I've been a staff photographer at the Lawrence Journal-World since the summer of 2005. My love for photojournalism was cultivated in college with long hours spent at the University Daily Kansan. Fresh out of school I spent a year as a contract photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before taking a job as a staffer for the Topeka Capital Journal where I spent the next three years.
Although I primarily work with still photography, my duties at the JW include covering news, features and sports with the use of still images, video and audio clips. A few highlights from the last few years have been covering the 2008 NCAA championship run as well as the Orange Bowl victory.
I feel fortunate to work with such a knowledgeable and hard-working staff.
Recently, editors at the Lawrence Journal-World approached the photo department about incorporating video and still photographs shot from a drone into our reportage. Initially, the idea was met with some hesitation, in part because of the potential costs. But speaking at least for myself, I also was a bit nervous about crashing the thing and getting blamed for trashing a piece of expensive equipment.
If my calculations are correct, Kansas University men’s basketball opponents are more or less good for about three to four court-stormings a season. I’ve learned a few things about how to protect myself and how to convey the gravity of the moment without getting trampled.
When Journal-World photo chief Mike Yoder told me that we had been offered a position in President Barack Obama’s press pool during his Jan. 22 visit to Lawrence, I believe I channeled Keanu Reeves when I responded, “Whooooooooaaaaa.”
Plenty of my photographer colleagues believe that basketball sits at the top of the list among the easiest sports to cover. Often the reasons they cite are that it’s played on a relatively small court and also for the predictability of the action’s direction.
Looking through images I’ve made during 359 games has taught me a lesson about being somewhat selective while shooting, but I also learned a little about the importance of meticulous archiving practices.
A defenseless feeling creeps over me when I get too far away from my camera gear for too long.
Chimping is the aptly named industry term for when a photographer takes a picture and immediately refers to the LCD screen on his or her digital camera for the instant gratification that only it could provide.
It always seems as though referees pass in front of the photographers right when players like Ben McLemore are milliseconds away from completely “posterizing” a helpless defender. The result is a view of a tremendous play obscured behind the backside of the game official.
I’ve talked before about visual style and how each Journal-World photographer gravitates toward creating a particular look in the photos we create.
Several readers have commented to me before that they can often pick with a great success rate which Journal-World photographer shot a particular photo on a given day without looking at the credit.