissioning ceremony at Lafayette High School in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Jayden Sanson, 11, left, sits on the dock while Gauge Curtis, 12, center, and Chad Brant, 10, right, fish at the pond on Thursday October 20, 2016 at the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri. "We had a few bites," Brant said. "But they came undone."

Lafayette junior Jacee Winn, through tears, picks up the remaining softball items after her team lost a close game to Smithville on Wednesday October 12, 2016 at Heritage Park in St. Joseph, Missouri. Lafayette was down 6-0 before trying to make a comeback but fell short 6-4 in Missouri Class 3 State Sectionals.

Jenny Brennan helps her daughter Taylin, 4, with trying on various different boots Wednesday October 26, 2016 at St. Joe Boot Co. in St. Joseph, Missouri. Taylin decided on her boots through the process of eenie minie mo and acceding to her mother loves shopping. 

Bessie Ellison Elementary Principal Kara Anderson is slimed on Friday October 28, 2016 at Bessie Ellison Elementary. Anderson was honored at a school wide assembly and it was announced that the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals that she given the award of being an exemplary new principal.

A Chillicothe football player removes grass that was stuck in his helmet during the game against Benton on Friday October 14, 2016 at Sparks Field in St. Joseph, Missouri.

A group of boys play on Hay Mountain at dusk Saturday October 29, 2016 at Ol' MacDonald's Farm in Savannah, Missouri as they wait for it to get dark so they can ride on the Haunted Hay Ride.

St. Jospeh police work the scene where a rollover accident happened on 4th and Charles streets Friday October 28, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Paramedics were seen extricating a person from a car which was upright on the driver's side. Two people were taken to Mosaic Life Care.

One year at the St. Joseph News-Press

One year ago, I packed what I had and drove 1,398 miles to a part of the country that I had no idea about. An eager, fast speaking, west coast raised, 22-year-old, inspired from the weekend before at the Eddie Adams Workshop arrived in the heartland of America. Although eager, the moment I dropped my dad off at KCI (Kansas City International) and ate my first meal alone in the Midwest (Taco Bell),  I began to wonder what I had done. Needless to say, with the help of a welcoming staff and a lot of mid-western generosity I’ve come a long way and experienced a lot of firsts.

I’ve covered nearly seven hundred assignments, created 250,000 photos, published 4,000 , traversed more than 35,000 miles , and made some incredible memories. There have been so many highlights: covering a Division Two football championship winning team, two local city schools state basketball championships, the Royals winning the World Series,  a daughter meeting her mother for the first time in nearly half a decade, a portrait of a man suffering from a disease that caused the public to look away, Friday night football games, political figures, celebrities, and new police cadets getting pepper sprayed in the face. There have been celebrations, dejections, smiles and tears, both on the sports field and off. I have been at press conferences, airshows, and with some of the NFL’s best at the Chiefs training camp. There have been portraits used for magazines to All News-Press athletes. I’ve covered working families, summer league baseball, spent hours driving around looking for a wild art photo for the paper, experienced stabbings, shootings, fires, car accidents, and standoffs to cute kids, nature, parades, and more. 

During this time in St Joseph I’ve driven to new states and cities, sampled endless BBQ places, and made new friends and connected with old friends (you know who you are) who’ve lent me there ear and given me their time. With family far away, it’s meant the world. I witnessed the basketball upset caused by Iowa State over the then number one seeded team Oklahoma at home in the Hilton Coliseum, as well as the revenge blow out of Jayhawks of KU destroying Oklahoma State at the legendary Allen Fieldhouse. Oh, and I bought my first car (thanks Dad- he co-signed).  There have been trips to attend the CPOY/POY awards ceremony in Denver, to New York as a black team member for this years Eddie Adams workshop, to the Missouri Photo Workshop, and to California and the PNW to attend friends and family’s graduations (my paper has been very gracious in supporting me in all these endeavors).

When I look back on the guy sitting alone at that Taco Bell a year ago, I can’t believe how far I’ve come. It makes me all the more grateful for all the people along the way who’ve helped me to grow, mature, and transition into becoming an adult. So for everyone who has helped me this year I can’t begin to thank you all enough. No one becomes the person they aspire to be without the support of others. And, as you’ve heard me say before, I am honored to be able to do what I do each day and to continue to explore who I am and who I want to be going forward.

September 2016 - Pictures of the Month

Missouri Western State University football players warm up before their season opener against Nebraska Kearney at the newly renovated Spratt Stadium on Thursday September 1, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Western won their game 44-21.

Molly Bernard, posed for a portrait, at the Grinter's sunflower farm on Monday September 19, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas.

Police officers check in after the scene was being cleared after a two car accident that occurred at the intersection of Noyes Blvd. and Messanie Street with on Tuesday September 13, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri around 8 PM resulting in three people to be transported to Mosaic Life Care with non-life threatening injuries. The accident happened as torrential rain, up to 4 to 6 inches, fell throughout of Buchanan County causing an areal flood warning to be sent out and is in effect until 11:45 PM CDT.

Defending class one state champions, Stanberry high school football players listen to a pep talk during their half time game against St. Joseph Christian on Friday September 9, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Henry Kress, 14, paints the mural outside of the historic downtown building of the St. Joseph Cathedral School on Thursday September 1, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Fifth grader KC Palmer, 10, reads "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" at the Hosea Elementary School on Thursday September 8, 2016. Mrs. Emily Hohendorf's fifth grade class participated in the Bully Prevention Day and they discussed how words impact people and how to prevent bullying. They read chapter 10 in Harry Potter that discusses the themes of bullying from the passage of Halloween and the troll that was let into Hogwarts.

Missouri Western defensive back Brandin Dandridge attempts to tackle running back Xavier Washpun who successfully dove for the pylon and a touchdown on Saturday September 17, 2016 at Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri. Central Missouri won the game between the two previously undefeated schools 38-34.

Skylar Powell died in the early morning of May 18 2016. An attempt to purchase marijuana went bad and people started shooting resulting in his death. "I miss him so much, I'd do anything to have him back," his mom said. Family members and friends gathered at the cemetery to unveil the headstone at the Mount Olivet Cemetery on Tuesday September 6, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Madysn Williams, 3, is helped by her grandfather in stuffing a penguin during the build-a-critter event on Saturday afternoon September 17, 2016 at Looney Complex in St. Joseph, Missouri. Missouri Western State University held an afternoon of fun family-friendly activities, including carnival games, inflatables, a photo booth and build-a-critter.

Central High School cheerleaders perform their halftime routine during Central's game against Truman at Noyes Field on Friday September 23, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Crime scene detectives and law enforcement show up to report of shots fired call as one man was shot according to SJPD with non life threatening wound around the 1200 block of South 25th on Wednesday evening September 14, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Missouri Western State University quarterback Skyler Windmiller jumps through the University of Central Missouri defensive at the end zone for the touchdown on Saturday September 17, 2016 at Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Coral Rose and her boyfriend Josh Schock share a moment in the studio at the St. Joseph News-Press on Saturday September 22, 2016. The couple have been dating since their first date when Schock left his family's Christmas portrait mall to meet her at a different part of the mall in 2007.

A young skater performs her routine during the Pony Express Championships that were held at Bode Ice Center on Friday September 14, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Family members, friends, and runners, watch the girls 5K Platte City Invitational on Saturday September 15, 2016 in Platte City, Missouri.

Missouri Western State University wide receiver Tyler Wrice jumps for the ball during the Griffons opening game against University of Nebraska at Kearney on Thursday September 1, 2016 at Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

People watch from the bridge as Morgan Holleman carries his bike out of the water as the Southwest Pkwy was heavily flooded from both ends on Wednesday due to the torrential rain that took place for most of Tuesday evening and throughout the night. The Southside Fall Festival board voted to move the event to October 21-23 for the first time due to the inclement weather.

According to Sarah Kendzior of Quartz "on September 15, the Missouri legislature passed a conceal and carry law that ensures that guns will be even further entrenched in the state’s everyday life. It’s now legal for state residents to carry concealed weapons, in public, without a permit, criminal background check or firearms training. In overriding governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the law, Missouri now joins Idaho, West Virginia and Mississippi as one of four states to adopt “permitless carry” in 2016, bringing the total number of US states to 12." 

A view of the New York skyline as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge on September 8, 2016.

Smithville's Hugh Beck reacts in frustration after he lost possession of the ball resulting in Lafayette's defensive back Marcain Kimbrough-Ballard picking up the fumble recovery and running it for a 14 yard touchdown on Friday September 16, 2016 at Alumni Field in St. Joseph, Missouri. Smithville went on to win the game 14-6 to remain undefeated.

August 2016 - Pictures of the Month

A firefighter battles a large debris fire near the Stockyards Building on Friday evening August 19, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Water was sprayed, but the Battalion Chief said that the fire is deep in debris.

Steven Braden, of Brandson, Missouri, signs the large "Chiefs Kingdom" sign for fans during "American Family” Fun Day of the Kansas City Chiefs training camp held at Missouri Western State University on Saturday August 6, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Shelly Cox is snuggled by an Eastern Fox squirrel named princess at the Remington Nature Center on Tuesday August 23, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Cox, a former conservation department worker, received a phone call about the squirrel after it was abandoned by its mother and has helped feed and raise it.

Cale Peterson, an airman at Rosecrans Memorial Airport, shares a moment with his girlfriend Kelsey Havner as the pilots perform their routine at the Sound of Speed Airshow on Saturday August 27, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Kelsey McCrary, 17, of Central High School performs a routine during the 2016 City High School Football Jamboree at Craig Field on Friday August 12, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. 

Lafayette junior and tight end Jackson Power takes an ice bath after practice at the Scott Marriott field on Tuesday August 30, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Lafayette has started their season with a current record of 2-0 and their next game is against their crosstown rival Benton on Friday.

Daniel Slaybaugh, a band student at St. Joseph Christian, practices the mellophone on Wednesday afternoon August 17, 2016. Slaybaugh played the trumpet for two years before he switched instruments.

Kyle Franklin loops his biplane "Dracula" during the practice session before the start of the Sound of Speed Airshow on Friday August 26, 2016 at Rosecrans Memorial Airport in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Morgan Jeffers posed for a portrait at the St. Joseph News-Press studios on August 9, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Neil Darnell from Springfield Missouri, drives a jet truck called “Flash Fire,” capable of reaching speeds in the range of 375 miles per hour at the Sound of Speed Airshow at Rosecrans Memorial Airport on Saturday August 27, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Landyn Crowley, 8, runs into Lake Contrary on Wednesday afternoon August 3, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Benton's number one singles player and junior Stephanie Brown returns a forehand as she went on to win the set by a score of 8-1 on Wednesday at Noyes tennis courts in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Wrigley Penson, 18 months old, plays in the Percussion Playground at Trails West! at Civic Center Park on Saturday August 20, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Marianna Sanchez, left, celebrates her 14th birthday as she laughs with Alejandra Martinez, 15, during the 47th annual St. Patrick Mexican Fiesta put on by the St. Patrick Church on Friday August 5, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

From right, Ashley, 12, Tearra, 11, and Amber Payne, 14, all sisters, as well as Paul Tassler paint the inside of the new building that will be used for by The Crossing on Thursday August 25, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. They were preparing them as a Hospitality Center beginning October and will be staffed and operated by Community Missions as the result of a Mosaic Connect grant.

Don Chancey watches his ball on the ninth hole during the Moila Club Championship first round on Saturday August 20, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Chancey would go on to win the Moila Club Championship.

Dakota Livingston, of Gower, Missouri, breathes fire at the Felix Street Square Plaza on Monday August 15, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. "About four months," Livingston said when asked how long he has been doing it for. The group puts on the event on the day of the month in which the full moon falls.

Missouri Western State University's Wraith Hill, left, works with Craig Darrough, the Environmental Safety Coordinator, on the campus during the last demonstration of the day that showed residence hall assistants and advisers safety training at the maintenance shop by the Kit Bond on Friday August 19, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Downtown St. Joseph and the Missouri river as seen from Wyeth Hill on Tuesday August 16, 2016. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently planning $72 million in repairs to three levees in St. Joseph.

Andy Larsion of Savannah, Missouri takes a photo on his cell phone of the incoming thunderstorm that hit Buchanan County on Friday evening August 19, 2016.

Brandon Zenner posed for a portrait at the St. Joseph News-Press studios on August 23, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Central junior Gaige Wilson, #9, heads the ball in from a corner kick for Indians second goal against Lafayette at Eagle Stadium for City Soccer Round Robin on Thursday August 25, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Morgan Jeffers posed for a portrait at Paradox Coffee on August 9, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Jeffers was chosen for being the cover girl for the September edition of the St. Joseph News-Press' magazine: Josephine.

Kynadee Kovak, 7, practices before she took place in an attempt to beat the world record which had Natural Grocers attempt to achieve an average of 40 people hula hooping simultaneously at its North Belt location on Thursday August 11, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. "We were having a track and field event [back in July this year] and I had to buy a hulu hoop," her mom said. "she picked it up and started going."

July 2016 - Pictures of the Month

Rick Martin tries to help assist firefighters who were able to control a blaze in less than ten minutes on Wednesday July 13, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. The fire engulfed a two-car garage at Southwest Warnicks and Southwest Bluff roads. Firetrucks from Dekalb, West Platte and Faucet responded to the call and no injuries were reported and there was one vehicle inside the garage. Fire officials had not determined what started the fire on Wednesday afternoon.

A young park goer enjoys the large bubbles in Central Park on Sunday afternoon July 10, 2016 in New York, New York.

Dallas Collins, 5, of St. Joseph, Missouri gets hit by a spurt of water from the fountains downtown at the Amelia Earhart Festival on Saturday in Atchison, Kansas.

A woman is overcome with emotion after St. Joseph police confirm killing of Raymond Ortiz, 25, and Kevin Melendez, 22 who were dead on scene after a shooting Sunday morning July 17, 2016 on Safari Drive. Crime Scene Investigators are on the scene.

Eli Harper, 4, of Gower, MIssouri yells at his frog during the frog jumping race that was put on by the First Baptist Church of Gower on Saturday July 2, 2016. The Gower Festival “Smurf’n Through the ’80s,” included a parade at 3 p.m., petting zoo, children’s games, frog jumping contest, fish and chicken dinners.

Marshall Oswald, center, of Fairfax, Missouri, with the many truckloads of fallen debris and tree branches that littered the town of Fairfax, Missouri on Thursday July 7, 2016. "This community is larger than Fairfax," Oswald said. "We have people thirty miles away coming in and helping us- Tariko, Craig, people from all over."  The storms caused significant damage and power outages in Atchison County Missouri which including damage to several large grain bins. Community Hospital Fairfax set up a cooling station in one of its conference rooms for residents without power and volunteers.

Grain silos were destroyed by the high winds that were said to reach as high as 136MPH in Fairfax, Missouri as the town recovers from storm damage on Thursday July 7, 2016.

Seventeen-year-old Kristian Hanna, left, of Lead, South Dakota, talks to his girlfriend Leeara Porter, 17, center, from the same city, as her mom Rachel Conger of St. Joseph holds the two jet skies and her younger sister Mazelynn Sharp, 11, of Sundance, Wyoming looks for Conger's boyfriend Darren Garret, of St. Joseph who was getting the trailer for the two jet skies on Tuesday July 5, 2016 at Lake Contrary. Hanna and his girlfriend have been dating for seven months and met when they both were in a publications class for photography in high school.

Employees of Kansas City Power & Light reported more than 3,000 customers without electricity at 9:30 a.m. and arrived to fix several down power lines on Wednesday afternoon July 6, 2016 to do some needed repairs. Cecilia Reeves of FOX 26 KNPN said the storm brought nearly 3 inches of rain in three hours.

Isaiah Sowards, 3, plays with a large frisbee while getting sprayed by a garden hose on Faraon St. on Tuesday afternoon July 26, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Miles Hilton, 4, and his younger non-biological brother Gibson Hilton, 3, play with the News-Press' camera in their home in Maysville, Missouri on Thursday July 21, 2016. More than a year after the family began the adoption process with the hope to adopt a child with special needs, the Hiltons are at home as a new family of four with Miles being the newest addition.

Sonia Mera, top, and Josefina Cruzat both from Chile enjoy beers and joints on a stairwell in Williamsburg, New York early Sunday morning July 10, 2016.

Dom Evans posed for a portrait outside the St. Jospeh News-Press on Thursday July 21, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Kids ages 7 to 16 take part in a game called "Hand War" at the Title Boxing of St. Joseph as part of a youth camp that was led by Title Boxing trainers Chase Calloway and Riley Calloway who hosted their first youth camp on Friday July 8, 2016. The camp starting on Friday and will run through Sunday. The camp has approximately 20 participants, including both boys and girls.

Jackie Molloy reacts to a large slice of cheese pizza in Willamsburg, New York on July 9, 2016.

A fallen tree caused significant damage at this house on 26th and Faraon streets. Tuesday July 12, 2016 morning's storm dumped nearly 3 inches of rain in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Nova, a fourteen-week old pitbull and Carlos Escoto Jr., 4, watch as other members of the family launch bottle rockets and other various fireworks off during the start of their Fourth of July festivities in St. Joseph, Missouri.

A group of float trippers sit for a group photo outside their cabin before they went down a five mile trip that lasted for eight hours on July 24, 2016.

Linda Tanner, left, helps Dylan Eaton, 8, check to see if the cookies are fully cooked as Allison Stickler, 9, watches during Central Christian Church's Kids Program on Tuesday July 19, 2016 that this year included cooking classes, drawing and martial arts in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Cameron Rollett, 11, wipes out on the Slip 'N Slide after his sister Libby Rollett, 15, left whose hand is seen with the hose sprayed the tarp down at the top of the hill causing the wipe out moments before Cameron attempted to go down the hill as the siblings and their friends enjoyed the Fourth of July festivities on Friday in St. Jospeh, Missouri.

Jaclyn Dickens rides her horse Red during the St. Joseph Mustangs game against the Branson Nationals on Friday July 15, 2016 at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

A MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle arrives at the scene of an ongoing law enforcement situation near on Friday July 15, 2016 in Cameron, Missouri. 

St. Joseph Mustangs pitcher Miles Kilgore throws during Saturday's game July 16, 2016 against Branson Nationals at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Khadyn Hughes, 11, holds a smoke bomb as it dispels smoke before he throws it across the yard during some of the Fourth of July festivities on Friday in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Tyler Herb, 6, of Madison, Wisconsin smiles as he gets his face painted as a tiger by Mike Riley at the Amelia Earhart Festival on Saturday July 16, 2016 in Atchison, Kansas. Herb and his family were visiting his cousin who was getting baptized this weekend.

Sam Maller looks at the vast sushi menu in downtown Manhattan on July 11, 2016 in Manhattan, New York.

Shawn Snoddy of Atchison talks to Addison Mulsow, 4, Topeka, Kansas after Mulsow took part in the "Dress like Amelia" event at the Amelia Earhart Festival on Saturday July 16, 2016 in Atchison, Kansas. The dress up event was for kids but Snoddy showed up as her friend thought she looked similar to Amelia Earhart in appearance.

Adelaide Murphy posed for a portrait as she celebrates her 104th birthday on Friday July 15, 2016 at Danford Hall Apartments in St. Joseph, Missouri. Murphy accounts much of her longevity to eating rhubarb and oatmeal.

Chillicothe Mudcats Alex Goodwin slides into second base on a steal as St. Joseph Mustangs second baseman Brett Marr leaps for the ball at Phil Welch Stadium on Friday July 8, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Shawn Moser, left, helps to lead Coltan Ogel, 5, Parker Beaufort, 5, and Connor Kerns, 5, in the basics of martial arts during the Central Christian Church's Kids Program on Tuesday July 19, 2016 which this year which included cooking classes, drawing and martial arts in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Street performers in Battery Park on July 9, 2016 in Manhattan, New York.

Fireworks fill the sky behind the Christ Episcopal Church for Fourth of July celebrations on Monday night in St. Joseph, Missouri.

June 2016 - Pictures of the Month

Lightning strikes outside of St. Joseph, Missouri at around 1:30am on Saturday morning June 4, 2016.

Shane Dowlen, 5, left, and his older sister Sasha Dowlen, 7, play in their pool that they just got three days ago on Thursday June 9, 2016 in the east end of St. Joseph, Missouri. They had been in and out of the pool since 9am and been in their bathing suits the whole day. "It will be 90 degrees out," proclaimed Shane when asked what he liked about having the new pool and being able to use it. The forecast calls for the high 90s through the weekend.

Buchanan County EMTs wheel out the man after he caused a closure in the area of 26th and Mary streets Tuesday evening in St. Joseph, Missouri after he attempted to barricaded himself inside a home. Special Response Team members were called to the scene, and were seen pulling a red sedan away from the driveway of a house. They rammed the home's door around 7:15 p.m., asking the person inside to "stand up" and "keep your hands up."

Skylar Orr, left, paints Deadpool onto the face of Caleb Cook, 5, at Krug Park on Friday June 3, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri for the Annual Northside June Festival. Cook according to his mother Amanda Cook has never seen the movie and won't see it and until he can pay for it himself but liked Deadpool because he saw him in minecraft. Cook's current favorite superhero is Spider-man.

People watch the floats go by and gather candy that scatters the St. Joseph Ave., during the Northside June Festival Parade on June 4, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Northside June Festival Parade is the first of many parades that take place during the summer every year.

Clancey Woodwar, 11, shoots a BB gun during the Children's Lifetime Sports Academy as part of the gun safety and handling course on Wednesday at Misssouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MIssouri. Some of the activities that were offered included Canoeing, Rappelling, Fishing, Archery, Obstacle Course, Pickle Ball, Racquetball, Badminton, Recreational Games and others.

Michele Thomson, an employee of United Way, gets drenched in water on the opening day of the St. Joseph Mustangs game at Phil Welch Stadium on June 1, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

St. Joseph Mustangs Miles Kilgore, Logan Campbell and Jonathan Lynch from left enjoy the ball game against Carroll Merchants on Friday June 24, 2016 at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Mustangs won the game 10-4 thanks to the help of designated hitter and pitcher Kyle Uhrich who had a home run at the bottom of the third inning.

"The chain is only as strong as its weakest link," says Kristina Buchanan as she and her daughter T'Anna Buchanan, 6, get share a moment during their portrait outside their house on Wednesday morning June 15, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. "We are going to sink or swim together. We are Americans together. It starts with our neighbors, with our community." Their neighborhood in the recent weeks has seen multiple incidents of vandalism in the area of 17th street and Olive and as a result those living in the area have become closer as a community. They believe that one man is responsible for the acts.

Ronda Rogers, left, and her husband Ted Rogers posed for a portrait after they attended a meeting that helped to build support for a second grassroots campaign against the construction of the world's highest voltage utility line, the Grain Belt Express, at the Faucett Lions Club in Faucett, Missouri on Saturday June 26, 2016. The Rogers' house off of 371 and A highway would be directly impacted by world's highest voltage utility line and would be within 300ft of their house if it is to be built. The couple were concerned and felt they needed to speak up against such construction.

Barbara Spencer, left, dances her her youngest child Audrey Sue, 1, to Uptown Funk before the start of the St. Joseph Gay Pride parade on Saturday June 18, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Spencer brought her three children - CJ, Frankie, and Audrey Sue to the event. "It's important to bring the kids out to show them that people being different is OK and that everyone is different and everyone is equal," Spencer said. "No matter who they are or where they are from or in this case what their sexual orientation is."

St. Joseph Mustangs Matt Wollnick was struck by a pitch during the Mustangs game against the Joplin Outlaws at Phil Welch Stadium on Friday June 3, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

A man dressed as Uncle Sam rides the Donald Trump float at the Northside Parade in St. Joseph, Missouri on Saturday.

A stormy sky looms over the many golfers playing at Top Golf in Overland Park, Kansas on Monday June 20, 2016.

Meagan Miller, Fox 26 KNPN news anchor, producer, and reporter posed for a portrait at the St. Joseph News-Press studio on Sunday June 19, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Husky Stadium as seen from above Alaskan Airlines non-stop flight from Kansas City, Missouri to Seattle, Washington on Saturday June 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.

A two-car accident blocked part of St. Joseph Avenue at Madison Street on Tuesday evening in St. Joseph, Missouri. Two women from separate vehicles were transported to Mosaic Life Care. The person driving the red Corolla was extracted since the door was caved in from the impact.

Kason Mauzey, 12, left of the Panthers attempts to drive past Hudson Bates, 12, of the Heat during the InterServ Summer Jam at the Bode Sports Complex on Wednesday June 16, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. “It’s a great program that they have that especially with the volleyball and the basketball,” said Carloyn Pease, an employee of InterServ. “It’s a great thing for kids to do and bring families together in the summer.”

A record 4,493 people showed up for opening day of the St. Joseph Mustangs at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

St. Joseph Mustang first baseman Kyle Uhrich breaks his baseball bat on Tuesday evening June 7, 2016 at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Myself, Michael Reaves, and Brian Davidson enjoying a game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri before Michael and his father Rick headed to Denver for his internship at the Denver Post.

roy Rauer throws up his hands and celebrates after he drained a long putt for par on the 18th hole which was the first hole that him and his golf partner Kyle Hummer started on at the Moila Shrine Country Club Horse Race on Saturday June 25, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

My family and I celebrating the youngest brother's graduation from Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Washington on June 10, 2016.

St. Joseph Mustangs pitcher has a quiet moment to himself in the dugout following the home run struck by Clarinda A's Wells Davis and bringing home three runners home and tying the score four all in the fourth inning at Phil Welch Stadium on Wednesday June 8, 2016 in St. Joseph Missouri.

Charity Brooke and her husband Brandon Brooke, overcome with emotion, after they see one of their two cats who after extensive CPR passed away from the structure fire that damaged their home at 3210 Doniphan Ave. on Wednesday June 22, 2016 as temperatures reached into the high 90s in St. Joseph, Missouri. Charity was visibly upset and said that her cat was only a year old but said that she was glad that she at least her other cat Twitch had escaped the fire on Wednesday afternoon.

Police responded to the scene of an accident in the 2700 block of Pear St. on Tuesday night June 28, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. A car struck a light pole in the 2700 block of Pear St. Tuesday evening. One person was transported to Mosaic Life Care via ambulance. And another fled the scene. Police wouldn't release details and said they are investigating the accident as a domestic incident. A firefighter on scene said the accident was caused by an ex-boyfriend who grabbed the steering wheel causing the car to flip.

Dom Evans posed for a portrait in the St. Joseph News-Press studio.

People enjoy the use of the St. Joseph Aquatic Park on Tuesday June 28, 2016. The satisfaction with the city's pools, including the Aquatic Park, dropped 12 percent in a recently study by the Community Alliance of St. Joseph but despite that number the city fared well for its maintenance of city parks and abundance of park systems and public use area.

My mother in Bellingham, Washington on Sunday June 11, 2016 during a golden hour pocket of light.

Chiefs Training Camp at the University of Kansas Training Facility in Kansas City, Missouri.

St. Joseph Mustang pitcher Miles Kilgore throws the ball during the first inning as the Mustangs took on the Monarchs on Tuesday evening June 7, 2016 at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Jacyln Dickens rides her horse Red during the St. Joseph Mustangs game at Phil Welch Stadium on Saturday June 18, 2016. Dickens often rides Red with the flag for the games.

May 2016 - Pictures of the Month

Audrey Schank, a junior at Central high school posed for a photo on Wednesday April 27, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri at the St. Joseph News-Press. Schank has been swimming every day for the past five to seven years and in the summer she swims twice a day with crossfit once a day. The Central junior swimmer captured third place in the 100-yard backstroke at the MSHSSA Girls State Swimming Championships. Schank competed in the finals of the same event last year, with heartbreaking results. She was disqualified for going past vertical on her turn but this year proved to be different for the All News-Press swimmer of the year. “I have one more year to go out there and prove myself,” Schank said. “To myself, most importantly, but also to others how my hard work has paid off and how swimming year-round has paid off.”

My mom, Becky Brownlie, posed for a portrait at the St. Joseph News-Press when she came to visit earlier this month.

The May 2016 graduates of Missouri Western walk through the trees on their way to Spratt Stadium for the commencement ceremony on Saturday May 7, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Andrew Whitaker posed for a portrait at the Nelson Adkins Museum on Monday while exploring downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

The 2016 Apple Blossom princess Carissa Martin, front, and Queen Jessica Janorschke, back, wave to the crowd that showed up during the 92nd Apple Blossom Parade on Saturday May 7, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Amy Crawford sits on her bench in her garden on Tuesday. The diagnosis of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, came several years ago after struggling with it for more than two decades but without proper diagnosis. As a result,  she now lives with lymphedema, nerve problems, slow processing speed, muscle spasms, and a variety of other physical and neurological issues. Despite those health complications, she finds solace in her gardening and often works for hours at a time.

A single motorcycle accident at 10th and Frederick occurred in front of City Hall. The rider of the bike, 31-year-old Jonathan Mcclanehas, a St. Joseph motorcyclist lost control of his Harley Davidson and ended up in the rocks of the city fountain in front of city hall on Thursday May 5, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Police say he suffered moderate injuries after being thrown 15ft and as a result he was transported by ambulance to the Mosaic Emergency Room.

Dan Sponseller of S&S BBQ prepares his entry for the 2016 Apple Blossom BBQ contest at Civic Center Park on Friday May 6, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Sponseller started cooking BBQ which began at the Apple Blossom barbecue in 2008. 

Current and former board members participate in the official Highway 36 Interchange ground breaking ceremony at the Buchanan County Agri-Business Expo Center on Friday May 6, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Ten-year-old Kayden Hendrix, left, and 14-year-old Amir Morrison, center, work on bike repairs as 8-year-old Matthias Hawkins, right, rides past them on Thursday May 19, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Morrison's younger brother Ahmare Morrison, 7, back right, prepares to race Hawkins.

Audrey Cady skips rope behind a large group of yoga goers at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday May 8, 2016.

Kane Simpson, 3, lines up his drive at the Golf Club of St Joseph on Friday May 27, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Simpson who had to get his own set of clubs because he hits left-handed admires the professional golfer Bubba Watson who is also left-handed.

Lug Alter, right, of Benton High School congratulates the first place winner during the Boys 100 Meter dash at the Benton Relays on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Jenifer Greene cries as she hugs her sister Whitney Kelley while the group gathered at their cousin Samantha's house on Thursday, May 12, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. They gathered to pray, light candles and release green balloons to pay respects to their brother Nick Hubbard, a senior at Lafayette, who passed away last Saturday.

Renee Cook and her son Trevor Cook, 11, pay their respects to late husband and father Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Charles M. Cook on Wednesday evening May 11, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri at Civic Center Park. Cook was killed in a motor vehicle accident in the line of duty in 2007.

Bill Beasley and his niece Courtney Beasley talk and observe patrons as they partake in the Albrecht-Kemper Museum's 50th anniversary celebrations on Friday May 6, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Bill and Courtney are fourth and fifth generation family members of the Beasleys respectively who gave the Albrecht Gallery in memory to Mr. & Mrs. William Albrecht fifty years ago today. 

Katie Parra, left, laughs as Steven Craig shakes the hand of her son Geovanny Parra, 1 on Friday May 13, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. He congratulated her after she was selected to receive a store on the behalf of Missouri Western State University's Craig School of Business and the program provides initial financing for the store that the recipient must pay back within five years.

Ten-year-old Connor Blackford, right, and Five time British Open golf champion and Kansas City local Tom Watson look at Blackford’s putt and Watson offering some advice on how it may break at the Mozingo Golf Course grand opening on Saturday, May 14, 2016 in Maryville, Missouri.

Park Hill senior Conor Degginger, 43, walks back to the dugout between the fifth and sixth innings as a large crowd of the next baseball team are silhouetted on the field as Park Hill took on Central during the Class 5, District 16 2016 MSHSAA Baseball Championships at Missouri Western Spring Sports Complex on Tuesday May 17, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Jordan Garr of Central High School throws the shot-put during Class 5 Sectionals at Staley High School in Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, May 21, 2016.

Central pitcher Noah Cameron throws the ball during Central's game against Park Hill on Tuesday May 17, 2016 at Missouri Western Spring Sports Complex during the Class 5 District 16 Championships in St. Joseph Missouri. Central won the game 4-2.

Brenden Welch posed for a portrait at the St. Joseph News-Press studios a day before he graduated from the local university, Missouri Western State University with a degree in convergence media and a minor in Spanish.

The Lafayette boys baseball team rush the field and celebrate their victory over cross-town opponent Benton by a score of 1-0 at Phil Welch Stadium on Thursday evening May 18, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. The last time the Fighting Irish were district champions, no player on this year’s roster had yet been born it was in the year 1997.

Lawson catcher Adrean Eskew dives as he runs down a pop fly ball during their game against Bishop LeBlond on Thursday May 19, 2016 at Phil Welch Stadium during the Class 3 District 16 championship game in St. Joseph, Missouri. Lawson won the game 4-2 to clinch the district title.

Miles Crateau, 7, attempts a basket at the Bartlett Center on Tuesday May 26, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Bartlett center used to be a recreation center for teens and young adults has now become after school and summer program for six to twelve year old children as well as senior meals program. A lack of funding, crime, and a shrinking neighborhood have all contributed to the center's perceived ineffectiveness for the center today.

Bishop LeBlond head coach Greg Kastner raises his hand to thank all the fans, friends, and families of the Bishop LeBlond boys baseball team after he retired from coaching after being a part of the athlete department for the past twenty-nine years. Bishop LeBlond felt short of the Class 3 District 16 championship title at Phil Welch Stadium on Thursday May 18, 2016 losing to Lawson 4-2 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Christian Mengel posed for a portrait the St. Joseph News-Press Studio.

Firefighters put out a fire that caused damage to a garage on 2329 S. 4th St. in St. Joseph, Missouri on Wednesday evening May 18, 2016.

Two female monarch butterflies lay their eggs on tropical milkweed plants at Butterfly House on the Prairie on Wednesday May 25, 2016 in Cummings, Kansas. The venue a butterfly sanctuary open to visitors as well as the adjoining company Butterfly Wing Bling makes jewelry and other pretties out of (dead) butterflies.

Caleb Feuerbacher, 16, of Maryville High School leads the group of runners on the final stretch of the 15K Parkway Run that finished at Benton High School on Saturday May 28, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Feuerbacher accomplished his goal of running under an hour with a time of 58 minutes and 22 seconds.

Steve Ceriotti, left, holds a nonvenomous Nelson Albino King Snake as seven-year-old Andon Lindsay, center, reacts to the snake that comes within inches of his face during the Serengeti Steve Animal Show at the Washington Park Library on Wednesday May 18, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Christopher Nilsen of Park Hill High School breaks the national record in the pole vault clearing a height of 18 feet and 4 3/4 inches at Staley High School in Kansas City Saturday afternoon May 21, 2016. Nilsen was 1/4" shy of 2016 US Olympic Trials Qualifying Standards and will look to top his record at the Missouri state track and field held in Jefferson, City, Missouri next week.

Kevin Devenport of Clovis, New Mexico goes down the twisty slide as he enjoys the opening of the Aquatic Park on Saturday May 28, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Devenport was visiting St. Joseph to see family members.  

Skyler Greer, 3, right plays with the tickets that were used to get the barbecue samples that just moments were given to him by his grandfather Butch Greer as they wait in the line for the 2016 Apple Blossom BBQ contest. The public would deem the winner based on taste at Civic Center Park on Friday May 6, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Friends Ryan Johnson, left, and Lauren Bergman of the band Foxlin perform at The Garth House in St. Joseph, Missouri on Saturday afternoon. Johnson a college dropout has been with several bands but most recently with Foxlin and Bergman joined the group two months ago and will be graduating from Missouri Western on May 7th, 2016. Bergman has been playing the violin for ten years and will be getting her bachelor of arts in vocal performance.

Fans are treated to a sunset during the Royals game as they faced off against Tampa Bay on Monday May 30, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Christian Mengel, left and his girlfriend Jess Love posed for a modern eclectic rural Midwest themed photo shoot in Winthrop, Missouri on Sunday May 22, 201. 

April 2016 - Pictures of the Month

David Martorelli holds what he estimates to be a 12-14 pound Carp that was caught using river worms while fishing at the Missouri River at Remington Nature Center on Thursday in St. Joseph, Missouri. Martorelli learned how to fish when he was a child when his mother cleaned at house for a doctor and caught fish at the pond in Amazonia. He tries to keep his fishing lines hidden otherwise others may take them.

Maddie Marine misfires a bottle of Chandon that resulted in getting in her eyes before she gets ready to graduate from the professional photography program at Brooks Institute on Saturday April 23, 2016 in Oak View, California.

Track & Field

Jack Hausman of Bishop LeBlond pauses after his first place win in the 1,600m event with a time of 4:43 at the St. Joseph city track meet at St. Joseph Christian High School on Tuesday afternoon in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Northwest Missouri v. Missouri Western softball.

An outtake from today shows at the bottom of the photo Amanda Newcomb who uses sign language before the start of the US Deaf Women's National Team as they prepared for the Deaf World Cup with a scrimmage against KC's Women's Premier Soccer League Team at Missouri Western's Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri. It was Newcomb's first day working with the team and she got involved because her friend Felicia who is on the team said she should be a part of the team. Newcomb said that the hardest part about her job is figuring out which players are vocal and which ones just use sign language to communicate with others.

Cooper Smith, 5, and his mini horse Howie come to the NW equine club for the annual vet check day on Saturday morning in St. Joseph, Missouri. This is the first year that Cooper has been able to reach the stirrups and ride Howie by himself. Howie was given to Cooper on Christmas when he was two years old and the family believes that Howie is around fourteen years old. Despite his size, Howie is able to pull a cart and perform some of the functions that a full grown horse can do for the day to day tasks.

A swan at the St Joseph Memorial Park in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Somewhere over Utah from Delta flight 1945 from Salt Lake City, Utah to Los Angeles, California.

Richard Fordyce, the Director of the Department of Missouri Agriculture shares a few words about the new facilities at the river port before the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon in St. Joseph, Missouri.

A man is carried out on a stretcher by the Buchanan County EMTs after police responded to 2219 Jackson St. shortly before 10:30 p.m. on Thursday April 28, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Police said the man shown on the stretcher was shot in the pelvic area by the homeowner.

The 2016 Apple Blossom Pageant's 1st attendant Camden Nightingale, left, receives her sash and flowers from last year's Apple Blosson Queen Jacqueline Janorschke, as the 2nd attendant Kiesten Higdon watches at the Missouri Theater on Saturday in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Payton Dixon, 12, poses for a portrait at the Darcees School of Dance on Thursday evening in St. Joseph, Missouri. Ms. Dixon danced on stage with Justin Bieber at his concert last night in Kansas City, Missouri. She was picked as a result of part of her video being submitted for the audition.

Dr. Bryan Green, left, is sworn in by Judge Dan Kellogg as a new school board member at the St. Joseph School District building on Wednesday in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Cancelled flights as Denver International Airport was hit by a spring snowstorm that delayed travelers both trying to arrive and leave the airport on Sunday April 17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. Currently shown is American Airlines 1620 with service to Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Gene Fite, a physics teacher at Benton displays some physics equations on the projector while talks to his class on Friday. He has been with the school for a year and has revamped the physics program and as a result it has gaining popularity with the students and there's been more demand for it.

Nick Oza of the Arizona Republic takes a smoke break while enjoying the networking and meeting of new visual story-tellers and receiving his award and the College Photographer and Photographer of the Year awards ceremony held at the Denver Post in Denver, Colorado on Saturday March 16, 2016.

 Rick Bird is a father to a family of five kids, three girls two boys. His parents grew up as Dust Bowl farmers from Oklahoma and were surrounded by a train that ran through their town. Rick is from St. George, Utah and he is on a business trip for the steel company he works for that is held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Cameron junior Joseph Zinkand attempts to clear the bar during the pole vault at Chillicothe High School during the MEC Track and Field Championships on Thursday in Chillicothe, Missouri. Zinkand placed second with a height of 12-00.00 cleared.

A full moon in a partly cloudy sky over St. Joseph, Missouri.

Missouri Western State University outfielder Andrew Ramirez reacts in frustration after failing to score a base hit late in the game against Lindenwood University on Sunday April 3, 2016 as the Griffons found themselves in a 8-0 hole before attempting a comeback before falling short 9-6 in the third game in a best of three game series. Missouri Western fell short of winning the series on Sunday despite winning their opening game against Lindenwood 11-2 on Friday at the Spring Sports Complex in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Missouri Western shortstop Landon Mason, right, forces out Northwest Missouri shortstop Nick Gotta on a double play at Griffon Indoor Sports Complex on Tuesday in St. Joseph, Missouri. Northwest Missouri won the game by a score of 6-0.

Benton senior Ubong Udom participates in the shot put at the city track meet at St. Joseph Christian on Tuesday in St. Joseph, Missouri. Udom placed second with a distance of 41.08ft.

Sarah Giraldo of Missouri Western returns a forehand during her second singles match against University of Central Oklahoma's Kirtana Bhat on Saturday at Noyes tennis courts in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Three-year-old Camille Voltmer collects wheat stalks in the field at the Mark Youngdahl Urban Conservation Area on Monday afternoon. Ms. Voltmer said that she was collecting enough of them to make bread.

Resa Silva feeds gatorade on a cotton swab to a group of Monarch butterflies on Saturday afternoon at the East Hills Shopping Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. Ms. Silva was discharged two weeks ago after open heart surgery that kept her in the hospital for two months. Her sister Vonya said this was the first therapeutic trip her sister had taken post operation.

Gracie Neff holds the torch at the beginning of the Show-Me State Games Torch Run that began at the St. Joseph Vistors Center and concluded at the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex on Tuesday in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Elaina Rivera receives kisses from her new puppy Leo at the Corby dog park on Monday. Leo is a St. Bernard Great Pyrenees mix and is nine weeks old. Ms. Rivera got him last week and chose him because of all the puppies that were in the mix he was the one that walked over to her and sat down in her lap rather than wander around.

Annette Lane holds her granddaughter Jordyn, 3, in her arms as they listened and watched as organ and tissue donors and recipients including Ms. Lane's husband who was a donor were honored at the annual Celebration of Life ceremony at Mosaic Life Care on Wednesday in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Central High School band directors Kevin Griffin, left, and Roy Maxwell receive a standing ovation from the crowd at Central's auditorium on Tuesday night in St. Joseph, Missouri as the two were honored with plaques commemorating their career at Central. The two are retiring at the end of the school year and they known each other since college and have taught together for many years. 

The greater metro population of 13.2 million people living in Los Angeles, California as seen from just above take-off from the window seat on Delta flight 5702 with non-stop service to Kansas City, Missouri on Monday April 25, 2016.

March 2016 - Pictures of the Month

Benton head coach Brett Goodwin kisses freshman guard and starter Bailey Russell on the forehead after Benton won the MSHSAA Class 4 State Championships against MICDS with the final score being 41-34 after double overtime. He whispered and told her "everything is going to be okay, we couldn't of gotten here without you and you're a state champion and have earned this" as she held back the emotions after a season that the lady cardinals go undefeated ending their season with a perfect 31-0. Their final game being held at Mizzou Arena on Saturday March 19, 2016 in Colombia Missouri.

Kickapoo guard Cameron Davis is fouled by Chaminade forward Jericole Hellems while attempting to drive the basket. Chaminade won 72-59 over Kickapoo Saturday evening March 19, 2016 in the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 5 state championship game at Mizzou Arena in Colombia, Missouri.

Father George Cleaves is silhouetted behind The Last Supper at the Christ Episcopal Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. He recently moved from Michigan three months ago but started his work in the faith practices at St. Christopher's Church twenty-four years ago and hasn’t looked back since. The Psalms say "Be still and know that I am God. To listen to the wind rustling through the grass.” He interpreted that as encouragement to explore. He often spent time in hospitals and with those who were sick and their loved ones. “I have been and attended to patients where I have been with them and their families when they have left this life. Those have been very Holy moments,” He said. “There have been a couple of occasions where I've gathered the family around the bedside of a loved one and we have prayed and when we have finished our prayers, the person had left us.”

Crews respond to a structure fire in the 1100 block of Mason Road on Saturday afternoon in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Taba Tamaluenda brushes the family's American Show camels on Friday morning at the Civic Center before the start of the Moila Shrine Temple Circus. Tamaluenda's family who is from São Paulo, Brazil is multi-generational in the circus business as her mother fell in love with her father when she saw him training a tiger. The Moila Shrine Temple Circus opens tonight at 7pm and will be going on through the weekend starting at 7pm all three days at Civic Arena.

Adriana Zorn, 8, shows her excitement while hunting for Easter eggs at the YMCA pool on Friday in St. Joseph, Missouri. Zorn participated in the six to eight year old bracket that had eggs that both floated on the surface of the water as well as others that were at the bottom of the pool.

Chetan Reddy is a masters student at Missouri Western State University. He is originally from Hyderabad, India but will be graduating from the university in a month. He celebrates the first time that the campus put on a Holi festival which saw students, faculty and other members of the public celebrate in the marching band practice field on Tuesday afternoon in St. Joseph, Missouri. “We just want to spread the happiness.” He said.

A cow outside of Rushville, Missouri on a Friday afternoon.

Two people were caught in a non-fatal stabbing in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri. 

Chris Bils tees of at the Top Golf driving range at Overland Park, Kansas on Monday March 28, 2016. Bils was celebrating his 24th birthday with his girlfriend and some co-workers from the St. Joseph News-Press and enjoyed his birthday with golf, drinks, and friends.

Fire Chief Training Officer Mike Neylon shows his increased frustration towards the comments about the flooding on Faraon St. brought up by Pat Jones, Deputy Mayor, at the Hillyard Technical Center on Wednesday night. The public was allowed to attend the meeting on Fire Station #9 and it will allow residents to provide input on the relocation of #9 that is currently located at 22nd & Frederick.

Some family members and friends are reflected in the windshield of their GMC Terrian on Wednesday in St. Joseph, Missouri on Wednesday afternoon. All seven people involved in the accident walked away with only minor injuries after the two-car accident at 33rd and Renick Streets. One of the two vehicles involved, a Chevrolet HHR, ended up in the yard of 3232 Renick St., while the other, a GMC Terrain, was flipped on its side near the edge of the yard.

Zack Papenberg stands for a portrait at 2am on a Friday night in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri.

Northwest Missouri State University Forward D'Vante Mosby attempts to drive the hoop while being blocked by University of Nebraska Kearney guard Josh Sweet, left, during the MIAA Men's Basketball Championships at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. Northwest won their first MIAA post season title under head coach Ben McCollum.

Lafayette guard, senior and captain Gary Wilkinson is embraced by the crowd of Lafayette students after their team won against Raytown South High School and advanced to state held at the University of Missouri next week. Lafayette won at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena during the Class 4 Sectional in Independence, Missouri on Saturday night.

Fox 26 KNPN news anchor Julie Love kisses Sgt. Steve Smith after he proposed to her in the Fox 26 KNPN studio on Tuesday afternoon. The proposal was an elaborate plot to have Love practice her news tease for the 5pm show and Smith came in the middle of her reading through the script to propose. She accepted his proposal while being recorded by means of the studio cameras and a GoPro placed in front of the newly engaged couple.

Fifth-grader Sophia Nguyen of Oak Grove Elementary, left, and eighth-grader Robert Esposito of Princeton R-V middle school, the last two remaining, sit before the sixty-second round of the spelling bee to begin. Esposito would be told he spelt the word jeremiad correctly after 62 rounds. Jeremiad is defined as "a long, mournful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes." Esposito who has been a part of the Northwest Missouri Regional Spelling Bee competition won on his third time on Saturday at St. Francis Xavier Parish Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. His prize for winning the competition is a round-trip transportation and lodging for himself and one parent to attend the National Bee Week in Washington, DC.

St. Joseph local Betty Stover, 88, votes at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Tuesday afternoon in St. Joseph, Missouri. Stover said she has been voting since she was 21 years-old and the first president she voted for was Franklin D. Roosevelt. For the Missouri primary this year she voted for Bernie Sanders.

 Grace Day who helped pave the way for many women in the workforce throughout her life and is was seen as a pioneer in her day. She retired at eighty-eight years-old from practicing law. After World War II, she’d become the only woman attending the University of South Dakota School of Law in Vermillion, S.D. By 1972, Mrs. Day became the first woman elected president of the local bar association. She has been in the workforce for the past sixty-three and half years, before she decided to retire.

Diego Bernard, left, and Sterling Hicks, of Lafayette High School embrace after they won their semi-final game at the Mizzou Arena in Colombia, Missouri and advance to the MSHSAA Class 4 Championships against Vashon High School. Lafayette failed to win the Championships for the second consecutive year.

Benton guard and senior Daejah Bernard yells after she and her team won the MSHSAA Class 4 State Championships against MICDS with the final score being 41-34 after double overtime. Benton ended their season undefeated, with a perfect 31-0 and the Championship final was held at Mizzou Arena on Saturday March 19, 2016 in Colombia, Missouri.

Midwest Basketball - A love letter

Dear Midwest Basketball,

I don’t know where to start. I guess being from a state where basketball in my high school was a big deal (three of the four years to state, winning twice), nothing prepared me for how big of a deal it is in the Midwest. This sport coupled with football bring out these small towns to support their sons, daughters, grandchildren and fellow peers. Never would I have thought that at a high school basketball game, in towns under a thousand people, would there be a full gym and more than that a community supporting their local teams. It made my job that much easier, I realized then that these students brought that gym to life, they had parents who had purchased and printed my photos of their kids on shirts, but most of all I gained trust and access with the players. Daily I covered the same local schools, now and then I would travel an hour, an hour and half hours, a total of sometimes three hours in an evening, to cover the local teams. What it offered me was a sense of purpose, the purpose of my images were to portray the emotions- exuberance or dejection, during the game. I had to get personal moments, connect, and really feel the raw feelings that these players felt as they pushed, sweated, and worked their way to achieving success. There were some days where the court was so poorly lit, or the game was a blow out, or there was barely space for me to maneuver, but each of these lessons and many more taught me to appreciate my job and what I was doing daily. The biggest reward came to me in the form of this past weekend. After spending a whole season with the Benton Lady Cardinals, I was able to witness them complete an undefeated season (31-0) and win the state title. There were tears of happiness, yelling, hugging, and all the emotions that go with the win. The state title didn’t come easy, in fact it came only after double overtime, so the feelings expressed after winning were even more intensified. I would like to take the time to thank the Midwest for showing me what community is by way of basketball. I am honored to be able to follow my passion of making storytelling images and to do so in the realm of sports is even more rewarding. There are days where I wish I could be documenting the bigger venues, with athletes who either play at the college or professional level, but at the end of the day, to see a standing ovation of a community that cares about their athletes and for me to press the shutter and tell another chapter of their lives is the most rewarding feeling. In the end of the day, this job to me is about human connection, and what better way to connect with others than within the community that you build trust and relationships with and who feel comfortable enough for you to carry a camera to continue document their place in history.

February 2016 - Pictures of the Month

Nine-year-old Breyanna Nave plays on a mobile device while firefighters work to overcome the structure fire that consumed a single wide mobile home which was an unoccupied structure and that has been empty for 8 or 9 years. "The trailer wasn't livable, we were in the process of cleaning out because it still had stuff in it and we were going to clean it out and when we had our land paid off we were going to build a house and get rid of the trailer, said homeowner and Breyanna's grandmother Brenda Nabe on Thursday night in Faucett, Missouri.

The remains of a single wide mobile home which was an unoccupied structure and that has been empty for 8 or 9 years on Thursday night in Faucett, Missouri. The homeowner, Brenda Nave, said no utilities were on in the structure because the family had been living in St. Joseph temporarily.

Trent Gaskill drives a CaseIH Steiger 535QT Quadtrac while applying anhydrous ammonia which puts nitrogen into the ground in preparation for planting corn at his family’s property on Wednesday in Rushville, Missouri. Gaskill is a part-time student at Missouri Western is taking classes that eventually will lead him to a computer science degree. He was originally studying to get same degree in Colorado but moved back home to help his father with their farm. He has been driving the combine harvesters and helping on the farm since he was thirteen but didn’t start with the Quadtrac until about three years ago.

After being asked about why she celebrated her daughter's birthday in secret every year, Donna Mae Cox, left, through tears explained that her parents didn't approve of her giving up her children for adoption. Cox, left, holds the hand of her daughter Lora Antle after they met for the first time in 48 years at Antle's on Saturday.

The librarian at Hyde Elementary School, Jennifer Halter, left, hugs Katie Vannaman,10, before she goes back to class on Wednesday at Hyde Elementary. "It felt like someone was on my side," Vannaman said softly. Her father was deployed to Afghanistan last year and she was helped by Halterwhen and Roxy Kerns who after finding out about the dense population of military kids in the district jumped at the chance to be a part of a new program and help out students with family members in the military.

Lynette Rockwood and her husband James Rockwood share a laugh at their apartment at Country Squire on Friday. The couple after knowing each other for more than three decades as school teachers and raising their own families, were finally married at the First Presbyterian Church in Downtown St. Joseph earlier this month.

Missouri Western guard Chelsea Dewey, center, yells in celebration after she and her team clinched the MIAA regular season conference title over Washburn University by a score of 67-57 at MWSU Fieldhouse in St. Joseph, Missouri on Wednesday afternoon and completing the regular season 25-2.

Members of the Special Reaction Team (SRT) handle the standoff at 2620 Faraon St. on Tuesday afternoon. The standoff began around 2pm and lasted around five hours ending after the sun had set. The suspect was tear-gassed and apprehended by the St. Joseph Police Department.

Skaith Elementary student C.J. Speer,7, jumps rope at MWSU FIeldhouse. Missouri Western State University hosted students from 14 elementary schools participating in Jump Rope for Heart on Thursday and students jumped rope to raise funds for the American Heart Association.

Two-year-old Sergio Calvin drives his toy fire truck by Fire Station 11 on Thursday. There was a Public Meeting about relocation of Fire Station No. 11 on Thursday night.

Gage Bauer, 4, signs his name on the letter of intent for attending the Cathedral Kindergarten Class of 2016-2017 during 'Kindergarten Signing Day' to celebrate new students choosing their school. The event was held at Cathedral School on Wednesday and was an early childhood version of what athletes do when they pick a college.

From left, Tom Wright, Dan Didde and Nicholas Kempf prepare the fish for the annual fish fry put on by the Knights of Columbus Council 5067 on Friday. Wright and Didde have been part of the event for the past twenty years. The fish fry event will happen every Friday until Easter.

18-month old Kyzlen Wilson explores the Star Bellied Sneetch Machine at the Keatley Center on Saturday morning. The event was put on to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday and there was a Brunch Bonanza that served green eggs and ham.

Buddy Coudlray,left, of Brooner Construction & Crane, works on construction of some new facilities for the St. Joseph Regional Port Authority on Friday afternoon. The  Governor's 2017 budget proposal contains $14 million for Missouri and Mississippi river port improvements. More than $900,000 is earmarked for St. Joseph to improve its port facilities.

Northwest Missouri State guard Macy Williams attempts to drive past the South Baptist University defense during their game at Bearcat Arena on Saturday in Maryville, Missouri.

MSHSAA Class 2 wrestling districts. Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

From left, Arianna Davis-Willaims, Katie Davis, Caitlin Johnson, Jillian Lysaght and Brooklynn Wattenbarger wait outside of the Lafayette High School gym before the start of the boys basketball game as they were the nominated Homecoming queens on Friday evening Febuary 12, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Wattenbarger would later be crowned the 2016 Homecoming queen.

Devon Hansen, Henry Gabauer, and Triston Wilson, from left to right, compete in the first and second grade category during the opening rounds of the annual Boy Scout Pinewood Derby at the Center Court of East Hills Shopping Center on Saturday.

Polly Nauman of St. Louis, Missouri gives her dog Daniel, a Lhasa Apso, a haircut on Friday afternoon at the Civic Arena before the St. Joseph Kennel Club Dog Show. The dog show runs this Saturday and Sunday at the Civic Arena and starts at 8am both days.

Members of the Benton High School band stand outside of Fulkerson Hall before they take part in the 10th Annual Jazz Festival held at Missouri Western State University on Saturday in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Lafayette guard Diego Bernard goes for a layup attempt as Lafayette took on Bishop LeBlond at home on Friday in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Missouri Western guard LaQuinta Jefferson cuts a part of the net after she and the team celebrate their victory over Washburn University and clinching the MIAA regular season conference title at MWSU Fieldhouse on Wednesday in St. Joseph, Missouri.  They completing their regular season 25-2. Jefferson was awarded a ball commemorating her scoring of 1,000 points in two years for Missouri Western and being one of nineteen players to do so.

South Harrison's coach Bill Pottorff, left, is visibly upset after he drew a technical foul for calling a timeout when he had none left. The Bulldogs coach believed he had one remaining with 7 seconds left, but a request to review it by the North Platte coaching staff led to a discussion with the official scorekeeper and the officials. The technical led to North Platte scoring the winning point in a 53-52 victory in the Class 2 District 16 championship game Friday night at Masyville High School in Maysville, Missouri.

Twenty-three-year-old Katherine Lacina, right, was diagnosed with Unverricht–Lundborg, an inherited form of epilepsy. Affected individuals usually begin showing signs and symptoms of the disorder between the ages of 6 and 15. She deals with daily seizures and struggles yet remains constantly upbeat and always willing to play a game of mancala or work on a tie blanket for a family expecting a new baby.

A lot of people are scared to ask what's going on because they don't want to offend him about what he is going through. "It's a stabbing, stinging pain. It's bad. Even with the pain medication, it's still there. In the past six years, I have not gone a day without pain." said Sidney Kiger on Thursday afternoon at the First Presbyterian Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. Kiger has a rare skin disease called Pyoderma Gangrenosum which affects 1 out out every 100,000 people. His adopted mother Krista Kiger, the reverend at the First Presbyterian Church, believes “that God is surrounding us with His love and His mercy and His grace through all of this.”

January 2016 - Pictures of the Month

Tessa Bailey,6, laughs as she touches the Van de Graaff generator that teacher Roger Price of St. Joseph Christian High School was demonstrating to those interested at the Super science Saturday. The event took place at Agenstein Hall at Missouri Western State University.

Nick Harley of Penney High School gets the student section involved with the roller coaster as their boys basketball team went on to defeat the home team; Lawson High School, in the Championship game on Saturday night in Lawson, Missouri by a score of 51-46.

Fans rush the court after Iowa State defeated the University of Oklahoma at the Hilton Coliseum by a score of 82-77 on Monday January 18, 2016. It's the first time since 1957 that the Iowa State Cyclones have beat the number one team.

Firefighters work to put out a structure fire at 406 3rd Street in Rushville, Missouri on Saturday afternoon.

Ryan Schuyler of Atkinson, Kansas helps in the bottling room also known as building E at the McCormick Distillery in Weston, Missouri on Wednesday afternoon. The distillery currently operates in 50 states and 37 countries worldwide and is the oldest continuously operating distillery West of the Mississippi and will be reopening for tours starting April 2016.

Flooding across America's heartland will be around for weeks to come as the Mississippi River surges south. The deadly onslaught of rising waters and storms has killed more than two dozen people in Missouri and Illinois." This photo was taken on 21 northbound highway just outside of Arnold, MO on Monday January 4, 2015.

Ashley Campbell, bottom, and her caregiver Ashleigh Curry, of Comfort of Home health care, smile and participate in the Midwest Adaptive Sports 3rd adaptive tubing event at Snow Creek in Weston, Missouri on Wednesday evening.

Christian Mengel stands for a portrait after getting a face full of snow while sledding the hill behind the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex at Missouri Western State University on Wednesday morning in St. Joseph. The snow from yesterday had accumulated enough to offer a little sledding although there were patches of grass and dirt due to the light coverage.

A street covered in snow near downtown Lincoln, Nebraska on Sunday January 24, 2016. The predictions called for 1/10" of snow but saw close to five inches fall within a matter of hours on Sunday afternoon.

St. Louis, Missouri

Zack Papenberg stares out the window the Dury Inn in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday January 3, 2016.

Chilicothe's Kayde Burton,left, is flipped by Cameron's Tyler Gerber during their 195-pound match at Benton High School in Springer Gymnasium on Wednesday night in St. Joseph, Missouri

Alonzo Weston has been voted the St. Joseph, Missouri's favorite newspaper columnist for the past 13 years. He also has won numerous Missouri Press Association awards for his columns, features and investigative reporting. 

Barstow High School senior Shea Rush dunks the ball late in the fourth quarter as Barstow High School took on Lafayette High School as they competed on Friday evening to a packed house of supporters. Lafayette high school played on their new court as well as paying their respects to the 1976 Championship basketball team before the start of the game.

Pat Healey of the Baltimore Blast, left, and Bryan Perez of the Missouri Comets fight for the ball during the game at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Comets and Blast have met fourteen times and with the Blast leading the series 10-4. The Comets won the game in overtime by a score of 6-4. 

University of Nebraska-Kearney senior Ethan Brozek is fouled by Missouri Western junior Mataika Koyaminavure at MWSU Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon January 23, 2016 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Mischa Lopiano, the intern for the Lincoln Star Journal, sits in his car for a portrait that was created by an in camera double exposure on Sunday January 24, 2016.

Central High School sophomore Alyssa Freeman, left, and Benton junior Isaiah Johnson-Stewart position themselves before their 160-pound weight class duel at Benton High School on Thursday night January 28, 2016. Johnson-Stewart pinned Freeman in fifty-four seconds in the first period.

January 15, 2016 - Brad Smith & his impact

Role mod·el noun: role model: a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.

This blog post is dedicated to Brad Smith. The reasons are many but what yesterday taught me was how fragile our industry is these days. I was messaged by a colleague yesterday about Sports Illustrated cutting Brad Smith, their director of photography. I was shocked, confused, and lost for words. But let’s rewind back to a year ago today. I was sitting in the classroom roughly this time last year and we had to choose a target organization. I remember being focused on wanting to work for Sports Illustrated. I had made it my goal that by twenty-eight, I would have one of my photos in that magazine. Then on January 23, 2015, news broke that SI had laid off the remaining of their staff and would be using freelance visual storytellers. My cover letter, resume, and body of work changed. I refocused my target to the New York Times, fearful of SI and their choice to get rid of the talented staff that had provided them with countless amazing photos. When July came around, I remember finding out that one of my group leaders was my first cover letter addressee: Brad Smith and SI. I was shocked. How could the stars have aligned to place me in a sports team and with two of my role models. It was an amazing feeling. So, I made sure to work hard, ask questions, and of course keep the connections with Brad and Al Bello strong and current. After the workshop I was able to reach out to Brad when the Royals won the World Series and had a photo that I thought he might want to use. He accepted my offer, took me up on it, and I came away not only with a double truck in the magazine but more importantly with a someone who placed their trust in me.

Brad, you offered me something that I couldn't have dreamed possible... Someone that I can call a mentor, a brilliant editor and of course an incredible EAW group leader. Thanks to your guidance I got into SI and was able to see my dream come true. You are such an inspiration and thank you so much for what you done for myself and many many others. Thank you from myself and this year's EAW 2015 - BLUE TEAM!! We all appreciate what you did for those four days and continue to do! Keep in touch and the best of luck in the future.

December 27, 2015- Pictures of the year

As 2015 comes to an end, I have compiled my best twenty-one images that I felt best captured this year. So, my year is over. In 2015 I have moved twice, and have traveled to ten new states for my job, school assignments or just because I got the travel itch again. Wow, what a year. This year has been one of the most memorable years yet with going to Eddie Adams, receiving an award at CPOY, and making thousands of images. Yet the ambition, drive, passion, forces me to get better, work harder, and produce better images. The moment I feel satisfied with my work is the moment that I fail as a visual story-teller. Our industry has us constantly on the move, never settling for a better moment or frame. It is for this reason that I will always be searching, always looking, always trying to get better, meet more people, and remain humble along the way.

What I learned in 2015 was that after a deep depression for several months that had me lack in motivation. I was done with shooting, lacking the creative eye that I had for years been praised for having, done with seeing the same thing daily, done with being turned down for internship after internship after internship after internship until the list of forty applied turned to forty denied. I had doubt. And no, not the kind of doubt that one has and then tries to start anew. No, this doubt plagued me, got into my head, corrupted my work, it hindered me, I felt empty, worried that I had just spent six figures on an education that had me walking away with nothing. Trust me, I would lay around for hours, days, weeks, just without hope, fearful that my work wasn't as good, that I hadn't pushed myself hard enough, that I would never break into the industry I loved so much.  And then something changed, I fell back in love, in love with my career, and remembered that I was being selfish. It was about the people in front of my lens that I was to tell their stories. Eddie Adams and the workshop helped me back onto my feet. Meeting everyone from everywhere that had the same love for the craft we all poured our lives, love, and heart into reassured me I was on the right path. It is for that reason that they are at the end of my blog post. Each member at the barn this year made me realize that I had gone into the field that I loved.

With that being said, here is my 2015 Photos of the year. I can't wait to see what 2016 brings with new adventures, friendships, and of course images and photo stories that remind us of what it is to be human and what it takes to show joy, sorrow, love, despair, jubilation, and dejection. Thank you taking the time to view my work and of course thank you for the continued support.  

Safety Kevin Berg (6) of the Northwest Missouri Bearcats holds the trophy after they ended the season undefeated (15-0) and claimed their 5th national championship title defeating Shepherd University by a score of 34-7 at Sporting Park during the NCAA Division II Championship college football game in Kansas City, Kan., Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015.

Junior Jack Hausman of Bishop LeBlond smiles after he places first at the MEC Championship Varsity Boys 5K with a time of 16:34.3 at Simpson Memorial Park in Chilicothe, MO on Thursday October 22, 2015. Hausman broke LeBlond High School's 5K cross country record that stood since 2001.

11-year-old Adan Seiter,left, and his uncle Tyson Seiter wait on Saturday evening for a deer during the first day of rifle season in St. Joseph, MO. Mr. Seiter, right, a former marine has been hunting since he was ten-years-old.

Deborah Negrete (left) helps her daughter Aixa Negrete (8) put on her earrings before their float called "Viva la Piñata" goes down state street in Santa Barbara Calif., in front of hundreds of people who attend the children's parade on Saturday August 8, 2015 for Fiesta week.

Martin Seidlitz (left) shaves off Etienne Nong-Lambert's  beard that he had been growing over the year after Nong-Lambert's friends raised $120 to shave it during a house party at the Riverpark in Oxnard, Calif., on Friday October 17, 2014.

A protestor chats "Can't kill Africa" as others rally behind him as they make their way to the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters to protest against the fatal police shooting of an unarmed homeless man on March 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, Calif Police say the homeless man, known by acquaintances as Africa, was shot dead by officers when he allegedly reached for the gun of one of several officers wrestling to the ground by his sidewalk tent. Amateur video of the controversial incident has been widely viewed over the internet.

Northwest Missouri State junior safety Kevin Berg celebrates after the Bearcats forced a turnover on downs following a fumbled snap on a Humboldt State punt attempt during Saturday's NCAA Division II playoff game at Bearcat Stadium. The Bearcats won the game 54-7 to advance to the third round of the NCAA Championships.

Ventura County Firefighter Jason Karp looks for further damage as he talks to Ventura County Fire Captain Tom Hoffman, left, as they help to knock down a blaze in the subfloor of a building at 2600 N. Ventura Ave. on Monday March 23, 2015 in Ventura, Calif.

Rachel Lona, a certified bartender, poses for an environmental portrait at National Bar Staffing in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Rose Jennie works on LCD Balloons that will be shown at EDC Las Vegas from June 19-22 2015 at the Las Vegas Speedway while she sews at Bell Arts on Ventura Ave., on Friday June 5, 2015 in Ventura, Calif.

The band Falsepuppet at the after party of the Santa Barbara Magazine's 40th anniversary on Thursday June 11, 2015 at the Bacara Hotel and Spa in Goleta, Calif.

Eddie Guitierrez of Pierce College places second in the Men's 500 Yard Freestyle with a time of 5:17:37 at the WSC #3 swim meet hosted by Santa Barbara City College on Saturday March 28, 2015 at San Marcos High School in Goleta, Calif.

 Niawana Pennington, left, shares a quiet moment with her daughter Rebecca Brownlie on Wednesday May 27, 2015 in Richland, Wash. "She continually has to battle her Multiple sclerosis daily and is only up for brief periods of time before having to go back and rest" her daughter Rebecca says.

Peter Rolstad plays the bagpipe at Memorial Park as members of the armed forces, family members and other people show up to pay their respects to those lost in combat in Bellingham Wash., on Monday May 25, 2015

Reuben Crowfeather Jr. part of the Southern Ojibwe Native American wears a feathered war bonnet which two black and white eagle tail feathers represented the dancer and and the eagle. The story he was told that when the two feathers danced together they were sending a message to the eagle in appreciation of its existence. Crowfeather is one of just under a quarter million of his tribe living in the United States currently.

West Platte Outside Linebacker Brett Shepardson is tackled by Penney's Tight End Telly Harper during the Class 1 2015 Missouri High School Football Playoff Quarterfinals at Alumni Field at Penney High School in Hamilton on Friday night.

Ranked forty-four in Missouri, Running back Israel Smith (25), of Central High School, in St. Joseph, Missouri poses for a portrait. Smith ran for 148 yards and four first-half touchdowns for Central High School in a 49-14 victory against Liberty High School. It was Central’s first district playoff win since 2013. Smith, a junior, hopes to play for University of Missouri in the fall of 2017.

Kaden Reeves,12, of Ventura, Calif., body surfs a wave at the Ventura State Beach and Surfers Point in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday August 25, 2015.

Amber Adam started her mission to help the homeless community two years ago on Christmas Eve when she helped out a homeless man called Noel by offering him a blanket. Even in the most difficult times, Amber still looks to help others before herself and will put what money she makes to make their life a little better in the small things to help out.

A member of the twenty-eighth annual Eddie Adams Workshop stands silhouetted by the bonfire, a tradition to celebrate the completion of the workshop on Sunday October 12, 2015 in Jeffersonville, New York. The workshop accepts fifty students and fifty professionals each year from all over the world based on a portfolio of work and a personal statement. It allows for networking with some of photojournalism's best in one setting and takes place over the course of four days in middle October each year.

November 9, 2015-

This past week I have covered so much football that I finally feel I am able to find the ball and not be faked out like the other team when the quarterback makes the play. I also practiced using NIkon’s 400mm ƒ2.8 for the first time in a long time and the first time when shooting football this season. The lens as gorgeous as it is also proves to be quite a challenge for me to get the moment and keep the given moment sharp and in focus. This past week has had me all over the state of Missouri both for work and personal assignments. The one thing I love about the daily news life is getting assigned to an event, a game, a celebration or maybe a portrait or standalone feature. It makes me feel like for that window of time I have to give my 110% to those people I am photographing; I am there to tell their story visually.

The job has forced me to learn faster than I would have expected both technically and creatively and made me faster at knowing when to press the shutter, when to move closer or further away and of course the one thing that for much of my Brooks career and at college struggled with which was getting names. Now that I work for the paper there is absolutely no excuse for not getting a name. So armed with trying to spell it out correctly (thank you dyslexia) I have now turned to having them spell and say it into the audio portion of the camera as I find it to be easier and it makes it less uncomfortable for both parties involved. In the past I used to spell subjects names wrong and have to scribble it out and rewrite it again.

So, the start of rifle season started in Missouri yesterday day and I was nervous about having to go cover a deer hunter as it seemed to be something that would have to be captured in a creative, story-telling way yet not with too much blood, guts, and gore otherwise the paper wouldn’t run in for the next day’s publication. While I sat with the deer hunter and his nephew on many acres of land in rural Missouri my mind remembered all the photos I had saw that were judged and observed at the College Photographer of the Year competition the Sunday before and what the judges picked out for the best of features and why. I picked up my camera and took five or six frames knowing the photo I got told the story without given seeing a deer. It was in that quiet, ever so quiet moment I realized something. I knew what I was looking for, I knew the light I wanted, and I knew that the career I had chosen was the best one and that I was so grateful to be the one to show the rest of the audience what I saw or should I say what I see daily through the power of my images. In other news, I had my first image that was featured here on the blog of the brews and views at a local bar called Fosters Martini Bar get picked up by Associated Press and featured in the local paper in Missoulia, Montana. I apologize for my random way of writing but so much happens daily working for the paper I forget half of the stuff that happens in the given week and thanks to the paper and our archive I am able to recall the given events.

November 1, 2015

I really don’t know where to begin with this blog post. It has been two weeks since I have moved my life from the west coast and sunny Southern California to the Midwest and St. Joseph, Missouri and the result has been one of the best decisions I have made. I must admit driving for the twenty-five hours and having my dad in the car I began to have hesitation, doubt, fear, and so many nerves I can’t begin to explain. Was I making the right decision? Was I good enough to be a staff photographer for the paper? Why was I moving to the Midwest? What was the job going to be like? Would I like the Buchanan area and people? It wasn’t until I dropped my dad off at Kansas City International Airport that it hit me. I was alone again, twenty-two years old, and now had to fill the huge shoes of the staff photographer before me that had had his work in Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, The Denver Post, USA Today, LA times,,, and Washington Post. That was the moment I realized one thing… and excuse my language for saying this- Don’t fuck up. I realized then that the last two and half years of college training had taught me how to take a story-telling image, approach a subject, make a connection, get a name and story, and feel satisfied with a job well done. My issue, well I felt like a dream in the headlights. I was shocked and more than shocked I was like holy crap, I will be going out daily and taking photos for a paper and driving around trying to find new places. The result; well I got lost tore through eight plus gigabits of data (I am so so sorry Dad!) and slowly learned to adjust to my new life. Life in the Midwest is truly been amazing these past two weeks. People are unconditionally friendly, helpful, supportive, and most of all always want to offer me BBQ or some food at all the events. Every person I have met, has offered a story, a laugh, or been so kind. My fears of moving became a thing of the distant past and I realized that this new life was a door of opportunity for me to grow as a photographer. Since being here the last two weeks I have covered more sports than I thought was possible (mainly football), met some of the Chiefs players, been to Kansas (by accident taking the wrong exit), been on a military base, been inside of a Hercules C-130, eaten more pizza and Taco Bell than I should (time to start a gym membership), hung out with my friend Brian from the Eddie Adams Workshop, and the best part of the last two weeks was being in Kansas City and at the Power & Light District and be part of the city that can claim the title of the World Series Champions!! GO ROYALS! Anyways, I could write on and on and on about my first two weeks but thus far, I have enjoyed every moment. Granted, there are times when I miss my friends back in Ventura or Bellingham and yes I miss the Eddie Adams Workshop and the amazing friends I made there, and of course I miss my amazing family, but thanks to the welcoming community of St. Joseph, Missouri and the Midwest in general I feel at ease and am happy to be a part a Royal loving, BBQ eating, very welcoming, and of course friendly community. Above is a tight edit of the last two weeks. 

October 16, 2015-

For the first time since I can remember I don’t have anything to say. I am still in shock, processing, absorbing, rethinking, and trying to make clear what the past weekend at the Eddie Adams Workshop feat the Class of XXVIII meant to me. Since I found out in June that I was accepted to this once in a lifetime workshop and opportunity, it has served as the light at the end of the tunnel. Truth be told, this summer was harder than I ever expected it to be. I had all these desires, ambitions, and hopes of getting an internship for the summer after graduating college and working for a newsroom. Time after time after time I was turned down. A total of forty times being turned down and it began to get into my head. I questioned if I was good enough, was I supposed to be a visual storyteller or did I choose the wrong path for my career and taking out loans enough to pay for a small house or a very nice car. I would wake up in the mornings with self doubt and would reassure myself that Eddie Adams liked my work and that meant something, I would push through the days of summer applying, following up and trying to get my foot into the industry that I desired so badly. The outcome the same, “we regret to inform you that the position that you have applied is now filled, however we will keep your records on file for future internship or jobs for this organization.” It was ten days before Eddie started that I got hired in Missouri for a newspaper photographer position. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am for the job and begin this upcoming Tuesday. However, that will be for another blog post, this one is dedicated to how the Eddie Adams Workshop helped me find my voice. This past weekend helped me explore who I was at my core. It may have been the speakers, it may have been the staff, it may have been the assignment, it may have been the friends I made, but all I know is after coming out of this workshop, I was was able to internally find myself and to reevaluate and recreate my body of work from the technical to the creative side of my craft. After less than a combined 7 hours of sleep over the past four days, the numerous number of photos taken, meeting with professionals and receiving critical but highly important and helpful feedback, hearing truly incredibly and gifted industry professionals talk about their career, images, and vision, and most of all making some friends that now I consider family and who I love; I can say with the utmost certainty that the career path I have chose of visual story-telling was the right one thanks to this experience.

I was placed on the Blue Team which was the sports team and our team was led by Getty Images chief photographer Al Bello, Sports Illustrated Director of Photography Brad Smith, photographer and founder of Robert Caplin, and Washington Post staff photographer Toni Sandys Mallon as well as being blessed with an honorary member of the blue team Cliff Hausner of ProFoto lighting. Meeting the other students I thought would be terrifying, like when you are going to the first day of school and don’t know a single person. What I came to discover was how much talent and diversity there was within the workshop and every single person, was outgoing, friendly, and enthusiastic. My group (the blue team), somehow connected on a much deeper level than I expected. We grew as a group and learned to respect one to another as well as show the highest level of praise and help that I could imagine. Like all the teams we had to have a team and our team’s team was to cover a football game from the small town of Monticello, NY Superbowl style. We had photographers on the end zones, feature hunting, with both teams, in the locker rooms during the half and end of the game and really got to see what each student produced from the experience. The next day had the team shooting portraits of the players and cheerleaders in the woods behind the Eddie Adams barn and with the beautiful fall colors served as an incredible backdrop.

As well as our assignment we were able to have portfolio reviews by many in the industry with the exchanging of information, notes, and feedback on our work. One of the biggest highlights of the workshop was how many of the past participants or others in the industry would come up for the weekend and treat students like myself to presentations. This year the barn was able to have James Nachtwey, John Moore, David Guttenfelder, John Stanmeyer, Al Bello, Eugene Richards, Matt Black, Mary Calvert, Ruth Fremson many more share and impart their knowledge and work to us. The amount of work that was shown to us along with two reporters notebooks full of information, one thing held true to all those who spoke; finding something that you are truly passionate about as a person and visual storyteller and one that brings you the joy to continue to shoot daily is what matters.

Although I have tried to explain what the workshop is like, the best way is to go and witness it in person. Never have I struggled so much to articulate what something is like, but this is different, unique, and most of all gave me the drive to continue to follow what I love as a photographer, storyteller and someone who hopes that my work educates and informs the viewers what they are looking at while looking at my body of work. Finally last but not least by any means, thank you to the Black Team for being there to inspire, the White Team to feed me the most amazing food, the editors who came up for the weekend and offered their time and feedback, the other students who attended the workshop with me, and of course Alyssa Adams for continuing this workshop and the legacy of Eddie for many more years to come. I am beyond humbled and grateful for being a part of the Eddie Adams Workshop Class of XXVIII.

September 19, 2015-

The past week or so has been crazy. I have been in the Midwest and visiting the small city of St. Joseph, Missouri or as the locals call it St. Jo on Thursday and Friday. The reason for my visit was I was flown out for a job interview with the St. Joseph News Press as a full time photojournalist for their 45,000 circulation paper. I was very honored to be selected for a sit down interview after talking with the executive director and chief photographer Dennis Ellsworth and Jessica Stewart respectively. The city is nestled about just under an hour’s drive north from Kansas City and a bridge to the west that crosses over into Kansas. The city although small in size was very similar to Bellingham, Washington (my hometown) both in appearance and with the same features. They have five high schools, three public and two private as well as a university of roughly 6,000 students and another of 7,000 about a hour north which has been in the Division two finals for football the past ten years and coming away with a victory five of the ten times. When Jessica picked me up from the airport, almost immediately I felt welcomed by her friendliness and her first apology to me was smelling of a camp fire as she had covered spot news in the morning, documenting a man refusing to come down from a convenience story rooftop as well as a girls golf game all before coming to pick me up. I was already drawn to her work having looked at what she had been shooting the past three weeks from the newspapers and meeting her in person proved to be a great experience. While we drove on their main interstate; the I-29 between KC (Kansas City) and St. Joseph she asked where I wanted to get dinner. Of course, I wanted to try her family’s Mexican restaurant as I am a huge fan of Mexican food and it turned out that her family migrated from Guadalajara and made authentic Mexican food which my dish turned out to be the most hearty and flavorful Beef Enchiladas with Mole. Before we got our main courses we got chips but the chips even had a twist to them. They happened to be the remaining parts of the tortillas after they had been pressed which served with queso cheese was simply amazing yet quite filling before we got to the main course. After we talked some more she dropped me off at my hotel and I was given the information for the official interview the following morning. As I got ready to go to bed, there was a thunderstorm that was coming from the Northwest by Kansas. I haven’t heard thunder or seen lightening in over five years if not longer so I grabbed my camera and ran into the rain the hope to find somewhere to set up and get some lightening photos. Turned out to be a bust due to the rain coming down to heavily and my position not being the best but it was still super exciting to go out and shoot. The next morning the executive director picked me up as Jessica was on assignment and drove me all around the city and showed me everything from the beautiful parks, to the old homes, university to the ending up back at the newsroom where I was met by two more of the staff who sat down with me and asked me several questions before telling me what they expected and were looking for. We broke for lunch which was at a small Cajun restaurant called Bordeaux’s continued to talk and informally conduct my interview. Jessica had to rush off to cover an ice skating event, as well as showing me a staff photojournalist’s exhibit who was with the paper for thirty-one years before succumbing to pancreatic cancer. His work was truly reflective of what a small city of the Midwest was like and showed some truly amazing features and the interaction he captured through the lens. I was glad I was able to see the gallery and his body of work before we dashed off to the ice rink to get some of the participants in the competition. I was super excited because that and the first five minutes of being in St. Jo and coving a car accident gave me a taste of the lifestyle of this Midwestern town and I was glad I brought my camera and documented everything I saw which the photos below are a few I chose from my trip for twenty hours in the Midwest. After we returned from the ice rink, I was able to sit in the newsroom and see how they discussed who was covering what and where it would be placed in the newspaper for the next day’s paper as well as what would be covered by broadcast. I then was rushed to the airport and with a hasty and profuse thanks on my part departed with a packet to fill out and told to expect a call on Monday or Tuesday to follow up and for them to discuss their thoughts and opinions. For now, it is back to the SoCal life but at least I was fully enjoy the Midwest for twenty hours and see a different part of the United States. I am very grateful to Jessica, Dennis and the rest of the staff for their hospitality, kindness, and willingness to have me out and show me around their city for the day. On Monday I found out I was offered the job and decided to take it and begin my next adventure in the Midwest come the 20th of October after attending the Eddie Adams Workshop XXVIII. I will be posting a new blog later next week after going to the workshop telling of my experience and some photos to go with it!

September 9, 2015-
Back with another week’s worth of photos that I felt belonged on the blog. This week was not as busy yet still proved to have me running around covering various events both for myself and for other news organizations. Today marks one month till I begin a three week adventure starting with going home and then flying out to New York to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop for four days. Additionally, it is now fall sports season thank goodness and I am so happy I can now go out and shoot a lot more and attempt to build my “blog” worthy photos and hope to come back with one or two portfolio images that I can add to my website and offer the editors at the barn for feedback on my work. I have finally reached the point where technically I feel quite proficient now it is just trying to find a better moment, something that tells more of the story and something that isn’t something that everyone has shot. It is difficult to keep shooting and being a freelance photojournalist because I really don’t have my name out there that much so trying to make an income is more of a challenge than I initially expected. Furthermore, I have been applying to internships as well as full time jobs in the industry in the hope to get my foot in the door in the near future. Although it is very hard because there is so much talent and people who are pursuing the same field as myself with amazing moments, light control and stories, it just pushes me harder to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. I really don’t have much else to write about except that I am still pushing hard to get the work and my name out there and looking to tell a story either through a single frame, multiple, with audio and visuals no matter the medium, visual story-telling is my craft and I am very glad I have chose it. Oh! One final note, a close friend of mine Brandon Wholihan just got an internship in NYC with one of the top professional photographers and I wanted to congratulate him on that huge success as well as thanking him again for taking my amazing about photo. Someday when he is doing well, I will remember when we all were in college together and how the times would have changed. Anyways, more photos to come in the near future.
August 12, 2015-
This last week has been absolutely crazy and yet so much fun. I have been shooting at every opportunity that arises. I am trying to teach myself to become more accustomed to what one would do if they were working in a newsroom environment either as an intern or a full time staff position. My only issue with many of the events that I try to cover is the challenge of getting in without credentials for a larger news organization. The photos that you see here from this week’s photo edition are a mix of my own going out and shooting combined with working with other news organizations that got me better angles from the various locations that the media is provided. The last photo of Democratic presidential candidate from Vermont Bernie Sanders was taken from networking with people outside of the venue and eventually going in with someone I had no idea who he was but due to his broken leg I was his “second” which got me in before the other 27,500 people that would eventually fill the arena. Lindsey Stirling I was lucky enough to have LOL-LA and Marvin get me to have pit access and practice with shooting concert photography which although it is lit for one shooting photos is still quite the challenge due to the lights changing and trying to get sharp focus on the face of the subject. The article was originally supposed to be written by myself and in the form of a review but I gave my friend Zachary Kelly a chance to write and the article and photo ran together thanks to Marvin Vasquez on LOL-LAs website. The other photos were just some that I took while out feature hunting and looking to broaden my portfolio with new work. The only other really important news is I am working very hard on a story of this amazing woman Amber Adam would is dubbed the Blanket Lady. She is truly incredible and I can’t begin to thank her enough for letting me into her life, her story and what she does to help the homeless population in and around the Ventura County area. She offers them blankets (thus the name), clothes, toiletries, and all the stuff needed to live without feeling down and out without the basic needs we all take for granted. She gets them all from donations and her story makes me realize that there is good in this world and there are people making a difference for the better. I will be posting her story with selects, a multimedia piece (time permitting) and captions very soon. I realized when working on her story how much I love getting into her life and really seeing the amazing woman that she and how much she cares about the people who need it most. Amber, you inspire me to continue to tell others stories and especially yours. I guess I also have applied for several jobs that are full time staff positions at various news publications which is scary to think that if I am lucky to get one I will be employed fully with a newspaper. I will be sure to keep this blog current with any news if a job that is full time does come my way. Finally, I will be going back home for eight days in the beginning of October before going to Eddie Adams and staying in the East Coast for two weeks after the workshop to network, explore, make photos and catch up with other friends from Brooks who currently live out there. As for now, I am shooting daily and trying to make visually compelling photos that tell a story.

July 20, 2015-
Trying to break into the industry has proved to be one of the biggest obstacles I have had to overcome in my short twenty-two years of being on this planet. Granted, I chose an visual arts major to try to find work in but regardless of that, it is very hard to make a stable income for the simple catch-22 situation that arises- if you are freelance it is hard to make enough money to live as someone starting off in the world of visual journalism and asking for assignments is harder as many places give you one or two if you are lucky because summer is the downtime and they have more seasoned staff and freelancers with more experience, so then the flip side of the coin is that shooting for a newspaper or something that you are an intern yet held to the same standards of those around you at that organization is there are hundreds of other students and recent grads trying to grab those positions. This has been my summer for the past close to nine weeks. I have been trying to get an in with the freelance market, while also daily sending my cover letter, resume, and portfolio link to newspapers around the country. If it requires that I move and pack up to move to the east coast, south, midwest to gain the invaluable knowledge one of these papers can offer I will move in a heart beat. I am just trying to find myself and really see what I enjoy. The photos from this blog post are from the past two weeks. I would like to make it more of a week of pictures accompanied by my thoughts of the week but I have been a little behind recently. But here is some of the images I shot both as freelance and for my own blog and practice. I have been trying to shoot almost daily to get moments and find new connections in the Ventura community. 

July 7, 2015-
Yesterday I went to Los Angeles after hearing very last minute via Twitter that the FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions were headed to LA Live and the Staples Center. Although the event itself for many of us photojournalists is celebrity news and event coverage, I went to the event with the midset of getting something different and unique. These images for the blog are what you would see for a web gallery online for any news publication, but under my singles tab I added one photo from the day that I thought really qualified for worthy of being considered a “portfolio image.” The event began at 11am, but like anyone will tell you arrive early and stay late. So I was up at 5am drove to Los Angeles and arrived to the venue at 7:30am and waited with fans that had been in line since 4am. The amount of people didn’t feel like that much until around 10am when looking behind me there was a sea of people and I found out later that an estimated 10,000 people had showed up to show there support for the ladies and their accomplishment which was really great to hear. These photos that I got are just the four that I was most happy with from the close to thousand that I shot. I shot that much because of two camera bodies and also tried to find the perfect moment of crowd and soccer players as well as candid features that helped to show the event as a whole. In other news, I just recently discovered that the Dallas Cowboys will have their training camp a mere five miles from my house which will hopefully provide some good images, get to know the team, and if I am lucky enough to be working for the Dallas Morning News in the fall it will help to have some familiarity with their team.

June 23, 2015-
It has been a while since I have blogged about what is happening in my life but I thought I would share some news. First off, many people have been asking me why I am now trying to got to school and practice my skills on how to make drinks and eventually become certified as a bartender. The truth is, I am trying to live in Southern California and it is extremely expensive to live out here from gas to rent, food to general entertainment. I have cut down and am trying to remove for the most part my eating out habits that while I was at Brooks were way to often and wasting money that now I see could be used to pay back loans, gas, rent, utilities etc. Anyways, I decided to do bartending as it provided me with something new to learn, make new connections and of course help to make some money. Along with bartending, I have been recently hired for freelance work with the Ojai Valley News, Carpentiria Coastal View News, and Ventura County Star. It has been a lot of work to get my name out there, shoot and just continue to make images while trying to figure out my next step and where I am trying to go. I have been on the internship train for the past six or so months and have had no luck which is soul destroying but also forces me to realize that I need to produce stronger work to get those opportunities. Just when I was at my lowest point with thinking that no newspaper wanted my work and that I didn’t have any storytelling images, I found out I was admitted to the Eddie Adams Workshop Class of XXVIII for October this year. This news had me crying in the car back from Las Vegas as the joy, excitement, happiness and most of all and still today shock rode over me like a tidal wave. I still am trying to process the news and can’t quite comprehend it. It made me realize that I need to shoot a lot more, not just go out but really go out, make images, and learn about the people that are having their picture taken. I have been trying to get new angles, light, color, composition and really take the next steps to becoming a more proficient and competent visual storyteller. I have applied for several new internships in the fall including the Evansville Courier & Press, The Flint Michigan internship, and the one I talked to the current intern and who is also going to Eddie Adams with me Michael Reeves who is at The Dallas Morning News. I will be writing and posting more soon as I will be traveling to San Francisco for my first time in a week to celebrate the 22nd birthday, see my close friend Joey Najara and see the beautiful city has to offer.

May 1, 2015-
The life of a visual story-teller is never to have a break. Well, I at least gave myself a month of a “break” but right after I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Visual Journalism from Brooks Institute I went on a road trip with two of my best friends to explore some of America’s most incredible landscapes. Myself, Etienne and Milo got in Milo’s car and began the adventure by driving to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. The one thing that I didn’t have was a camera… It fell off the mono-pod three days before the trip and thus I went into the trip with the belief that I was there to be present and to enjoy the company of good friends. Of course, trying to convince myself of that was impossible as photography is my life so as soon as we got to the Grand Canyon I was upset I didn’t have a better tool to document the trip. However, we met up with two other amazing friends; Brandon and Gia and I was able to for most of the road trip use the Leica M that Brandon had with a 50mm f1.0. The trip was one of the most relaxing and needed things due to the amount of stress that college had placed on me for the past three years and then being able to get out and see new places, document them, and of course with the best of friends was more than I could as for. We also went to the Zion National Park and were able to do the famous Narrows walk that had us up to our knees in cold water, with the canyon walls going upwards of 5,000 feet. The hike was truly incredible and I was blown away by the sheer beauty that lies in the US. Etienne, Milo and I ended the road trip by going to see his family in Sacramento for the night and got to enjoy good company, food, a hot tub and the cutest little puppy in the world. It was the prefect end to an amazing time. When I got back in the evening, I was already packing back to go home, only this time I brought back Vedant, an awesome friend who is impulsive, spontaneous, and someone who I love to travel and adventure with (also his music choices are on point). I will be posting photos and more in-depth blog about our Washington fun as soon as I have the photos to support the writing.

April 20, 2015-

Life after graduation has been been extremely interesting. I remember being nervous three years ago next month from walking across a stage receive a high school diploma with a GPA of 3.78 and going to college. Last month, walking across the stage for the same reason only this time it was to be considered a college graduate, a college graduate with a 3.5 GPA, $138,000 of debt and a Bachelor of Science in Visual Journalism.

I was nervous to graduate but it wasn’t until I walked across the stage and was done that it all hit me. I was now alone, yes my parents bless their hearts were and still are helping me monetarily, emotionally, and driving me to succeed yet the talk we had a week ago brought it all into perspective. I was to find a job, have an income of at least $2,000 a month to live and work in California otherwise I would return back to my hometown of 86,000 people and figure out my next plan.

For those of you who are still in school, enjoy it. Education is vital and yes I understand that not everyone enjoys being in school but I wish someone had told me the harsh reality of being the typical college graduate student. More often than not graduates including myself are jobless, debt-filled and frantically running around for some form of work that is within their chosen field of study or any job of that matter that will allow them to stay afloat. I will emphasize again that I am extremely fortunate my parents continue to help me in every aspect of my life including this new transition. They give everything they can and I am very grateful that they are by my side yet it is terrifying to look to the future with some hope of what it may hold especially in my chosen career path.

I am twenty-one soon to be twenty-two years old with a degree in a field that is ever changing and that scares me more than anything else at the moment. Since I started my education up to this point, phones have increased their ability to take photos, social media gets news before the paper has a chance to begin the copy of text for the next days edition and there is a huge increase in what many refer to as “Citizen Journalism” The degree I received from Brooks Institute certifies that I understand the technical and creative use of visual storytelling through the lens yet has changed in the last five years because of the increase in technology that has become detrimental to newspapers and online publications around the world as the anyone with a smartphone or decent camera can shoot what was once reserved for photojournalists. This huge increase in last few years and the concept of citizen journalism is simple, anyone with any device that can record, type and shoot photos, audio and video is able to share their views and thoughts about what is happening around them. This idea and social media increase go hand and hand as social media becomes more ubiquitous so do those photos and videos that people share and thus why newspapers and their staff become more and more obsolete.  

So where do I go from being a student of learning for the past fifteen years to now part of the work force. I hope to learn to adjust to the times which are ever evolving and try to understand and adapt accordingly. For now, I will return to Southern California for a few months and I hope for longer to begin to make my footprint in the industry of visual storytelling yet the future is unknown and all I can hope for at this time is that I can continue to push forward as I always have and try to break through and let my voice be shown through the images that I will always produce.

 March 3, 2015-

Yesterday, waking up at 5am to get to Los Angeles, California to cover a protest made me realize that the life of a photojournalist is run on never sleeping or sleeping very minimal. Constantly having to document and cover breaking news to the public is informed visually what is happening is stressful, invigorating, energy sapping and yet my life and passion. This semester in college is my final one and as a traditional photojournalist path in the future I decided to focus on my two weaker links: Photo stories and covering general, spot and breaking news events, which brings me to my covering this protest in Los Angeles, California. The protest was my second in my short photojournalism career and within Brooks, the first looking back on it was a disaster but this one because of knowing the technical skills allowed me to focus more on the moments and people within my frame. The protest was to bring awareness to a homeless man named Africa who struggled with mental illness and was  shot dead by officers when he allegedly reached for the gun of one of several officers wrestling to the ground by his sidewalk tent. Amateur video of the controversial incident has been widely viewed over the internet on Sunday March 1 through various outlets mostly by means of Facebook and other forms of social media. The protest allowed me to really gain an insiders look to the issue and also the remain calm, collected and really tell the story without playing to one side or the other although my internal thoughts and feelings siding with those from Skid row due to the severity their living situation, cuts to the mental health care needs, and that both in recent months and last few years those of the African American race have been subjected to police brutality often without full explanation. As I shot the photos, I just tried to show as much as as I could with a single frame and to really make the viewer think about what they are looking at.