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.

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Recent photos

Harper Davison, 5, of Lawrence, holds onto her horse Skittles during judging at the Douglas County Fair Open Horse show Saturday. Davison got a second-place ribbon in the category of Pony Breeds 56 inches and under as well as first place in the lead-line event for her age group.

A group of Douglas County 4-Hers look over stacked poultry and rabbit pens inside the new Open Pavilion on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Under one roof, the new pavilion will house rabbits, poultry, sheep, goats and swine, plus a judging arena. The fair will be open for entries starting Monday, July 24.

Andi Kent, of Lawrence, watches her horse Woody grab a hold of their first-place trophy in the All Breeds, Horses 2 and under event at the Douglas County Fair Open Horse show Saturday, July 22, 2017. Kent and Woody also took first-place honors in the Champion Halter event.

Van Go summer JAMS artist Indigo Soileau gives a thumbs up to fellow artist Chloe Board after Board and Soileau spoke to a crowd about their Van Go experience during an unveiling ceremony Friday, July 21, 2017 at Van Go, 715 New Jersey St. Summer JAMS artists made 20 benches in eight weeks as part of Van Go’s Benchmark program. Artists are paired with a local client to design and create a custom bench.

Leonard Krishtalka, director of the KU Natural History Museum, right, celebrates with Van Go JAMS artist Belle Ray after they unveiled the bench that Ray created for the museum, Friday, July 21, 2017 at Van Go, 715 New Jersey St.

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