This is going to be a long blog post, so I apologize in advance for all the scroll-age that will be occurring. The Grand Rapids Press is a much bigger paper than I’m used to working at, which has been a good experience so far. Here are some images from my first month working here.
I covered part of a soldier’s funeral during one of my first weeks here. I haven’t covered anything like this before, so it was an interesting experience. I was at the church the service was being held at while Emily Zoladz was at the cemetery. There were a ton of bikers who come out to any soldier funeral that they are asked to be at.
Ray King, a member of the Michigan Patriot Guard, is reflected in his rear-view mirror as he gets ready for the funeral procession Monday, August 29, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, for Army Cpl. Joseph VanDreumel, who was killed in Afghanistan on August 14. He was buried at Rosedale Memorial Park following the service.
Something else I’ve never done was shoot a wedding. I covered my first wedding…IN A LIBRARY!
Tim Peraino and Erin Babson share a moment after they got married Friday, Sept. 2, at Englehart Branch Library in Lowell. The couple, who loves books, decided to have a book-themed wedding and therefore tie the knot in the library.
The Press does a weekly Sunday profile on a person in the community and I photographed Heidi Cate for a piece. She started some schools for kids who have gotten into some trouble or who have struggled at regular high schools. In the little time I hung out with her I could tell she cares so much for all the students, as does all the faculty there. I could tell that any student put into one of her schools is going to succeed because the faculty won’t let them do otherwise.
Heidi Cate, Superintendent of Lighthouse Academy and Hope Academy, hugs Aaliyah Burrage, a student at Lighthouse Academy, during an open house for students to get their schedules for the upcoming year Tuesday, August 30, in Kentwood. Burrage will graduate this upcoming year.
We did a short story on a local high school, which I guess you could describe as lower income. The administration decided to close all the lunches due to security reasons and tardiness that was occurring, which meant feeding all the students on campus. They built these awesome booths that have TVs all around to accommodate the influx of kids at lunch. But the students were still not happy about not being able to go off campus for lunch. And there are only a couple channels on TV they are allowed to watch. I caught a funny/amusing moment.
“This is the best channel,” Godwin Heights High School student Zaeliyah Will, 15, tells Khidhr Hull, 16, and her other friends as she changes the channel on the newly installed TVs as they eat lunch in their recently remodeled facility Friday, Sept. 9, in Wyoming. The school decided to make lunches closed campus to improve security and decrease tardiness, which resulted in more space needed for approximately 600 students eating at one time.
As school was starting up a group called Endless Opportunities set up an event to give out free haircuts and school supplies to kids. I think by the end of the day they gave out around 200 haircuts, maybe more. It was a good thing they were doing.
Terrell Davis gets his hair cut by Mark Randle as more than 100 free back-to-school haircuts were given Monday, Sept. 5, at Cole Cuts Barbershop in Grand Rapids. The event was put on by Endless Opportunities, who also provided school supplies for those that got their hair cut.
Terrell wanted to make it known that he was the best R&B singer in Grand Rapids. I’m letting it be known.
I photographed a cross country meet and caught Simon Reidsma showing some great sportsmanship.
Second-place finisher Simon Reidsma, of Calvin Christian, right, gives Grand Rapids Christian’s Wuoi Mach, who finished in third, a handshake as he lays on the ground after finishing the Cross Country Christian Invitational Saturday, Sept. 10, at the South Christian Sports Park.
I’ve been on a repetition kick…and these soldiers at a 9/11 ceremony held at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum were wonderful to my eyes. :]
More repetition at a large yard sale. People find weird treasures in other people’s crap. This is a box of old cans.
Western Michigan University had a gathering in downtown and short parade to kick off the football season. I guess they have a large alumni base in Grand Rapids, so they wanted to do it here. The band was huge, compared to my university’s band. In this photo the tuba section warms up around a circular steam sculpture, which is reflected in the tuba.
Shawmut Hills Elementary put in a sensory lab, which helps children who have special needs focus. It’s basically a cool playground inside the school. But what is interesting is that this elementary school is having all the students, not just those who have special needs, use the lab—especially before big tests—and the administration has seen a huge improvement in test scores and the kids’ focus levels. This photo is a little cliche to me, but it is fun and colorful.
Third graders Jovan Hodo, 8, left, and Joey Kreuyer, 8, play in the ball pit that is a part of the Sharks Sensory Lab Thursday, Sept. 22, at Shawmut Hills Elementary School in Grand Rapids. The school plans to have every class attend the Sensory Lab three to five times per week and teachers can schedule extra sessions before big tests.
Yesterday we heard on the scanner that a car had drove through a house, so my editor made me stop everything and head out there. Luckily no one was in the home at the time of the accident and coincidentally a police officer was driving behind the vehicle as it veered off the road and into the house so she was able to run into the home and get the driver out of the car right away. The man is currently in critical condition and police confirmed that a medical complication caused him to drive off the road and into the house. I waited around a long time to get this photo because there was a gas leak that shut down the area. Also, I think being respectful of the fire and police crews’ wishes gave me access later to get close enough to get this shot.
Caledonia Fire Rescue Fire Chief Brian Bennett looks at the damage as crews assess how to remove a car that ran into a home at 7201 84th St. SE after a driver drove his car off the road and into the home Thursday, Sept. 22. Police confirmed the driver had some sort of medical issue to cause him to drive off the road. Removing the car was halted due to a gas leak and wanting to ensure the safety of crews.
Every Sunday they run a photo that might not necessarily run on any other occasion as part of a photo column called Exposure. It can be weird and funky or just a great moment that is caught on camera. This is one I turned in.
Justin Hackett jumps on a trampoline as he performs combinations of twists and flips on National Gymnastics Day Saturday, Sept. 17, at Radiant Sportz in Walker. The day consisted of celebrating gymnastics throughout the country and trying to break the world record for the number of handstands occurring at one time.
One of the cool things to happen in Grand Rapids is this huge event called ArtPrize. Basically, artists from around the country come and bring art and set it up all over the city. They can be small paintings, interesting installations or sculptures towering over people walking on the street. There is art EVERYWHERE. People vote on their favorite and can vote down art they don’t like and at the end of the first week the top ten are revealed and then another week of voting occurs to determine the winner of $250,000. We cover the crap out of it. Everyone thinks they are getting in your way and try to get out of your picture when you are taking pictures of them looking at the art, which is probably the most frustrating thing. I waited around to get this shot at a venue that didn’t have many people at it at the time.
Kristen Aidif, venue coordinator for Fifth Third Bank/Warner Norcross & Judd venue, walks past Jacqueline Wilson’s “Nebula: A Growing Installation” during the opening day of ArtPrize 2011 Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the Fifth Third Bank/Warner Norcross & Judd venue in Grand Rapids. Wilson’s piece incorporates clay graffiti and seeds that will eventually fall into boxes underneath to grow.
Thanks for scrolling!!!