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: Website helps teach photography basics
- May 19, 2013
- Camerasim.com explores the mechanics and functions of a digital single-lens camera in a unique way.
- Behind the Lens: Lighting up the night
- May 5, 2013
- A recent train ride gets Mike Yoder thinking about one of his favorite photographers, O. Winston Link, a pioneer of nighttime photography.
- Behind the Lens: The best of times, the worst of times
- April 7, 2013
- In competitions, somebody always wins and somebody always loses, and a photographer documents both.
- Behind the Lens: Great snow photos about finding the right exposure
- March 17, 2013
- I realize we’re probably done with snow for the year, but after talking to people about their recent photographs of snow, I thought I’d offer some tips that can apply to photos taken year-round. By Mike Yoder
- Behind the Lens: A multimedia balancing act
- February 17, 2013
- Now that many of us have smartphones, still cameras and video cameras, it can be difficult to choose what tool to use to visually document a person or event. By Mike Yoder
- Behind the Lens: Carrying a backup a good idea in case camera breaks
- January 20, 2013
- Camera equipment failure is unavoidable.
- Behind the Lens: Photos worth thousands of words
- January 6, 2013
- If I would have made a New Year’s resolution, I might have told myself to resist buying photography books.
- Behind the lens: Considering cameras
- December 15, 2012
- Unlike members of Congress, photographers must compromise. All camera models sacrifice a feature or function to emphasize another. In suggesting cameras for you this holiday season, I’ve listed them by the type of photographer rather than the camera type. By Mike Yoder
- Behind the lens: Archiving old slides for the present day? Let’s get digital
- December 1, 2012
- Archiving photographs has transitioned from the days of storing pictures in slide carousels and negative sleeves to transmitting digital bytes to online photo sites, or burning to hard drives and discs. For people under 30, digital is most likely all they have ever known. For baby boomers like myself, you’ve probably experienced photographing with film but now find yourself joining the digital age. The dilemma facing some of us is what to do with our old slides and negatives. By Mike Yoder
- Behind the lens: Good photos require luck as much as skill
- November 17, 2012
- Being a photographer can involve psychology skills. My ability to observe a subject, predict behavior, remain alert to visual clues and anticipate action helps me to be a successful photojournalist. It involves a mix of skills in intuition and past experiences photographing people in numerous environments and situations. By Mike Yoder