Mike Yoder (Chief Photographer)
I grew up in Kansas City, MO, where I attended Grandview High School.
I received a bachelor's degree in communication from Goshen College, IN. in 1978. Since I had earned an FCC radio license in school and spun actual records for a late night radio music show I initially considered a radio career. Instead, a photo internship at the Elkhart Truth newspaper in Elkhart, IN. convinced me to pursue a career in photojournalism. I choose Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, David Letterman's alma mater. Prior to completing my master's degree in journalism however, my first wife and I formed a bluegrass band and with 2 other musicians and toured Europe for six weeks with a folk dance troupe. In 1983 I received my degree and with a portfolio of photographs in hand I started looking for a job. Several months later I was offered a staff photography position at the Journal-World.
In my spare time I play guitar and sing with two area acoustic bands, The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band and Three Bean Salad. With the two bands I've recorded six albums of music and traveled extensively throughout the state to perform. I've even been know to write songs for the bands from time to time and managed to win a couple first place songwriting awards at the annual Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield, KS. You can sometimes find my on long-distant bicycle rides. I've done the Bike Across Kansas two times, a four-day bike ride through the Black Hills of South Dakota twice and a recent Cottonwood 200 spin through the Flint Hills. In 2008 I married Karen Seibel, a long-time Lawrence resident and local yoga instructor. We live in an 1880's house in Old East Lawrence and have been re-modeling and slowly bringing the house back to shape. We have three cats, two cars, one screened porch and tons of books. We enjoy traveling and then creating books from our trips. Currently we have self-published books on trips to South Dakota, the Sandhill Crane country in Nebraska and the hot springs area of New Mexico. In 2007 I published a book celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Vinland Fair in Douglas County after spending nearly 25 years documenting the community event.
- Behind the Lens: Turn your camera into a time machine
- July 20, 2014
- Time-lapse photography consists of making a series of still or video images of a subject at variable times and over an extended period. When you combine the images later in a linear format and view them back at a faster speed, the passage of time is compressed.
- Behind the Lens: Why iPhones are better than cameras
- July 6, 2014
- As the quality of smartphone camera images improves, there are more reasons to reach for an iPhone instead of a DSLR to take photos.
- Behind the Lens: How to avoid photography overload
- June 1, 2014
- I’m pretty sure there will come a time when we will wear devices that capture a visual record of our every waking moment.
- Behind the Lens: Avoid being fenced in with this trick
- May 18, 2014
- My wife and I recently visited the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wis., where we saw large, long-legged and long-necked birds like the Grey Crowned Crane of Africa or the White-Naped Crane of Asia.
- Behind the Lens: Photography from another dimension
- May 4, 2014
- Over 140 years before the 3-D movie “Avatar” played in area theaters, 3-D had already reached Lawrence.
- Behind the Lens: A picture can be worth more than words
- April 20, 2014
- Did you know that the difference between apologizing to your spouse and owning a photograph of Fats Domino is $189?
- Behind the Lens: Bringing a constructive approach to photos
- April 6, 2014
- I often tell people about my reliance on visual devices and creative techniques in constructing my photographs. And, yes, for me, creating a photograph is like a construction site.
- Behind the Lens: The history of the selfie
- March 16, 2014
- Last year was the year of the selfie. Oxford Dictionaries even selected it as their word of the year for 2013. It’s so new that my computer tells me I’m spelling it wrong.
- Behind the Lens: When photos require a higher perspective
- February 16, 2014
- After a long and happy relationship, I recently had to give up my 1996 Toyota RAV. It was a super vehicle and a surprisingly great creative device for my photography.
- Behind the Lens: Outside perspective sparks creativity
- February 2, 2014
- The New Jersey Press Association asked our photo staff to judge its state’s newspaper photography contest for 2013. Ten photo categories, including, sports and portraits, comprising about 1,000 photographs, were reviewed. While looking at the images, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Dorothy’s famous line, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”