Photos of the Year: Sports

Again, in no particular order, my favorite sports images from this past year...


Photos of the year 2010

It has been a whirlwind year for me, going by minute by minute yet almost in a blink of an eye. January will mark my one year anniversary at the Beacon-News here in Aurora, Ill and I still don't believe it is real.
Every week there seems to be another dooms-dayer and nay-sayer going on about the death of journalism, "Every photo has been taken!" they say, or, "It's just not what it used to be." I hear these people, and yes I understand, but I have not taken every photo, this class of photographers may not be like what they used to be, but I believe that is a good thing. We were told from the start this is a dying trade, yet for some reason we went on with a chip on our shoulder to not only prove them wrong, but to be even better.
Everyday seemed to bring another paper's demise, yet we kept shooting. "Why do you want to get into this business anyway?" Is a question I hear way to much, followed closely by, "What got you into photography?" For me the answer is the same: I love taking pictures. Pictures of people, pictures of dogs, pictures of brides, pictures of bugs, pictures of places, pictures of nothing, I don't care, I just love taking pictures. That is why I got into this business and that is why I will never stop, no matter how "dead" journalism is.
Just as any job begins to become monotonous, I began to take for granted the gift I had at my feet every day. If I viewed it as the daily grind that's what it would become, but we have the greatest job in the world. Because of a small black box with some glass attached to it, people will open their arms and let us into their lives as if we are family to witness some of the best or worst moments they experience. Go outside, find a park or street and just walk around, take a few photos and your now feature hunting! "You get paid for this!?" I'm often asked, to which I reply, "Heck ya!" not much, but heck ya anyway!
Maybe it's because I'm new to the game, but if that's the case then I don't care. If becoming more seasoned means being more jaded then I choose to remain as green as they come. Bring on your journalism death threats and depressing outlooks; there is a whole hungry generation ready to fight back.

So with that here are my favorite images from this past year in no particular order. As always, comments and criticisms are welcome!


I wanted to share a few more from the time that I had spent with Therese and the Solgos family. They were the kind of people that made you want to be a better person, just by being around them. Their kindness and sincerity never ceased to amaze me, but what interested me the most, was watching as Therese took in her new and vastly different surroundings.
Everything around her was completely foreign, from the snow to the bathrooms, even learning how to drink from a straw. The sensory overload must be intense, and for someone who is constantly trying to look at the world from a different perspective, it was a learning experience also.



Busy Body

As Christmas approached two amazing stories fell into my lap. I have been wanting to really work on my multimedia skills, so my focus last week was on producing a piece on each of these stories. They both were more than deserving of it, and I really wanted to see if I could even pull off two multimedia projects in less than a week.
Below are the two finished projects, the first is more of an introduction to the famliy as I am continuing to follow them as their story grows and the second is just a fun little feature for the holidays. Comments, Critiques and ridicule are always welcome!

The Solgos family last week welcomed 10 year old Therese into their lives. She grew up in West Africa and has a heart defect similar to what the Solgos' natural born son has. Her first week here was a whirlwind as she experienced snow and sledding for the first time and made her first trip to the hospital to diagnose her heart problem.
Look for more on this amazing family in the coming months.

For most families, Christmas mornings means presents packed under a tree, but for some families who have fallen on hard times this year may be a little different. One family in Naperville set out to change that. They wanted to remain anonymous for the story, but I couldn't pass up the chance to spend some time with them as they delivered Christmas to those that needed it. Everyday for the week leading up to Christmas, they drop off presents at a families home, ring the doorbell and run. It's been over 10 years since they started after they had it happen to them and knew they had to pass it forward.


Happy Christmas


Foggy nights


White Out

As I brush the dust of the last post, I feel like I should apologize to the few actual viewers of this blog for the lack of posts. A lot has been happening lately, but expect posting to resume normally in a few days with lots of updates.
Until then, go sledding.



Eila suffers from grand mal seizures and uses the pain she feels as inspiration for her artwork. After snapping away for an hour or so, the photos just were doing it for me. I messed around for a little bit with multiple exposures and liked this one the best.


Fighting Chance

A few that didn't make it into the final video or paper edit in no particular order:



I've had a request or two to see some PDF's from the paper so I thought I would share how the MMA fighters story ran. We had some awkward space to work with and more than a few ad kills at the last minute, but here is how the print looked.

Our planning session....

All that, believe it or not, translates into the final product:

I will post a few that didn't make print over the next day or so.



Members of East Aurora's J.R.O.T.C. pack up after presenting the colors to a room full of dignitaries and Pearl Harbor survivors in Aurora.
Shot by the hip:


When the Gloves Come Off



I went through an old take from a basketball game earlier this year.
I skipped over this one because it was out of focus, but this time I couldn't pass it up.


Alone at Sea

Students reenact the pilgrims maiden voyage to the new world while some would rather sail alone.


Early bird

I awoke from my food coma early this morning to grab some early shoppers at one of the local malls.
The inside mall won't let us shoot in there, so while the thermometer was barley cracking 15 degrees I ducked in and out of stores at the outdoor mall trying to stay warm and not get beaten with a Coach bag for taking someone's photo at 5:30 in the morning.


Football POY

Having shot Marmion's football team a few times this year I was not surprised to learn that Running back/Linebacker T.J. Lally was named this years Football player of the year. The guy is incredible, leading the team in both tackles with 79 and rushing yards with over 1200.
He still hasn't committed to a school for next year, but I have no doubt he will get picked up pretty quickly.


Bleacher Bums




Well, my "little" sister turned the big Two Zero yesterday which means it was the big golden birthday. The whole gang came over to help celebrate the occasion.
Here she sits where she is most comfortable... right in the middle of the action.

One of the newer additions to the fam, Ayden, sits in Nana's lap and prepares to dive into a piece of cake the size of his head.

Like most of the people close to me, Julie has become one of my unsuspecting and usually unwilling models throughout the years. Check out a few of my favorites HERE and HERE.
Congrats Jules!