Catching Flight

Intramural basketball teammates Brody Wristen (far left), and Justin Kilgore (center), watch as Kole Earhart makes a layup before their game on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. The boys warm up in Half Acre Gymnasium for their first co-ed intramural game of the school year at the University of Wyoming.

In order to shoot “Catching Flight,” I thought it would be a good idea to go to the Half Acre gym to get some shots because I play intramural basketball myself, so I knew when the games were taking place and that I’d be able to get a few shots. Personally, I knew that this might be a popular location to shoot sports related photos, so I went into the other gym instead of the main gym and caught pictures of players that were warming up rather than actually playing in a game. It was quite easy to get this shot. I felt natural. Even though I didn’t know these people, I just crouched down behind them and in the corners where I wasn’t to disturb them, and just told them to ignore me when they asked. I wanted to get a photo that contained contrast with the yellow and brown walls, and I loved that I captured “Catching Flight” with the UW logo on the wall.

Waiting for you

University of Denver student Abigail Croell sits and waits patiently for a friend to meet her in downtown Denver on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.

This past weekend, I visited my home which is near Denver. I thought it would be a great idea to go to downtown Denver because there’s always so many people roaming around, especially on the weekends. So, I took my brother with me and started shooting in random places in Denver. I saw the featured subject sitting on a bench and I zoomed in a bit to snap pictures of her. It was fairly easy to shoot “Waiting for you,” because I was kind of hidden behind a pole and a fence, and it was also shortly after 5:30 p.m., so it was dark enough for me to stay hidden, but light enough for me to get a dramatic picture. This is my favorite shot I took for this project. Her facial expression almost looks as if she is posing, which I thought was very neat since she wasn’t. I felt good about taking these shots, because when I asked the subject for her name, she asked to see the photos and she said they were awesome. She was very kind and supportive of my position as a new student photographer with this project. I would also say I wanted to go for contrast in “Waiting for you” as well, because the second I saw her expression in my photos, I wanted to make it black and white.

Eureka, Urrea!

Mexican/American author Luis Alberto Urrea, 63, visited the Cooper Carriage House at the University of Wyoming on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Urrea is currently on a book tour for his most recently published 2018 novel, The House of Broken Angels. Urrea is a poet, essayist and novelist of 18 best-selling books.

I saw this opportunity to take shots of a best-selling novelist on a flyer that was hanging in the classroom building at UW. I went to his reading and sat right in the front row to take shots of him. “Eureka, Urrea!” turned out to be my favorite because it really captured the man he is. He was smiley and friendly the entire event. He had an extremely tragic life as he described it, but that was not the type of man that he appeared to be, and this photo speaks for itself. It was very easy to get this shot. It felt fluid and natural to just take shots and capture his happiness as he continued to share his story with the audience. I actually did notice myself feeling very sad when I was shooting photos of him, because as I mentioned, he had a very hard and tragic childhood, so seeing his smile made me feel a little bit as if he had learned to get very good at just “laughing it off” and putting a mask on his whole life. However, I could tell that writing books makes him happy, and talking about his novels makes him happy, so I felt honored to photograph him in his element.

The world needs more cow…girls!

University of Wyoming equine science student, Emma Viellieu, greets her horses, Sahara (left), and Thunder (right), on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Viellieu visits the Open Range Barn and Stable every day to feed, train and maintain her horses.

I would say aside of going to Denver to take photos, this part of the project was the most fun. I am not a horse person; I know nothing about them and I have never ridden one. So, it was super interesting for me to step outside of my box and go visit a lifestyle that I’ve never exposed myself to before. That being said, “The world needs more cow…girls!” was very easy for me to take. I must have spent an hour and a half at the stable snapping photos of people with their horses. It was so fascinating to me. I love this photo because it actually looks like the horse is kissing the subject, and it is so adorable. Shooting at this location made me super happy and everything felt easy and go-with-the-flow. All the subjects I shot pictures of were so friendly and happy, so it was hard for me to choose a shot from this portion of the project.


University of Wyoming student and faculty member, Caitlyn Mlodzik (left), and Val Pexton (right), attend the Luis Alberto Urrea reading on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Mlodzik takes notes as Pexton listens to the author’s life story and journey into becoming a writer.

“Starstruck” came along naturally while I was attending Urrea’s book reading intending to shoot “Eureka, Urrea!” I was shooting and listening to Urrea during the reading, and I noticed how intrigued the subjects in “Starstruck” were, so I shifted a little bit and tried to get a natural shot of the subjects. This shot may not look like a lot, but it was a good shot to me because I was so in-the-moment at this book reading, and after feeling my personal reaction to Urrea’s story, I wanted to capture the faces of other listeners and see what they thought of the event. I also liked how the colors of the red chairs and bright green wall in the back pop out at the viewer. All the colors looked wild, but at the same time, they definitely defined such a strong literature setting.

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