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: Great pics don’t always take great gear
- July 10, 2016
- A photographer went to a dinner party, where he showed his photographs. The lady of the house said, “Those are nice pictures; you must have a great camera.” He said nothing, but when leaving, he offered the following compliment to the woman: “The meal was very nice; you must have great pots and pans.”
- Behind the Lens: Pointy boots and point-and-shoots
- June 26, 2016
- The secret to good photography is comfortable shoes. I left my cowboy boots in my car and donned soft leather hikers to photograph the Flint Hills Rodeo earlier this June.
- Behind the Lens: Prom photos in perspective
- April 24, 2016
- At Wellsville High School, student couples traditionally promenade down a one-block section of Main Street before prom.
- Hundreds of folk musicians flock to Kansas City for convention
- February 19, 2016
- For the third year in a row, Kansas City, Mo., is hosting the Folk Alliance International Cultural Crossroads conference through Saturday at the The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center hotel, 1 E. Pershing Road. More than 1,100 musicians are performing for the public and for music industry folks looking to book talent.
- Behind the Lens: Over the moon
- October 4, 2015
- My wife doesn’t accompany me on many Journal-World photo assignments. But the moon has been a close friend of hers since she was young, so she joined me to chase the harvest moon and eclipse Sept. 27.
- Lawrence kindergartners share favorite moments from first days
- August 22, 2015
- Lawrence Public Schools began the 2015-16 school year on Thursday, and Journal-World photographers Nick Krug and Mike Yoder were on hand to ask several of Lawrence’s newest students about their first day of class.
- Behind the Lens: Avoiding the media fashion police in South Korea
- July 5, 2015
- My photography checklist for traveling to South Korea included two camera bodies, three lenses, a laptop, iPhone, a padded floor seat, a pocket point-and-shoot camera and memory cards, including an Eyefi Mobi Pro SD memory card. What I forgot to pack were pastel-colored clothes. What?
- Behind the Lens: Capturing what it means to be human
- June 6, 2015
- A tragic fire at Pet World brings out the best of humanity.
- Behind the Lens: Do photographs always tell the whole story?
- April 4, 2015
- Famous 20th century war photographer Robert Capa said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” The trouble is, it’s not always true.