Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year End Favorites

It's that time of the year-- where we go through all we've done and look to see if there's anything worthwhile in those hundreds of folders. The Herald asked us to choose two pictures that have some kind of significance, and below are the two I chose. There are many more that I might include, but I learned something important from each of these experiences. Oh, and, drum roll . . . I'm realizing a dream this summer with an internship at The Dallas Morning News. From my first day at Mizzou, I hoped that someday I'd get a chance to work at a paper that respects the still image, and elevates storytelling through multimedia. I never imagined that I'd actually get a chance to work in Dallas. Shocked. Way excited. What a tremendous year.

The photograph: Exhausted and elated after a win over Jasper in the sectional volleyball match at Heritage Hills High School, Southridge Raider Jordan Reese collapsed on the locker room floor.

Comments: Pictures of victory and defeat are a big part of covering sports, and it is often difficult to find new ways of photographing the intensity of emotions during playoffs. The excitement of winning peaks at the final buzzer, and we as photographers are always looking to capture that essential moment of elation. After making a series of pictures of winning teams this fall, I wanted to find a new way of communicating the range of emotions players feel after a big game. I wanted to catch a team in a private moment of celebration, in the locker room after winning. The Southridge Girls Volleyball team was filled with frenetic energy after their win against Heritage Hills, and no team member more so than Jordan Reese, who sprinted up the bleachers and back down again to hug friends and family after their win against the Patriots. After all the congratulations were shared and photos taken, the team bounded into the locker room and huddled together, chanting their school's fight song and leaping into the air with ebullition. Overwhelmed by the excitement, Reese collapsed on the floor in a moment of pure joy and exhaustion. Standing on one of the benches, I was able to capture a moment that spoke to the sweetness of victory, a feeling that was certainly shared by all of Reese's teammates.

The photograph: As the judges deliberated whose ankles were the skinniest, Corey Goeppner, 3, of Stendal peeked out from under the curtain to see what was going on at the Zoar Mosquito Fest Skinny Legs contest in Zoar, Indiana.

Comments: During the first months of my internship at the Herald, every weekend found me driving down a new county road, getting lost on the way to a town festival. The Zoar Mosquito Festival was one of my favorites, not least because I learned a valuable lesson regarding the importance of patience and perseverance. Like so many July days, it was hot and humid. After a few servings of homemade ice cream and some successful pictures of the egg toss, I decided to climb back into my air-conditioned car and get back to the office, though I knew I'd be missing one of the highlights of the day, the Skinny Legs Contest. Nearly to Huntingburg, I got a nagging feeling that I was missing out on what might be a great picture. I turned the car around and headed back to Zoar. I waited for an hour while the stage was set, and then framed a shot with the first four contestants. Though the crowd was enthusiastic, it was going to be tough to make a picture that captured the unique and playful tradition of the competition. How lucky I was that Corey Goeppner's curiosity got the best of him, and he peeked out from behind the curtain to see what was taking the judges so long. Had I not driven back to Zoar, I would have missed this wonderful moment. Some of the best pictures come from watching and waiting patiently for moments to unfold.


Anjali Pinto said...

Congratulations! That is outstanding.

amelia phillips hale said...

Congrats on your internship! These 2 photographs are beautiful moments. Your ability to capture the wonderful slices of life is inspiring. Keep up the great work, looking forward to seeing it!

amelia phillips hale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeronimo Nisa said...

You're right.
I wish I had more patience...

Congratulations on the DMN gig and happy 2009!

andrei said...

Wow! Dallas Morning News!!!! Congratulations!