Favorite Photos of 2012

Photos by Herald photographers

Today we are reprinting Herald photojournalists’ favorite pictures from 2012. Too, each photographer has written a few paragraphs about the photo and why he or she picked it. More favorite Local News and Sports photographs from 2012 can be found here and here.


The Photograph: High school friends of Lance Cpl. Alec Terwiske, including Logan Ingle, left, Lance Cpl. Tyler Lampert, Lance Cpl. Ben Knies and Lance Cpl. Corey Freyberger, shared hugs following Alec’s funeral Sept. 14 at St. Celestine Catholic Church in Celestine. Alec, a 21-year-old Dubois resident, died Sept. 3 while serving in Afghanistan. Photograph by Dave Weatherwax/The Herald.

Comments: Prior to Terwiske’s death, I had helped cover the tragic homecomings and funerals of five other military servicemen. Experience would suggest that it gets easier with each subsequent funeral, but the reality of the situation in my experience is that it does not. In fact, in the case of Alec, it was many times more difficult.
This was the first time I was the photographer responsible for dealing with the family of the deceased from the very beginning. It helped that I had met Alec’s mother, Sandy, while working on a Saturday feature about the Marine Family Support Group, of which she was a member. But upon her son’s death, I really struggled to try to justify asking her for permission to be present with my camera to document such an awful time in her and the family’s life. But Sandy was so gracious and reassuring throughout the two weeks I spent documenting the return of Alec’s body, his funeral and the countywide support for the fallen Marine.
It was overwhelming to witness the support this community displayed for Alec and his family. While waiting for the Purple Heart ceremony to begin on the porch of Sandy’s Dubois home, I chatted with one of the Marines present from Fort Knox, Ky. I commented to him that he probably was used to seeing a community react and come together like this. His response surprised me a bit. Despite burying Marines in cities much, much larger than Dubois, he said he had never seen support from the community like he had here.
As tough as it was, I’m so very grateful that I had a chance to honor Alec’s sacrifice through the photographs that documented his homecoming and funeral and the outpouring of community support he received.

The Photograph: Having been through multiple prosthetic legs since a portion of his was amputated in 2010, Levi Leffert of St. Meinrad uses one of his older ones as his swimming leg. This photograph was published Aug. 4 in a Saturday feature story about Levi, 18, and a lawn mower accident that occurred when he was 5. Photograph by Dave Weatherwax/The Herald.

Comments: When people find out that I’m from Michigan, it’s inevitable that I get asked, “How did you end up down here?” For myself and others in the journalism industry, the answer is obvious and simple: The Herald. I could list many reasons why that is, but for the purposes of this, The Herald’s unique dedication to devoting ink and space to telling stories about this community and individuals like Levi through the Saturday feature is a large part of why I am here.
If it weren’t for the Saturday feature, I probably wouldn’t have met Levi — and possibly our readers wouldn’t have heard his story. This would be a shame because Levi’s story is so inspirational. We all face challenges and trials throughout our lives. Some are more challenging than others. But it’s not the trials that define us as a person; it’s how we respond to and overcome them. Levi is such a shining example of that. Not only has he not let a terrible experience take control of his life, but he has taken control of it and made the best of it and is sharing with others how they can be triumphant in the face of their own challenges. It was an honor to be able to share Levi’s story this past year, and he truly inspired me.

The Photograph: Northeast Dubois’ Emily Lueken, right, was comforted by Taylor Borden while Mariah Seng, back left, was comforted by Nicole Dodd after the girls basketball team was defeated 64-54 by Canterbury in the Class 1A state championship game at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute on March 5. Photograph by Krista Hall/The Herald.

Comments: This photo represents how I felt about leaving The Herald. In March, I took a job in the communications department at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, and the move was bittersweet. The Herald was my first job out of college. While at The Herald I made some lasting friendships and grew tremendously as a photographer and as a person. I imagine the girls on the Northeast Dubois basketball team had a similar experience as they went through their basketball season that ended with a runner-up state title.
The state championship game was one of the last assignments I had before starting my new job. I had been following the team since the start of sectionals and at that point I was familiar with the team’s routine and the girls’ personalities. I knew that the girls would sing in the locker room at the top of their lungs before the game because it helped calm their nerves and I knew that the girls took turns saying a prayer before heading out to the court.
I felt like they had accepted me as a member of the team and they let me in during a very important time in their lives. That is one of things I will always cherish about being a photojournalist for The Herald: that people open up and let a stranger with a camera in to capture the important moments in their lives.

The Photograph: Cherie Boehman of St. Meinrad held her goddaughter, Emma Dilger of Ferdinand, during the baptism for the Dilger quadruplets at Holy Family Catholic Church in Jasper on May 20. Photograph by Rachel Mummey/The Herald.

Comments: I met Cherie while working on a Saturday feature about the Dilger quadruplets that was published Nov. 24. This photograph was not included in the publication of the story. The quads’ parents, Chris and Shauna, needed a lot of help early on caring for four babies and a preschooler. Cherie, Shauna’s sister, was one of the quads’ primary caregivers, so I saw her frequently at the Dilger home and at family functions. Every time I saw her, she had a smile on her face and you could tell she had nothing but love in her heart for the people around her.
It came as quite a shock to many when Cherie, 43, unexpectedly died Nov. 16, just one day after the quads’ first birthday and two days before a big birthday party that was scheduled. I had seen her just the day before.
Family members say Cherie shared a special bond with Emma. They share the same middle name, Renee. For me, this image speaks to that special bond. It speaks to the importance of family and the value of relationships. Cherie was a staple in the quadruplets’ life through their first year. It’s disheartening to think that they may not remember her.
Part of what we do as photographers is to bear witness to events in the community and moments in people’s lives. We never know where or when those photographs will surface, and what meaning they may come to have over time. It is through the permanence of the still photograph that we can honor and cherish Cherie’s existence in this moment, and remember her. My heart goes out to her family as they find their way through this tragedy.

The Photograph: Killian Welp, 10, Cami Gerber, 14, and Killian’s sister Kerrigan, 12, all of Jasper, held on for dear life while riding on the Tempest at the midway during the Dubois County 4-H Fair on July 17. Photograph by Rachel Mummey/The Herald.

Comments: Honestly, if I wasn’t a photographer, my life would be pretty boring. Sure, it gets hot, and cold, and at times wet and muddy. Sure, I wear out the knees in my jeans quicker than most. Sure, sometimes it feels like I’m carrying more camera equipment than I weigh. But honestly, without it, I’m not sure I would know what to do with myself. I live vicariously through the people I photograph, and I love it.
So when photographing at the 4-H fair this past summer — my first in Dubois County — and some girls invited me to ride along with them on some contraption called the Tempest, I said sure. Much of photography is about experience and how an image can make you feel. I love this photograph because it reminds me what it’s like to laugh so hard your stomach aches — which is exactly how my stomach felt after the second time I rode the Tempest with these girls.

The Photograph: Nurse’s aide Estela Fernandez of Dubois, left, danced in the hallway of Brookside Village Senior Living Community with resident Cyrilla Schlachter on Jan. 25 while the band The Gang played at the Jasper nursing home for a gathering of area members of the Red Hat Society. Schlachter had come out from her room at the residence to listen to the music when Fernandez asked her to dance. Photograph by Brooke Stevens/The Herald.

Comments: While I was photographing a Red Hat Society event at Brookside, an employee tapped me on the shoulder and pointed toward Cyrilla lingering in the hallway to hear the band performing live entertainment for the night. The employee said Cyrilla tended to keep to herself and the employee was surprised that the music brought her out of the room. Just then the nurse’s aide walked up to Cyrilla, grabbed her hands and began dancing. The smile spread across Cyrilla’s face.
We often are sent to photograph an event and end up shooting something happening on the sidelines or in the hallways like this. This moment hits a little closer to home. My own grandmother, an avid music lover, recently moved into an assisted-living center. While viewing this brief moment of kindness unfold between resident and aide, I had to hope that someone would dance with my own grandmother when thinking no one is watching.

The Photograph: Brookside Village Senior Living Community resident Charles Bohnert flashed a smile as he ran into his wife, Helen, also a Brookside resident, who had just received a complimentary makeover Nov. 25 in celebration of the couple’s 65th wedding anniversary. Later in the day, friends and family came to the Jasper nursing home for an open house in honor of the occasion. Photograph by Olivia Corya/The Herald.

Comments: During my internship at a metropolitan newspaper the summer before last, I encountered multiple people who were surprisingly willing to divulge that they subscribed to the newspaper only for the coupons. Perhaps that experience explains why it took me a while to fully comprehend Dubois County’s relationship with The Herald.
Over the course of my six-month internship, you, our readers, have indeed taught me how deeply you care about The Herald’s content. You have a keen interest in local affairs. You eagerly invite us into the most intimate moments of your lives. And whether through criticism or praise, you have proven engaged with our coverage.
This was never more apparent than in the reaction to this photograph. We published this image Nov. 26. At last count, more than 2,500 of you had “liked” the picture on Facebook, in effect wishing the couple a communitywide happy anniversary. This and dozens of heartfelt comments from those of you who personally know the Bohnerts astonished and delighted me.
It has been a privilege to work for readers who care so much about their neighbors and the words and photos that tell their stories. To the extent that this paper is exceptional, it is largely because you value good journalism. Whenever I hear discouraging remarks about the declining newspaper industry and public apathy, I will think of you and be inspired.

The Photograph: Twin sisters Clare left, and Eva Kramer, 8, looked for fish in the pond on top of a hill next to their house Aug. 23, 2011. The photo was part of a Saturday feature about the girls’ family’s environmental stewardship that was published Jan. 14. The pond was planned as part of their dad’s house design to provide water to the house and as a gravity irrigation system for the farm. Photograph by Krista Hall/The Herald.

Comments: I love everything about this photo. It’s clean and simple and has a quiet moment in it. This photo also has a timeless element to it; it looks as if it could have been taken 20 or 30 years ago. In a day and age where most children spend their free time in front of a computer, television or video game, it’s nice to still be able to find moments like this.

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