Behind The PicturesDecember 27, 2019
Click on the photo above to launch a special web presentation with the best Herald photos of 2019.
Herald photojournalists reflect on their most memorable photos from the past year.
The Photograph: Joyce Martin, 82, of Hillham, pets Jax the horse at Freedom Reins Therapeutic Riding Center in Jasper on April 18. Suffering from multiple sclerosis and arthritis, Martin was placed on hospice. Her last wish was to ride a horse again after growing up riding them. Joyce died on Sept. 11. Herald photo by Traci Westcott.
Comments: As a photojournalist, I have the honor to share the most precious moments of people’s lives. Behind the lens, I share the joy, laughter, sadness and all other emotions, alongside those I am photographing. To me, the photos I take are just as important as the conversations I have with whomever I photograph. This photo of Joyce is one of the many times I walked away with more appreciation and perspective on my own life after experiencing this moment with her.
The Photograph: Alejandro Miranda, 8, left, Katherine Miranda, 10, Karla Athziri Martinez, 11, and Jorge Montufar Rosales Alex, 10, play together near their homes in Jasper on May 29. Herald photo by Daniel Vasta.
Comments: My greatest joy in this profession comes from the connections that can be made with those I photograph. My time at The Herald was filled with beautifully unexpected encounters, and most of my favorite images came from successfully establishing trust with those I photographed. An especially meaningful, yet simplistic experience came when visiting a community on the outskirts of Jasper where I met this group of children who welcomed me to follow along. While trekking up and down a stream and through the brush, the kids couldn’t believe there was anything worth putting in the paper. I assured them they were just as deserving of the front page as anything else. We are all a part of the same community, and no matter what corner of the county you live in, you deserve to have the spotlight, too. The image made the front page on the morning of my birthday. Having the day off, I grabbed several copies of the paper to bring to the kids. Upon arrival, I ran into Alejandro, who happily helped me deliver the papers to all his friends and their families. It was my first birthday away from home, but it didn’t feel that way thanks to the connections we shared.
The Photograph: Northeast Dubois High School head volleyball coach Misty Smith, left, and the team surprise long-time fan Mary Lou Zehr with a signed volleyball at St. Charles Senior Living Community in Jasper on Sept. 27. Zehr had attended Jeeps volleyball games for nearly 40 years, but missed this season due to an injury. “I’ll be looking at these all night,” Zehr said. “I’m very proud. I love them. They’ve been a big part of my life.” Herald photo by Kaiti Sullivan.
Comments: The way this community looks out for each other is unlike any community I have ever been a part of. This photo is a perfect example of the kind, benevolent people who make up Dubois County. When the Jeeps volleyball team noticed Mary Lou was missing at their games, they didn’t just ask where she was. Instead, the entire team traveled to St. Charles to surprise her while she recovered from an injury. The expression on Mary Lou’s face when the team walked in showed how much that meant to her.
The Photograph: Greg Bauer of Dubois hugs his son, Reece, after Reece won his No. 1 singles match in the Northeast Dubois boys tennis sectional in Loogootee on Oct. 3. The Jeeps lost 3-2. “I’m so proud of him,” Greg said. “He’s just one of those athletes that never quits.” Herald photo by Marlena Sloss.
Comments: As photographers, we are always looking for moments and reactions that tell the story of the game outside of the action. At the boys tennis sectional after Reece’s match, there were many tearful faces as Reece made his way over to his family. I made this picture of Reece, emotional after the match, hugging his father Greg. I waited for the right moment to talk to Greg, who, choking up, was kind enough to answer my questions and told me how he felt in that moment. This photograph was printed in the newspaper, and then I saw Greg again the following week at the tennis regional. Greg, somewhat jokingly, told me he had gotten many comments about the photograph. Then in a more serious tone, told me he really appreciated it. He mentioned the body language in the photo and how it told the story, and thanked me for all the work The Herald does. This feedback meant everything to me; at The Herald we really aspire to make photographs that resonate with readers. It is the highest compliment to hear that the people in the photographs appreciate what we do. Thank you Greg, Dubois and all of Dubois County for allowing us to photograph moments like these.
The Photograph: 2018 Dubois County 4-H Fair Queen Melanie Roberts, center, shows Maggie Stemle, 4, of Ireland, left, Kaylee Hopf, 6, of Duff, Kate Kelly, 8, of Jasper, and Lilly Wagner, 6, of Duff, different ways to sit like a princess at the Clover Pavilion at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Jan. 9. Herald photo by Brittney Lohmiller.
Comments: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received the Princess Night assignment. I pictured tiaras and curtsies, hoping there would be a good opportunity to make some fun photographs of the girls being silly. I did make some frames that incorporated that but, I preferred the one of the girls all seated together. I love Maggie’s seriousness and focus; she wanted to perfectly emulate Melanie. All of the girls really looked up to Melanie and did their very best to follow her instructions. During my time at The Herald, in my photographs and in the other photographers’ pictures, you could see the younger generations looking up to their older peers. Kids at basketball games hoping to get autographs from the high school players, the younger brothers or sisters who help out with marching band or young 4-Hers getting help preparing their animals to show. The teenagers are elevated to a rock-star-like status, but they also take that role seriously and mentor along the way.
The Photograph: Faith Brawley kisses her granddaughter, Quinn King, 3, as Gema King, 4, talks to Faith’s daughter, Becca King, an inmate at the Dubois County Security Center in Jasper. Becca was later sentenced to prison on drug-related charges and participated in a program to treat her addiction. Faith, a recovering drug addict, acknowledges that there is a genetic factor in addiction that her granddaughters will have to face and that they will struggle to break the cycle if their parents are unable to stay clean. “I hate that,” Faith said. “My addiction — even though it has come to an end — what it did to their mother caused her to pick who she picked, caused her to live the way she lives and it causes her cycle to continue and it causes them to, more than likely, be involved in the cycle of addiction themselves.” Below: Gema, 5, left, and Becca laugh as Faith tickles Quinn, 4, as the family gathers for holiday photos in Evansville on Dec. 15. Herald photos by Sarah Ann Jump.
Comments: The first time I met Faith, I walked to her house for our initial interview. She was my neighbor, yet I never knew what an incredible story she had. I remember thinking about how grateful I was that this job allows me to get to know my neighbors on such a personal level. Faith overcame her drug addiction and was helping others do the same. For the Saturday Feature that published in January, I was able to witness Faith complete her probation, lead a program at the county jail and pursue her associate degree in social work. But one of the most impactful moments with Faith was seeing her visit her daughter in jail. The whole family tried to make it fun for Quinn and Gema, but Faith knew the many layers of that moment and the toll her addiction had taken on her family.
In the time since the two photos above were taken, Faith and her husband have moved to Evansville and live near her daughter’s family. Faith is now attending the University of Southern Indiana on an accelerated track to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, where she continues to make the dean’s list. She said she is excited to spend Christmas with her daughter without the glass between them. “One thing that hasn’t changed is that I still have God to thank for it all,” Faith said.
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