Monday, February 28, 2011

MPPA 2010: Thanks for the memories

Baseball Fight

An umpire attempts to separate Homer's Mitch Pease, left, whose arms are wrapped around the head of Concord's Mike Kaplinski at the beginning of a fight at third base. Both benches nearly cleared out to join their teammates, resulting in both teams forfeiting the Division 4 district championship game.

An amazing weekend with some of the best friends anyone could ask for — yes, it's that time of year. It was the annual Michigan Press Photographers Association spring conference. Three judges gathered from around the U.S. to pick the top Michigan photos, photogs and portfolios. I am happy to say I will be working closely with one of those judges in July.

So, before I get to me, let's talk about CMU. We swept College Photographer of the Year for the second year in a row. Fire up Chips! And we had a great showing in the singles and portfolio categories as a whole. Click here to see all the entries.

As for me, I am very pleased, and can say putting in the effort non-stop this summer and year-round really paid off. The following are my results from the weekends judging:

1st Place Sports Portfolio
2nd Place College Photographer of the Year
3rd Place Sports Picture Story
3rd Place Sports Action (See photo above)

(Click the links above to see photos.)

I am incredibly blessed. My friends push me to become a better photographer every day. And don't worry, I push back. Neil Blake, Libby March (First Place CPOY), Sean Proctor (Honorable Mention CPOY) and Sara Winkler — I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for your constant feedback and friendship. You are my influence, and I love you all. Kent Miller and Ryan Wood are two amazing professors at CMU, and both have helped me to get to where I am today in a major way. The Jackson crew is the reason any of this happened for me: J. Scott Park, Nick Dentamaro and Katie Rausch, you all make my life. Literally, you guided me this summer. It was the best summer I could have ever asked to shoot. Great assignments. Great people. And NASCAR. Hah. Last (BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST), the Midland boys. Nathan Morgan, Nick King and Thomas Simonetti. Dudes, you rock! Thanks for the portfolio editing help. Thanks for the constant support. You seriously are inspirational.

2011 is shaping up to be one helluva year, and we're only two months in. Earlier this month, I was named the second place recipient in the Hearst Photojournalism Competition for News/Sports. The above photo was also one of four in my entry. I am pleased to announce this allows me the opportunity to submit a portfolio to have the chance to compete at the 51st national competition in San Francisco, Calif.

MPPA banquet group shot

Thanks to everyone. This photo is the CMU crowd (Photo by J. Kyle Keener). Great company. Great people. Hire them, and you won't regret it. Sorry for the long post. I just love photojournalism and all of my photojournalism friends. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

FEATURE: Prayer on MLK Day

Holiday Essay 2 -- MLK

Central Michigan University sophomore Jalese Johnson of Oakland Park closes her eyes while she prays during a peace vigil after a two-mile march commemorating the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 17 on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Johnson was one of about 400 people who braved the 21-degree temperature to remember King's message. "For me, it's not just dwelling on the past. The slavery, the racism — we don't use this day to mourn the torn pieces in our history, but instead stand up for change," she said. "That's what Dr. King wanted us to do. Not hate, but fight for the rights we all deserve. There's not a day that goes by I don't think about his message. He was a visionary. We all owe him a great amount of gratitude, and this one day will always his memory will always live, playing out in our hearts."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

DIPTYCH: Bear girl portrait/Jarod Trice sports action

Verticals are hard to view on this blog. So, though these don't necessarily have anything in common (except that they published in Central Michigan Life), I present a portrait and a sports action photo.

Diptych for blog

(Left) Lakota Stevenson, 8, stands outside during recess on Feb. 14 at Ganiard Elementary School. "I love my bear hat," she said. "It keeps me warm in the winter."

(Right) Junior heavyweight Jarod Trice lifts Eastern Michigan's Wes Schroeder during the last match Thursday night at McGuirk Arena. Trice, ranked No. 2 in the nation, won by a 2-0 decision to improve to a 22-3 overall season record.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

PORTRAIT: Ricardo White


Here is a portion of a story written by friend and fellow CM Lifer Randi Shaffer, who reported the story on how being black on campus can take some students outside of their comfort zones. Read the entire story.

As president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at CMU registered student organization, Detroit junior Ricardo White said he doesn’t rely on his skin color to inspire his involvement in the group.

“We’re trying to advance everyone,” he said. “(We’re) trying to get rid of all discrimination. I’m saying it’s the advancement of all people.”

White said NAACP works with other registered student organizations on campus that are not traditionally black to hold educational and political panel discussions.

“Basically on campus we’re just trying to show that we’re here,” he said.

White said he hasn’t faced many issues because of his skin color.

“You get people that look at you funny sometimes, but a majority of times I don’t have an issue,” he said. “You still get looks from time to time. Nothing that’s a big racial issue, just moments you can tell where people aren’t comfortable with you being black around them.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FEATURE: Snow hill climber


Five-year-old Ally Barnes of Mount Pleasant crawls up the sledding hill Tuesday evening at Mission Creek Woodland Park, 1458 N. Harris Street. She went sledding with her mother Jessica Barnes, a CMU alumna, and the duo were on the hillside for about an hour. "It was kind of a surprise for (her)," said Jessica Barnes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

FEATURE: Valentine's Day

Holiday Essay 3 -- Valentine's Day 02

Emma George-Griffin, 8, peers from behind a brown paper bag for classmates to deliver valentines and candy Monday during a third grade class Valentine's Day party at Ganiard Elementary School. "Love is an expression of how someone feels about you," she said. "When I get hugs, I know I am loved."

Holiday Essay 3 -- Valentine's Day 01

Nine-year-old Hannah Shaner, third-grader at Ganiard Elementary School, smiles as she reads a valentine from a classmate she received on Monday. "Love means you don't break hearts. Love means you get kiss love, hug love, or other love," she said. "When you love people, you care for them and marry them until you die together."