Herald Photographers' Favorite Photos of 2017

This week, The Herald’s photojournalists select their favorite photographs from this year and write about what makes them memorable.


Find more of their favorite news and feature photos by clicking here.
For their favorite sports photos, click here.


The photograph: While Emily Correll attempted to do yoga with other participants of the Diabetic Discovery Camp July 15 at the Tri-County YMCA in Ferdinand, her diabetic alert dog, Koda, started to misbehave. “He’s trained to disobey me when my blood sugar is outside of my limits to try and get me to correct it,” Emily said. “So when he thinks I’m not taking care of my blood sugar he does anything to try and get my attention.” Herald photo by Brittney Lohmiller.

Comments: I grew up in a house that always had pets. A dog, two cats, a one-legged cockatiel, and at one point, we also had two rabbits and an aquarium filled with freshwater fish. My dog knew when I had a bad day and would rest her head on my lap while I did my homework. There’s a special bond people make with their pets. Emily and Koda’s bond has elevated beyond the average owner and pet. Koda takes his job, alerting Emily whenever her blood sugar dips or spikes, pretty seriously even if he doesn’t always look it. In this moment, Emily tried her best to do a calming yoga pose and Koda wasn’t having any of it. He smelled something wasn’t right and worked to get Emily’s attention. Usually it was Koda’s therapy dog vest and obedience that made him stand out from other dogs, which is why I loved this photo. He looked like any normal dog vying for attention; hoping that someone would rub his belly.



The photograph: The 5-year-old Dilger quadruplets, from bottom left, Emma, Brenna, Paige and Alex, and their brother, Noah, 8, ate lunch at their home in Ferdinand on June 16. Chris and Shauna Dilger affectionately use the pet name “monkey” for their children. Herald photo by Sarah Ann Jump.

Comments: The Dilger family was so much fun to photograph. I’d spend an afternoon documenting the whirlwind that is their life, then come back to the office and laugh as I looked through the photos. At first, I had trouble telling the quadruplets apart, but I quickly realized their differences. They not only have distinct appearances, but they each have their own unique personality. It was a joy to get to know them as individuals and see how the Dilgers function as a family. After the novelty of quadruplets wore off, I realized they are just like any other family. While their home is filled with chaos, it is also full of love. This photo is one of my favorites because it combines an everyday moment with the element of surprise. It’s a visual metaphor for life in the Dilger home.



The photograph: As students processed through a blessing of backpacks ceremony Aug. 13 at Trinity United Church of Christ, Pastor Jane Hillman said a prayer for Corbin Schnarr of Jasper, 6. Hillman said she hopes to impart upon students that God is with them at school as well as in church. “Kids are comforted by having their backpack blessed,” she said. “One kid got a new backpack during the year and brought it back in because he wanted it blessed. It gives them that symbol that God is with them.” The Flanagan, Illinois, native brought the practice with her when she started at Trinity in 2013. Herald photo by Jacob Wiegand.

Comments: Photojournalists always have to be aware of what is happening around them. Aside from making sure camera settings are correct, they have to consider an environment’s light, a photo’s composition and, most importantly, the often fleeting moment taking place before their eyes. The goal is to have all of these variables come together nicely in an image. Sometimes this goal is conquered, other times it is not. I think I was lucky enough to have these elements come together when I attended this blessing of the backpacks. While children were getting their satchels blessed at the service, beams of sunlight radiated through the windows in the church and fell nicely onto Corbin as Pastor Hillman placed her hand on his head, bringing together all of the elements that make a good photograph.



The photograph: The Jasper High School marching band competed in its first contest of the season at Evansville Central on Sept. 9. While waiting to get off the buses, 17-year-old Sarah Engelhardt, right, helped Makayla Norman, 14, finish her eye makeup. After getting off the bus, Sarah finished Makayla’s makeup. “I got half of the eye done,” Sarah said. “I’m pretty proud of myself.” Herald photo by Brittney Lohmiller.

Comments: Some of my favorite assignments to shoot are ones that give me access where members of the public rarely go. I see firsthand how stage makeup is applied and hair is done, watch performers ready themselves for the stage and hear rousing pep talks in the locker rooms during halftime. It’s in these spaces that moments happen and it’s just a matter of waiting.



The photograph: “I spend more time with my animals than I do with humans,” Angel Lange said. He fed handfuls of corn and sweet feed mixture to his pet bison and longhorns at his Vincennes home on April 17. In addition to rehabilitating wildlife, Angel keeps numerous pets on the 37 acres behind his Main Street home — three bison, two Texas longhorns, three horses, eight trained doves, five peacocks and a 13-year-old disabled deer called Grandma. Herald photo by Sarah Ann Jump.

Comments: As I sank into the grassy field, my heart beating fast, I captured this moment of tenderness and trust between Angel and his 1,800-pound longhorn. When we rode out in his utility vehicle, the bison and longhorns came to him in the same playful manner that a puppy would greet its treat-bearing owner. Conscious of how powerless I was next to these animals, I moved slowly and deliberately. I channeled my fear into focus because I knew how much this photo would add to Angel’s story. Witnessing this part of Angel’s daily routine reminded me how much I love my job as a Herald photojournalist and the unexpected places it takes me.



The photograph: Jasper’s Mariah Seifert and Riley Merder hugged as they celebrated the Wildcats’ championship victory over Evansville Memorial on Sept. 23 at the Jasper High School Volleyball Invitational. Seifert said Evansville Memorial is one of the team’s biggest rivals. “Beating them, it just feels so good for all of us considering it could be our (the seniors) last time playing them,” the Wildcat senior said. “Especially since we’re in our home gym. Like this is our house so we just came out ready to go.” Herald photo by Jacob Wiegand.

Comments: It’s always a treat to photograph people who are passionate. Some of the most passionate people I get to photograph on a regular basis are high school athletes. They are teammates who spend hours together each week working toward a common goal. The passion and camaraderie of the Jasper Wildcat volleyball team was more evident than usual the day the team defeated Evansville Memorial to become the champions of this year’s invitational. Hugs were exchanged and the sound of cheers filled the gymnasium as the team celebrated its win. I believe this frame captures the joy felt by the teammates in that instant. As a photojournalist, one thing I hope viewers are able to do through my photographs is feel some of what is felt by the people I photograph. Whether that feeling be happiness or sorrow, anxiety or struggle, freezing these moments of time I hope helps those in the photos and those viewing them to share a piece of the same emotion.



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