September 18, 2013
First Few Weeks: Jackson, Michigan

I’ve been slacking on putting these up, so these are a lot, and I didn’t get to flesh out my assignments on here as much as I’d like. However, here are some of my favorite images from some of my early assignments and feature hunts here.

I have noticed the focus on the younger generation here. In a small town, there aren’t really young adults or young professionals. It jumps from high school to middle aged and up. The community seems to focus in on what the kids are doing, so a lot of my assignments have been in schools or school related events.


Here are some photos from Military Appreciation Week, a ballet, feature hunts, the first day of school, and soccer at a Christian school among other things.

More to come soon!

Consumers Energy building leans over church

Consumers Energy building struggles to come down

Consumers Energy building struggles to come down

Albion hit hard from severe thunderstorms late Wednesday afternoon

Consumers Energy building struggles to come down

Consumers Energy building struggles to come down

Consumers Energy building struggles to come down

Consumers Energy building struggles to come down

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Jackson Lumen Christi and Jackson Northwest tie 1-1

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Thanks for looking guys!

Grant

September 17, 2013
High School Sports: Cross Country

Never shot cross country before, and honestly, I was nervous. It’s funny how no matter how many big sporting events or college games or spot news that something like cross country at a high school in the middle of rural Michigan can make you nervous, but it totally did.

I showed up and there was no schedule, no roster, no numbers, no map of the course. (was there a track? is this track and field? are there a few events? I don’t know.) So I was nervous and a bit up in arms.

But after I kinda milled around beating myself up and being nervous. I made a few pictures of the first race, and totally blew it. But I finally knew the way things worked. I talked to a few people, started to know the path of the run, etc. Each race got better after that.

I’m starting to like to shoot high school sports. It’s always different, and you have some freedom to risk it. It’s the content/action of sports with a bit of that weird small-town feature charm.

I’ll post again today with some non-sports. I just didn’t think this would fit in with other singles from the past two weeks.


Thanks for looking guys.

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Grant

September 11, 2013
Lesson Learned: Make the Pictures You Want to Make

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a few weeks, so here goes.

After I finished up in Denver (more posts to come from the summer) I spent a few weeks visiting friends and loved ones in Missouri and home in the suburbs of Chicago. I had tons of time to think, look over work and prepare for the fall.  While I was in Missouri, I sat in on the Staff Photojournalism class and listened in to the week’s critique. At the end of the class, one of my former professors asked if I had any advice to give the new staffers. I looked at my experience and rambled and rambled and tried to tie in as many of my weird photo related philosophies I spend so much time thinking about.

But it struck me while I rambled, really nervous in front of the students, wondering what I could say that would help, that I was really giving myself advice. I pride myself on being able to point out my flaws, especially in my work, and I realized all I was doing while talking to the class was giving myself advice. 

I find that I get in my own way a lot. Maybe everyone does. I talk myself into staying in the car or not getting that weirder angle I know will be make a more dynamic picture, etc. Mostly just because I’m worried about pushing boundaries with subjects on quick daily assignments where building rapport is sometimes overlooked or short-changed.   

While I spoke to the class I told them to take the pictures they want to take. You know, if you want to get closer, get closer, if you want to be directly in front of your subject with perfect angles, then do it. Don’t fear it. Take risks, they pay off. Think and do it. And that’s advice I truly need to follow myself. The pictures are there to be made, but you have to have the guts to take them.

I’ve been trying to think about what would the very best possible picture be if the planets aligned in any given situation or if I saw this same event shot by photographers I look up to, how would the final product look? I think the answer to this problem is to force yourself out of the car, have confidence in your job and duty as a story teller and to think before shooting.

Last week I started at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, MI. with my best friend Sam Gause. I know it’s a bit backwards as far as internships go to work at a large daily and a wire before going to small town paper, but I think it is an extremely valuable experience. I would never want to hop into my career without fully knowing and experiencing what it’s like to be a community journalist. 

I also think this is going to be a perfect time to force myself into making the pictures I want to make. The pace is slowed down, the assignments are closer and I have more time to play. I’ve noticed I’ve gotten too comfortable with covering my ass for an assignment and not trying hard enough to make a truly spectacular image out of a situation. The pictures are there to be made, and stories are there to be told, I’ll just have to practice getting out of my own way and making them.

Maybe this is all misguided, but just stuff I’ve been mulling over.

Here are a few pictures from my first high school football game at Jackson where I’ve started trying to fight for the pictures I want to make. Thanks for looking. 

Promise Bowl 2013

Promise Bowl 2013

Jackson and Lumen Christi battle for the Promise Bowl

Promise Bowl 2013

Promise Bowl 2013

Promise Bowl 2013

Promise Bowl 2013

Promise Bowl 2013

Grant

September 5, 2013
First Days in Jackson, MI

After leaving the Denver Post, I decided I wanted the experience of a small staff in a tiny town and wanted to see how I fared both with shooting and mentally in a totally different environment. I will be at the Jackson Citizen Patriot until Jan. 1. 

Besides learning the ropes of something different than what I’m used to, I’m so excited to be working with my best friend Sam Gause as 2/3 staff photographers here. He’s been here all summer and will be here until June as their year-long intern. Through college, Sam, Nick Agro and I had a super-healthy competitive relationship and worked really well together. I’m excited to have the pressure of keeping up with Sam and being scared to come home embarrassed after an assignment.

It’s really exciting to get to spend so much time with such a good friend from school. It’s a rare thing to be able to work with your best friend, and it should be awesome.

Here are a few photos from my first few days of some Sandhill Cranes and just some photos of Sam and another good friend Brad Hoffman, who made the trip with me from Chicago.

I’ll be posting my first few assignments in the next few days!

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Thanks much for looking,


Grant

July 30, 2013
Pike’s Peak

Went out to Pike’s Peak on my way back from a couple assignments in Pueblo, Colo. to check it off my list before I leave in a few weeks.

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Colorado is gorgeous.

July 30, 2013
Father Helmut Schuller

Catholic Father Helmut Schuller, from Austria, is leading a movement to recruit more priests, but to also fight the priest-centric outlook many have on the church and turn it to a more positive, accepting view. He spoke at a church in downtown Denver about his movement: The Austrian Priests’ Initiative.

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Thanks for looking.

Grant

All Photos ©Denver Post 2013.

July 28, 2013
Thread Count

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Took this picture at the Western Conservative Summit of John Andrews, Republican Politician.

Looks like a nice tie.

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