Herald Photographers' Favorite Photos 2018

2018: Year in Photographs

The Herald's photojournalists share what makes their favorite photos memorable.
Click on the photo above to launch the Year in Photographs presentation. See more feature photos here and the year's best sports photos here.

The Photograph: Ann Stenftenagel of St. Anthony pushes her shih tzu, Sporty, in a stroller while on her walk to her mother's home in St. Anthony on July 26. "I love to walk," Stenftenagel said. "I can walk him anywhere I want to. He can walk for a while and then when he gets tired, I can put him in here. Now, I don't have to leave him home when I walk." Herald photo by Nic Antaya.

Comments: I'm going to miss driving around Dubois County and finding surprising moments like this. We as photojournalists are sometimes tasked with finding a photograph to be published in the paper and stand on its own, without a story. I loved the freedom this provided and it gave me an opportunity to drive around and become familiar with my surroundings while also meeting my neighbors in the community. This image is one of many examples that you never really know what you might find while out and about. I will forever have a warm place in my heart for Dubois County.

The Photograph: Dustin Bleemel, 6, of Jasper, is a picky eater and will often fill up on juice or milk. His father, Leroy, believes it’s because Dustin didn’t get the bottle enough as an infant. “I worry that he won’t get the proper nutrition,” Leroy said as Dustin collapsed on the floor instead of eating his dinner on March 14. Herald photo by Brittney Lohmiller.

Comments: Leroy and Donna Bleemel are remarkable people. Throughout their marriage, the couple cared for children in foster care for 25 years. Their capacity for love never diminished, and when Dustin was 2 years old, the Bleemels adopted him despite being in their 60s. I was continually impressed with what seemed like their never-ending patience. Leroy cooked supper, then he and Donna would spend the remainder of the meal trying various ways to get Dustin to eat. They never raised their voices or got angry with Dustin, even when he fell to the floor and decided to make carpet angels instead of eating his chicken and broccoli. It’s a small intimate family moment that I think could be witnessed anywhere across the country, but not necessarily one that most families want a newspaper photographer there to see. That’s really the beauty of not just our job, but of Dubois County. Members of the community are endlessly generous and patient with Herald photographers, much like parents are with their picky-eater children.

The Photograph: With her nails painted like baseballs, Ellie Bardwell, 11, of Huntingburg, collects signatures from the Southridge baseball team during its state championship game send-off at League Stadium in Huntingburg on June 15. Herald photo by Marlena Sloss.

Comments: One challenge we face as photographers is paying attention to everything around us, from the overall scene down to the smallest details of an event, such as fingernails painted like baseballs. As I photographed the Southridge Raiders getting on the bus for the state championship game, Ellie Bardwell stood at the door of the bus waiting to get signatures. I had photographed Ellie, a hardcore Raider fan, at many Southridge games that year. I loved not only the painted nails, but the way she held the baseball in anticipation — the language of her hands communicates what the moment meant to her.

The photograph: To get a better view of the beef show, Bo Weyer, 5, left, Maddix Small, 11, Chloe Hickerson, 6, Kiera Lindauer, 7, all of Ferdinand, and Shelby Steckler, 8, of St. Henry, stand on the ledge above Kiera’s dairy heifer, Sally, during the Dubois County 4-H Fair in Bretzville on July 18. Herald photo by Sarah Ann Jump.

Comments: Just like the 4-H’ers, I spend all year looking forward to the Dubois County 4-H Fair. I’m always impressed with how responsible the kids are in handling their thousand-pound cattle or stubborn hogs. I’m equally impressed with all the creative ways 4-H’ers pass the time during long days in the barns. To me, this photo isn’t about one specific person, but rather evokes the feeling of the fair. It’s about friends coming together to celebrate their common connection to agriculture.

The Photograph: Racheal Burris of Celestine colors Shawn Correll’s hair in the hair studio her father built in his basement, while her son, Marshall, 3, plays on March 28. Racheal cuts hair and also babysits children from her home. “I usually reserve Saturday and Sunday for doing hair so I don’t have to bring the boys along,” Racheal said. “But I can fit people in during the week as long as it’s after I get the kids off the bus.” Herald photo by Brittney Lohmiller.

Comments: My mother is one of the hardest working persons I know. I remember growing up and taking for granted the time and effort she put into our family. So for this past Mother’s Day I wanted to work on a Saturday feature about moms and the delicate balancing acts they manage every day. Racheal not only cares for her two sons, but also watches other children and squeezes in last-minute hair appointments for clients. For me, the photo of Racheal cutting hair while her son Marshall plays is a perfect example of how moms are the best multitaskers in the world.

The Photograph: The Jasper girls basketball team celebrates after head coach Jessica Mehringer announced that the team had the following day off from practice after the game against Southridge in Jasper on Nov. 8. Jasper defeated Southridge 52-31. Herald photo by Nic Antaya.

Comments: Photographing sports teams for The Herald has been an amazing experience for me. With five teams in our coverage area, I’ve come to know each team and their quirks. In situations like this photograph, I’m cheering in my head. It’s exciting and you personally feel the energy because you’re right there in it. In times where the moment occurs in a much more difficult time of the season, such as losing a playoff game, I have felt sadness myself. It’s tough seeing the players you’ve come to know throughout the season and photographing them experiencing a difficult stage in their life. Though it’s painful, I think it’s important to capture these moments. Life is made up of highs and lows. Without the lows, we wouldn’t understand how rewarding the highs are. It’s all about balance. Overall, it has been a privilege to be with each team in their intimate moments.

The Photograph: Marge Stenftenagel of Maltersville loves to sit by the pond, where she and her late husband, Si, spent the most time together. She now spends time there with her new companions: goldfish, a cat and a dog, as she did on June 21. Herald photo by Marlena Sloss.

Comments: This image is from the Saturday feature on Marge Stenftenagel, The Art of Getting By. The first time I spoke with Marge on the phone, she told me about her fish pond, the trees surrounding it and the stone bench she sits on while she talks to her fish. I immediately envisioned the photograph I wanted to make. As a photographer, it can be helpful to visualize images we could take in a situation. But if we have an idea too firmly in our heads, it can hinder us from seeing other photo opportunities. I photographed Marge feeding her fish several times from different angles as I worked on the story. In the end, this was my favorite; the moment with her cat in the afternoon light captures some of the happiness she is finding as she moves forward in life.

The photograph: Karen and Ed Young share a kiss at their home in Jasper on Feb. 5. “She still shows a lot of love,” Ed said about his wife with advanced dementia. “She likes to hold hands a lot. She likes to be close and loved.” Among Karen’s most frequently used phrases are “kiss me” and “I love you.” Herald photo by Sarah Ann Jump.

Comments: By welcoming a photographer and writer into their lives, the Youngs shared with the whole community an honest look at life with dementia. Witnessing the love of Ed and Karen was such a humbling experience. Ed isn’t just Karen’s caregiver — he’s her husband in sickness and in health. After the story published, Ed wrote me a note that said: “You have a special gift for listening with your heart.” That is what community journalism is all about. Listening. Connecting. Sharing.


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