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Staff

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.

Recent stories

Behind the Lens: Gifts for photographers
December 7, 2014
For those of you searching out gift ideas for your photographer spouse, friend or for your “selfie,” here are a few stocking-stuffer ideas.
Behind the Lens: Bad weather can make for good photos
November 9, 2014
I’ve been scanning old negatives and slides lately, and I’ve noticed how weather, specifically inclement weather, is an important element in many images.
Behind the Lens: Journal-World photographer recalls Royals’ 1985 World Series run
October 21, 2014
Not long after Journal-World photographer Mike Yoder started work at the newspaper, the photo staff covered the Kansas City Royals in the 1985 playoffs and the World Series. Yoder shares his images and memories from that postseason run.
Behind the Lens: In pursuit of pelicans
October 4, 2014
When presented with a photographic subject, two of the most important decisions for photographers are where to position themselves and their camera and when to press the shutter.
Behind the Lens: Optical vs. digital zoom
September 7, 2014
I get asked a lot of questions regarding cameras and photography. This week I’ll focus on one that may confuse some people: What’s the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom?
Behind the Lens: Is a broken camera worth repairing?
August 3, 2014
You basically have two choices for repairing a camera: mail the broken equipment to the manufacturer or start shopping for a replacement.
Vinland volunteers preserve library as it was in 1900
July 27, 2014
While Lawrence celebrates the $18 million renovation of its public library, residents of the small village of Vinland, 12 miles southeast of Lawrence, are working to keep their one-room library intact and unchanged. The Coal Creek Library Association was founded in November 1859 when a group of neighbors sent $10 to Philadelphia, Penn., for books. For the next 41 years the collection was housed in the homes of early Vinland librarians. In 1900 a library building was constructed on a lot purchased for $10. By Mike Yoder
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.

Full story list

Recent photos

Kansas forwards from left, Landen Lucas, Perry Ellis and Hunter Mickelson, run through pre-game drills before the Jayhawks and the Lafayette Leopards game Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Against a background of snow, a male and female cardinal rest in a forsythia bush, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in East Lawrence.

Snow accumulates on a branch at 11th and Massachusetts streets just before 7 a.m. today.

Heather Lee, an English as Second Language (ESL) teacher at Lawrence High School, right, laughs with her parents, Karen and Michael Johanning, at left, after Lee was recognized Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, as the Dedication to Education Award winner by the Lawrence Schools Foundation and Superintendent Rick Doll.

A father and his daughter watch as Santa is rescued from the top of Weaver's Department Store by the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Department in this Journal-World file photo from 2013.

Full photo list