Two-year-old Rylee Muths puts her mark on a 14-foot-plus snowman in North Lawrence last February. I love the juxtaposition of the small girl against the large snowman. Muths was walking around the snowman with an adult, but I waited to take my photograph until the two had separated and the adult was hidden behind the snowman.
Brian Runk, Lawrence, runs with his three dogs near the North Lawrence levee Sunday, March 24, 2013 after a heavy snowfall.
An ominous, masked and hooded sledder, looks out over a white landscape after a heavy snowfall in February. When I spotted this person, just barely revealed above the hill of snow, I framed the dark and twisted branches of the tree against the white of the sky and ground to create a surreal and somewhat abstract scene. Possibly all that's missing is a scythe.
Summer Smetak holds her mother Kelley Smetak as Summer appears a little nervous on her first morning of school last August. I followed this mother and daughter from home to school, documenting the two experience many emotions. A photographer can only hope to capture visible evidence of emotional states, so I paid close attention to the girl Summer's body language during the moments right before her mother and her parted for Summer's first day of school.
Woodlawn School kindergartner Joan Clark, left, hands her teacher Barbie Gossett a bouquet of flowers as students leave school before summer break. There are always lots of photo opportunities on the last day of school. The trick is to intuit a potential photograph before it happens so you are prepared to capture the moment. When I noticed one mother arrive at school and hand her daughter flowers, I followed the girl until she presented them to her teacher. The reaction of the teacher becomes the gesture or moment I needed, and makes the photograph interesting for me.
A runner passes through a gauntlet of volunteers spraying him with orange corn starch during the popular Color Run in Lawrence, Saturday, Sept. 14. I love runner, suspended in mid-air and the way the fast shutter-speed froze the traces of the thrown corn starch powder. Months later, I still have orange pigment on my camera bag.
A Master of Arts graduate is lost in a shower of champagne as the school celebrates during commencement ceremonies at KU in May, 2013. Each photography staff member knows that this group of graduates will uncork and spray champagne at every graduation. Still, it is somewhat of a crapshoot to determine where to point your camera. Rather than show a wide shot of the whole section covered in bubbles, I choose a tighter framing that directs the eye to one student in the middle of the spray.
Kansas guard Elijah Johnson (15) walks off the court with Coach Bill Self after the Jayhawks 87-85 loss to the University of Michigan, Friday, March 29, 2013, at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, TX. These are never fun situations to photograph - particularly after this game. I positioned myself at the end of the court where I knew the team would walk past me to exit. Johnson and Self were the last two off the court and I had only 3-4 shots to capture some visual display of frustration evident by their facial expressions or body language.
Kansas senior runningback James Sims (29) stands with his grandmother Juana Luna, left, and his mother, Mary Luna, and watch a video of Sims during a senior day recognition before the Jayhawks game against KSU in November. Through my telephoto lens, I could see slight highlights in Sims eyes. I assumed it was the welling up of tears. I wasn't sure they would be visible in the larger image, but I believe that small amount of reflected light draws the reader's eye to his eyes and provides physical evidence of the emotions he was experiencing.
Twin brothers Logan, left and Brody Myers, 5, enjoy a ride on the Dragon Wagon during the opening night of Moore's Greater Shows Carnival at the Douglas County Fair. After only one trip around this children's roller-coaster, I could tell that these brothers were going to continue giggling through the whole ride. I stood in a position where I could capture their reaction on each pass where they experienced a sharp curve and a quick drop. No fear at all - nothing but laughter.
Lilly Pankau, 6, Rockport, Missouri, laughs as she pets her Vietnamese pig Charlotte during the Mother Earth News fair held in Lawrence in October. Lilly had been playing with her pig as I approached. When she laid back on the grass, I stepped in close enough so that I could point my camera and wide-angle lens straight down to create an uncluttered image. I chose a frame with Lilly's eyes closed rather than open. With her eyes closed, the photo places more emphasis on Lilly and her pet. Had her eyes been open, and with me standing right over her, she was more likely to look in the cameras direction and disrupt the scene.