Every day I consider myself lucky enough to document the experience of those learning and educating at one of the nation's most innovative universities.
I work alongside visuals editor
Charlie Leight and videographer Kenneth Fagan, and every day brings a different story to visually illustrate. I primarily deal with photography, though I also shoot video depending on the story and situation. Every story assignment brings a unique opportunity to relate visually to our readers. I've included my favorite photographs from the year, though many aren't necessarily included in stories — they are the outtakes that I personally enjoy from ASU Now assignments. I am lucky enough to shoot with a 5D Mark III and generally with a Canon 24-70mm F2.8 and a Canon 70-200mm F2.8.
A downpour darkens Orange Street on Tempe campus when 0.62 inches of rain fell in the desert on July 31. The rain this summer was crazy, and it's always tricky to shoot in rain, but thankfully getting stuck outside the School of Earth and Space Exploration allowed me to hang out and get a couple of shots of the intense summer monsoon.
ASU junior Alexandra Osborne throws up a serve during practice at the Whiteman Tennis Center on July 30. Sometimes shooting practice is the most fun because you can do different shots, actually get close to the court and move around more freely to get the shot you want.
Freshmen and political science majors Rilee Rosier (left) and Shenika Butler learn traditional ASU cheers during Camp Solera and freshman orientation on ASU's West campus Aug. 16. It has been fun to watch students arriving to the university as freshman and learning the traditions and aspects of college life.
Freshman nursing major and Barrett honors student Hannah Kiesling fits her family into the elevator as
she moves into Taylor Place residence hall Aug. 14. I've been covering Hannah for the first half of her freshman year, and it has been fun to watch how she and the other two freshman I cover have been navigating their freshman year at ASU.
Actor Michael Bailey waits for a scene to be filmed on the set of "Postmarked" on the Tempe campus. The film was
written by Ron Hunting, a Valley actor who has ALS, and directed by his friend, ASU professor Gene Ganssle. The movie was interesting to shoot, though I could only photograph during run-throughs so as to not affect audio with my shutter.
ASU carpenters hang a bull moose head at the Natural History Collection at ASU's Alameda building in Tempe on Aug. 21. It was fun to watch the collection slowly be installed: It's extensive, and many of the heads were heavy and awkward enough to require two to three people to hang them.
Family studies and human development senior Nicole Rodrigue waits to put up her flag during the setting up of the 3,000 flags that will make up the 12th annual Healing Fields memorial at Tempe Beach Park early on Sept. 10. I've shot this a few times over the years and it's always striking watching the thousands of flags go up in a matter of a couple of hours.
International business major and freshman Leslie Castro listens to her instructor, Roberto Manzanilla, lecture during a section of the
Spanish heritage learner course on Tempe campus Aug. 27. We shoot a lot of classrooms, and I think I got lucky that the student was so engaged she choose to sit on the floor to listen to the instructor's lesson.
Arizona State University sophomore diver Heikki Makikallio practices during an intrasquad meet at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe on Sept. 25. It's always fun to shoot ASU's amazing divers as they leap into the air surrounded by sky and buildings.
Mason Hilua paddle-boards at Lake Havasu on Sept. 1. Lake Havasu is a unique campus and a different experience for shooting photographs; it was small and friendly, with most students being familiar with one another — and having the lake nearby doesn't hurt.
Somali American United Council President Mohamed Ali Abukar speaks with community partners during the Social Entrepreneurship Expo at Refugee Focus in central Phoenix on Sept. 22. It is always rewarding seeing partnerships between the university and the community when it comes to personal and social development.
Performers demonstrate data shedding during
Vibrant Lives - Data Archives at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse Mainstage event Oct. 2. Cameras today are carrying amazing software, but they cannot function well in low light. For this event I was thankful I had my 5D Mark III and F2.8 lens because there was no other way to make photos in this light.
Kaitlyn DiLorenzo gets fanned after running in the heat during the "Flash" competition at the Barrett, The Honors College's
Superhero at West Campus event Oct. 3. I've been following Kaitlyn for a photo series, and it has been so much fun to see her experience college life. I feel this shows how fun she can be.
Hues of Ego designer Natasha Duran-Lynch makes some last-moment adjustments to one of her pieces before the start of the
Emerging Designer Show at the Talking Stick Resort on Oct. 3. Duran-Lynch, a former ASU student, is a stunning designer, and it was an amazing experience to see how much work goes into a fashion show.
Irma Payan shows a portrait of her father, who came to Bisbee as a coal miner in the early 1900s, at the Hayden Library at Tempe campus Oct. 8. The Chicano Research Collection and ASU hosted the event "Latino Genealogy & Preservation of Family Archives Workshop." It was enjoyable to see so much Arizona history and involvement from ASU.
Nogales resident Manuel Flores Flores looks as the wall as he wraps up his contribution of painting the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, on Oct. 13. It was a pleasure to watch residents and artist Ana Teresa Fernandez
"erasing" the border.
Dance freshmen Dale Vaughn and Riley Lock practice their moves before an evening performance at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus on Oct. 22. Often we wander around campus finding interesting scenes to photograph to show the atmosphere of our university, and I couldn't ignore them.
A black widow and a male black widow, commonly used for demonstrations with schoolchildren at the black widow lab at the West campus in Glendale on Oct. 29. This was cool because the lab was just large enough and the angle just right for me to use the 70-200mm lens to help blur out some of the plastic container in the background that the spiders were housed in.
John Patrick of Payson shows of his samples, which turned out to be
"meteor-wrongs," during Earth and Space Exploration Day on the Tempe campus Nov. 7. We were able to hang out and meet all these interesting people who wanted to know if they had found a piece of outer space, if their rocks were meteorites. Unfortunately none had.
Andrew Cruz, 19, looks at his opponent while competing in an eating contest with the hopes of winning a ASU Homecoming shirt at Sparky's Carnival on West Campus on Nov. 8. Sometimes our job is so fun, this pie-eating contest was great to watch!
Associate professor Miles Orchinik gets ready to be pied in the face during the School of Life Sciences' "Pie your Professor" fundraiser for the Pat Tillman Foundation in Tempe on Nov. 9. This was just kind of hilarious; I don't think I've photographed any kind of pie activity since 2005 and then there were two in one week.
Avery Burroughs rides down a bouncy slide during the Homecoming block party in Tempe on Nov. 14. She was so small she bounced down the slide, and her little ASU cheerleader outfit made it even more adorable.
(From left) Simon Beard, Isaac Nutt and his brother, Henry Nutt, play Star Wars in the staging area before the start of the Homecoming parade and block party in Tempe on the morning of Nov. 14. Sometimes the best photos are in that downtime before something, like the ASU Homecoming parade, begins.
Settings: 24mm, ISO 200, F3.5, 1/4000 of a second.
Intermedia graduate student Shiloh Ashley is filmed by junior Regan Henley with a phone using the Periscope app during the intermedia performance class'
performance in Tempe on Nov. 16. I enjoyed seeing this very real intrusion of using the Periscope app and surreptitious recording to remind the viewers of intrusion of recording devices.
A student shows her colors during the Territorial Cup game Nov. 21. This photo never ran because I lost the ASU student's name — meaning we normally cannot run the photo — but it is by far my favorite of the fan photographs.
Sun Devil fans cheer as ASU scores yet another touchdown against the Wildcats during the 2015 Territorial Cup game Nov. 21. I love shooting fans; their enthusiasm and energy is so much fun to cover. I think for this game I didn't shoot a single frame of action, just the fans.
Inmates stretch and do vocal exercises before the start of their "Free Drama" performance at Eyman State Prison in Florence, Arizona, on Nov. 25. I was able to get to know Rivka Rocchio, the course instructor, and was able to join her and her ASU students in the
final performance inside Eyman State Prison.
Outstanding graduate student
Emma Fleming outside the Virginia G. Piper House on December 3. I enjoyed shooting this double exposure because we're often tasked with photographing portraits of people and we don't always get to be so creative with it.
Officer Becky Garcia and Kelis Elder head back into Walmart after finishing their Christmas shopping Dec. 12. This was an outtake from
"Shop with a Cop," and I liked how goofy it was and how it showed the fun of the not only the children, but also the police officers who generally have to maintain a different personality when working.
A new graduate walks home after Undergraduate Commencement at Wells Fargo Arena on the Tempe campus on Dec. 14. There is a vent that releases air or steam, I'm not sure, but it created this great scene. I think I spent 20 minutes waiting for possible photos during every graduation that week.
Graduate and student speaker Lee Green, teary-eyed, hugs her husband, Kenneth Green, after the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law convocation at the Memorial Union on Dec. 16. This graduate was amazing, a mother of seven, and just overwhelmed by her family support and her amazing accomplishment.
Here are a few of my favorite videos, as well.
Theatre Across Prison Walls: Throughout the fall semester I spent time with instructor Rivka Rocchio and her ASU students as they prepared their performance for Theatre Across Prison Walls. The students met for only one day and just for an hour or so of rehearsal, though it took some time to get not only myself approved but all my equipment. Everyone was immersed in their rehearsal an performance so it was easy to document. At times it’s easy to characterize people by the immediate circumstances you meet them in, like our ASU students in ASU shirts vs. inmates in orange ADC suits.
Star Wars: I like this video because we did a formal interview, but partway through Arizona State University conservator Suzanne Morgan wanted to finish sealing the poster and it turned out to be quite interesting. I love learning new things, like how it’s not lamination but encapsulation, and I felt the comfort of nostalgia as she showed me poster after 1980s poster.
ASU kids (adorable!): This one was quite fun — the kids were so driven and the best part is they came with their teacher to the Homecoming block party where they enjoyed the booths and then the game. I hope we see these future Sun Devils on campus someday!