2014 has been a pretty stellar year. I divided my time almost equally between San Francisco, Portland and Kansas City. Three very different locations and but also oddly similar in more ways than I expected.
This year brought a lot of new and exciting photography opportunities. This March marked my first time at spring training, watching or shooting. I had a great week full of baseball, sun and burritos. When I was back in the Portland for the summer I was fortunate enough to intern for Craig Mitchelldyer and get to shoot the Portland Timbers (MLS), Portland Thorns (NWSL) and the Hillsboro Hops (MiLB) as well as lend a hand on miscellaneous other shoots. I have affectionately been referring to this time period as the summer of soccer, which lead into the fall of football.
In august I moved to Kansas City and began work for the Chiefs without knowing much more about the city then its reputation for amazing BBQ. Working for the Chiefs has been an amazing opportunity to grow as a photographer and photo editor as well as see first hand how an NFL team works on a daily basis. My boss and team photographer Steve has been wonderful in teaching me the ropes as well as photo archivist and ninja turtle lover Zach. All my fellow interns are excellent as well, coming from all over the US and one coming as far as South Africa. As a group, we have become pretty close. I jokingly say that my life since being out here has been football, barbeque and beer (but there is a lot more truth to that then I care to admit).
While in Kansas City I was able to work for MLB as a photo editor during the World Series. What sweetened the deal was that the Royals played the Giants, both cities I am quite fond of. My favorite part about the Series, besides all the behinds the scenes things you don’t see on tv, was meeting all the great photographers who covered the event including fellow Sports Illustrated intern alum Amy Stroth.
Also during this time I attended the Eddie Adams Workshop. This sleep deprived weekend full of shooting, inspiring lectures, 2 am portfolio reviews, meeting some of my photography heroes and some new photography friends was a whirlwind adventure. It has been a couple of months now and I am still trying to process it all. I came away inspired, rejuvenated and at the same time in desperate need of sleep.
Overall this year has been my favorite photographically in the images I shot, events I covered, photographers I met and the information I gleaned.
Outside of photography my life has had a couple of changes as well. My volleyball career ended a bit earlier then I had originally planned. I had one more season left of eligibility but decided to give it up in order to take the internship with the Chiefs. It was a tough decision but my teammates, coaches and the entire AAU athletic department were incredibly supportive. I am grateful to all of them for the amazing four years that I had and am proud as ever to be an urban knight.
This year brought a heap of new friends as well as a ton of laughs and new memories. It also took a couple away from me. My good friend Amy moved to New York to pursue a job and I couldn’t be more proud of her. My beautiful friend Janie got married and moved to Chicago (how weird is it now to say I have a best friend who’s married?). I moved leaving some amazing friends behind (Kanoe, Janelle, Devin, my teammates and too many others to name them all). I also lost two loved ones this year one being my Bompa (my wonderful Grandfather) at the ripe old age of 89 as well as my fluffy companion Scout (faithful family dog).
Overall these past 12 months have brought a lot of change and insight and most importantly happiness. I am very thankful for my family and friends who have supported me. It is because of you guys that I have been able to have these opportunities, I would be nowhere without you all. 2015 if you are anywhere near half as good as 2014 I am stoked and ready to start this adventure all over again. Happy Holidays everyone!