2017 in Review

2017 has been quite a year, starting off in Costa Rica, graduating from Mizzou, road tripping across the southwest with Isabella and showing her my side of California, trying to find myself in Reno, moving to Colorado Springs to work for the wonderful staff at The Gazette and then finishing everything off with a move to Idaho Falls to be with Isabella as she starts her first job at the Post Register.

It was a very introspective year as I tried to navigate the post-college world, tried to find my place both in the photojournalism world as both an employee (still working on that part) and as a photographer with something to say (still working on this part too).

I had opportunities to do slower, simmering projects like living with the wonderful monks at Assumption Abbey outside of Ava, Missouri and following Hunter and Wyatt through their training with the Boone County Fire Protection District.

I also boiled on through faster assignments like everything I did at Fort Carson. I got to live the fast photojournalist life at the Gazette, covering breaking news and features, NFL games and prep sport portraits, and touching on national events like the shooting in Las Vegas.

I made a lot of friends, and met a lot of incredible and amazing photographers (Hey there everyone at TID). I hope 2018 brings me as much inspiration as 2017, and maybe a bit of clarity to go with it.

A soldier pushes open the doors at a homecoming at Fort Carson.
David Ivey, right, hugs his guide Roger Stewart after lunch the Veterans Stand Down in the Colorado Springs City Auditorium. All the veterans attending the Stand Down were given an active serviceman or a volunteering veteran as a guide through the process; once they were done Stewart gave Ivey a few dollars to help out.
Alex Cox, center, leaps into the arms of her boyfriend, Specialist Devon Bailey, in the William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center in Fort Carson, Colorado. Bailey, a member of the 3rd Armored Brigade, returned from a deployment in eastern Europe that was part of Atlantic Resolve, an international training exercise with other NATO nations.
A member of a training opposition force waits for other Stryker armored vehicles to pull in at the Warhorse Strike exercise at Camp Red Devil in Fort Carson, Colorado. The opposition used the strikers to assault the 2nd Brigade’s position during part of the exercise.
A soldier watches a Stryker Armored Personnel Carrier load onto a train before allowing the next truck to follow at the Fort Carson rail yard. The 1st Brigade Combat Team loaded up equipment for its second trip in six months to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

Fort Carson was a fun place to spend time while in Colorado Springs. The small little world perched on the south end of the city was so strange that I was happy to make even the earliest of Gate Calls just to get in and take pictures.

Larry Glass photographs Kyle Franklin in Dracula at the Pikes Peak Regional Airshow. Large cameras dotted the crowd as spectators snapped photos of the planes.
Nicole Cichon, 12, covers her ears with her mother’s help as one of the Thunderbird’s F-16s passes by at the High Flight day at the Pikes Peak Regional Airshow. High Flight was held during the practice day before the airshow started and allowed children with special needs to come when the area wouldn’t be crowded.
Corporal Matt Sanchez points high on a locker for Amp to search at Fountain Middle School in Fountain, Colorado. Sanchez and Amp search the gym locker room frequently because it is one of the least disruptive places to students.
Terry Poe, catapult constructor and Nature Center volunteer, helps Devin Derosier, 10, launch a pumpkin at the El Paso County Fountain Creek Nature Center’s Punkin’ Chunkin’ event.
Firefighters watch as water jets out of a window of a burned apartment at the Centerpointe Apartments. The fire started in a second-story apartment and spread to the third-story apartment above, four other units in the building suffered minor smoke damage.
Steve Denney, in the car, steers his lexus while a tow truck driver and police officer push it out from under the Hummer that drove over it in the intersection of Colorado Ave. and Weber St.
A field officer watches the sidelines as the sun sets over the crowd at Mile High Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Broncos 20-17.
Pueblo South running back Steve Brock (2) has the ball torn out of his hands by Vista Ridge player Jeffrey Crittendon (13) for a fumble recovered by Pueblo South at Vista Ridge High School. Despite getting points on the board in the latter half of the game, Vista Ridge couldn’t prevent Pueblo South from running away with the win 35-14.
A girl watches a performance artist deep in the bowels of the Meow Wolf interactive art exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Maree Elmore, Chris Roybal’s girlfriend, cries in her friend’s arms at Roybal’s memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Roybal was general manager at a Crunch Fitness in Colorado Springs, and was a victim of the Las Vegas shooting.
Tessa Thomas and Naval Petty Officer 3rd class Colin Thomas kiss before crossed sabres at the end of the ceremony where they renewed their wedding vows at the New Life Church. Colin suffers from stage 4 pancreatic cancer which forced him from the Navy, and prompted the couple to renew their vows with more people in attendance.
Rhea Shrestha, 13, stretches out a hand with unlit LED lights during rehearsal dances for the “Pyaar… Expressions of Love” performance, at the Fellowship Bible Church. The performance is part of the local Indian communities annual Diwali celebrations and also a fundraiser, this year for the Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Father Michael Monos holds the Vigil of Pascha at St Luke Orthodox Church in Columbia, Missouri, at midnight on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
Brother Alphonse, a Cistercian Monk, prays during a meditative period while his Superior, Trappist monk Father Alberic, sits on a prayer mat behind him. Alphonse is part of a new wave of Vietnamese Cistercian monks coming to Assumption Abbey to take over as their Trappist brothers get older.

Religion ended up being a focal point for the end of my time in Columbia. I may not be religious but the idea of belief and dedication is fascinating and irresistible. Living at the Assumption Abbey for the five days I was able to spend with the monks was one of the most transcendent experiences I have had in photography.

Two students at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs walk the runway in Dia de los Muertos-themed condom fashion at the third annual Condom Fashion Show to promote safe sexual practices in Berger Hall on Friday, December 1, 2017. The students, from the Latino Student Union, created the outfits to promote a positive remembrance of those who have passed from HIV/AIDS.
Isabella Alves holds a bouquet at the wedding of her friends Myles Tucker and Echo Roberson in Bella Vista, Arkansas.
Erik Gillespie, left, shows off different lights to Ayla Kenoyer, 6, at the Festival of Lights before the parade starts. Vendors sold lights up and down the parade route for kids to join in.
Karalea Evenson, 7, chats with Colorado College goalie Alec Calvaruso (30) on the side boards of the ice rink in Acacia Park in Colorado Springs. Colorado College players joined the public for several hours to give out autographs and tips for young skaters.
Pfc. Amoy Robinson’s knife carves through a turkey as Pfcs. John Hewston and Shane Collier work with her to carve the last of 350 turkeys at Fort Carson. The soldiers were part of a rotating group of cooking teams that prepared turkeys 24-hours a day for the Salvation Army to give out on Thanksgiving Day.
Brother Luck plates a dish in his restaurant, Four by Brother Luck. Luck is a contestant on the new season of Top Chef, airing December 7.
Brother Ambrose stands up from the dinner table to help a guest as Father Peter and Father Thaddeus prepare to dig into bowls of Pho. While Trappist monks, also called Cistercians of the Strict Observance, are cloistered from their guests, the incoming Vietnamese monks are common Cistercians and are mildly more lenient in their practice.
Brother Luck holds a fork near an artfully plated dish similar to what he created on the 2017 season of Top Chef.
Rhys Sitz braces as a water balloon breaks over him during a Memorial Day water fight outside his apartment in Columbia, Missouri.
Erik Ramirez lines up a shot as Isabella Alves watches at The Corner Spot in San Francisco, California.
Visitors to Golden Gate Park enjoy the sun outside of the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California.
A chaplain leaves the Ellicott School District administrative offices during the first day back to school after Ellicott Middle School principal Diane Garduno was killed in a head-on collision. Ellicott School District Superintendent Christopher Smith said that 25 counselors where available that day to help students.

Few assignments are harder for me than small press conferences, and this extra-small town conference about a recently killed principal was especially difficult. When I found out that a test shot I had taken waiting for the district superintendent was actually one of the Police Chaplains on hand to help counsel students I couldn’t believe my luck.

A boy in a cowboy hat walks across the Hoover Dam framed by the high water lines of the Colorado River.
Picnic benches wait for visitors to the shores of Pyramid Lake near Reno, Nevada.
Waves of hills shine with pigment in the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park, near Holbrook, Arizona.
A visitor stands under one of the tower lights in the Desert View Watchtower at the Grand Canyon National Park.
Derby, top, Django, left, and Molly fish for hot dogs in a pool full of water at Pawtoberfest 2017 in Bear Creek Regional Park in Colorado Springs. Molly is a veteran hot dog retriever and has been to three Pawtoberfests, while Derby and Django moved to Colorado Springs one year ago.
Two wild mustangs have a short fight just outside of the eastern suburbs of Reno, Nevada. The horses range through the hills, and sometimes snack on outlying lawns during the winter.
Glenn Ryan talks to members of Colorado Parks and Wildlife who sold him hay for his mules at AG Ranch in Bailey, Colorado.
A red semi-truck cross the salt flats near Wendover, Utah.
A red semi-truck cross the salt flats near Wendover, Utah.
Isabella Alves casts a line into her aunt’s pond to catch bass for dinner, outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Two deer graze in a stream underneath the Yosemite Falls in Yosemite valley.
Two deer graze in a stream underneath the Yosemite Falls in Yosemite valley.

I also took the time to try out some other techniques and practice my photoshop. Stitching this vertical panorama was an interesting endeavor and one day I will find a way to print it out in all its weirdly elongated glory.

Isabella Alves walks through the towering trees of the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve near Guerneville, California.
Swimmers brace for the water falling from the lower Yosemite Falls into the Yosemite Valley.
A smoky red sun lights up waves off the shore of Mendocino California.
A smoky red sun lights up waves off the shore of Mendocino California.
A wild horse grazes on some grass behind ongoing construction at the Damonte Ranch subdivision in southern Reno, Nevada.
A lightning storm rolls along south of the Grand Canyon, near Flagstaff, Arizona.
The Trillium Cafe and Inn lights up in the evening fog, just off Main Street in Mendocino, California.
An American flag waves over the Sawtooth Ridge in the evening light on the outskirts of Bridgeport, California.