On Assignment

I think it's common to go through periods of time when you feel like you're not taking the best pictures you can. I went through one of those periods a few weeks ago, but I told myself that it's amazing I get this opportunity to work for the IndyStar, and I better start taking advantage of it. I saw this silly tweet by a Twitter account that is supposed to be run by a dog. Each tweet is typed in a way that makes it sound as if the dog said it. One of the tweets was, "Today I will surpass "good" and be the best." 

While I don't think that 21-year-old me can be the "best" photographer quite yet, I know I can at least be better than "good." I tried to come to every assignment last week with that mentality.

Here's some photos I've taken on assignment recently:

Dick Sutton, a naval Korean War veteran, is given a flight on a historic B-17 bombers on Monday, June 26, 2017. The Liberty Foundations 2017 Salute to Veterans tour features flights on the World War II-era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed 'Madras Maiden'. Sutton served in the military for 34 years.

Dick Sutton, a naval Korean War veteran, is given a flight on a historic B-17 bombers on Monday, June 26, 2017. The Liberty Foundations 2017 Salute to Veterans tour features flights on the World War II-era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed 'Madras Maiden'. Sutton served in the military for 34 years.

Rick Sutton (right) and his father, Dick Sutton, explore a historic B-17 bomber on Monday, June 26, 2017. The Liberty Foundations 2017 Salute to Veterans tour features flights on World War II-era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed 'Madras Maiden'. Dick Sutton is a Korean War veteran, and served in the military for 34 years.

Rick Sutton (right) and his father, Dick Sutton, explore a historic B-17 bomber on Monday, June 26, 2017. The Liberty Foundations 2017 Salute to Veterans tour features flights on World War II-era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed 'Madras Maiden'. Dick Sutton is a Korean War veteran, and served in the military for 34 years.

Two girls drive a mini Cadillac as part of the parade at the Freedom Festival in Greenwood, Ind., on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Two girls drive a mini Cadillac as part of the parade at the Freedom Festival in Greenwood, Ind., on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Peggy Meyer (left) consoles Ashley Thomas (right) at the Justice for Aaron Bailey rally at City Market on Friday, June 30, 2017. "If I don't do something about this injustice now, how will I better my sons' futures?" says Thomas.

Peggy Meyer (left) consoles Ashley Thomas (right) at the Justice for Aaron Bailey rally at City Market on Friday, June 30, 2017. "If I don't do something about this injustice now, how will I better my sons' futures?" says Thomas.

Amaya Bailey, 5, holds a towel over her head while she plays in the rain at City Market on Friday, June 30, 2017.

Amaya Bailey, 5, holds a towel over her head while she plays in the rain at City Market on Friday, June 30, 2017.

Charlotte McGuire (top), 7, and her sisters Nora (middle), 5, and Isabel, 5, listen to the music playing at the IPL Freedom Festival in downtown Indianapolis on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Charlotte McGuire (top), 7, and her sisters Nora (middle), 5, and Isabel, 5, listen to the music playing at the IPL Freedom Festival in downtown Indianapolis on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Henry Staser, 12, gets dunked in a tub of water at the Fourth of July ¡Ole! Festival at St. Mary's Church in Indianapolis on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Henry Staser, 12, gets dunked in a tub of water at the Fourth of July ¡Ole! Festival at St. Mary's Church in Indianapolis on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

USA Swimming Nationals

I love swimming, and I got to shoot one day of USA Swimming's national meet this past weekend, so I'm gonna give it it's own blog post.

I came on a day that was unfortunately mostly freestyle events - the women's 1500, men's 800, and men's and women's 50 freestyle - but there were also the men's and women's 200 Individual Medleys. I had come to the meet the few days before to spectate, and I noticed that photographers were avoiding shooting from the end of the pool, choosing instead to shoot from the side. I guess that works on a day that's mostly freestyle, but since I only had one day to shoot, I was going to make the most of it.

There were a few women I had to shoot in the first heat of the 200 IM, so I quickly made my way down to the end of the pool before it started. I asked the officials if I was allowed to shoot from there, and they didn't know. I just decided to shoot from there anyway until someone yelled at me for it. I loved the straight-on view of the faces during the butterfly and breaststroke legs, and I loved the clean blue background it provided. The swimmers really stood out. Turns out shooting from that area was fine, so I couldn't really understand why the other photogs didn't try to shoot from that angle. 

But then... when I made my way back to the side of the pool, I understood why none of them moved. It was next to impossible to get good shooting position once I had left. I ended up shooting from the middle of the pool, which wasn't really where I wanted to be. But I also ended up with some photos I was pretty happy with, and I met several new photographers while I was there! 

Club Wolverine's Sierra Schmidt chases down Texas A&M's Joy Field during the 1500-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Schmidt finished fourth overall with a time of 16:19.59.

Club Wolverine's Sierra Schmidt chases down Texas A&M's Joy Field during the 1500-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Schmidt finished fourth overall with a time of 16:19.59.

Carmel Swim Club's Kelly Pash during the butterfly leg of the 200-meter Individual Medley at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Pash finished last in the C-final with a time of 2:18.41.

Carmel Swim Club's Kelly Pash during the butterfly leg of the 200-meter Individual Medley at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Pash finished last in the C-final with a time of 2:18.41.

Hannah Moore smiles after seeing her winning time in the 1500-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Moore finished first in the event, claiming her spot on Team USA for the World Championships in Budapest, with a time of 16:08.68.

Hannah Moore smiles after seeing her winning time in the 1500-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Moore finished first in the event, claiming her spot on Team USA for the World Championships in Budapest, with a time of 16:08.68.

Zionsville Swim Club's Jack Franzmann gets pumped up before his 50-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

Zionsville Swim Club's Jack Franzmann gets pumped up before his 50-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

Zionsville Swim Club's Jack Franzman reacts after his 50-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Franzman finished third in the C-final with a time of 22.92. 

Zionsville Swim Club's Jack Franzman reacts after his 50-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Franzman finished third in the C-final with a time of 22.92. 

Cullen Jones during his 50-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Two-time Olympian Jones finished third in the event behind second-place Nathan Adrian and winner Caeleb Dressel.

Cullen Jones during his 50-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Two-time Olympian Jones finished third in the event behind second-place Nathan Adrian and winner Caeleb Dressel.

Badger Swim Club's Zane Grothe prepares for his 800-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

Badger Swim Club's Zane Grothe prepares for his 800-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

MAKO Swim Team's Anya Goeders during her 50-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Goeders won the C-final by one-tenth of a second.

MAKO Swim Team's Anya Goeders during her 50-meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Goeders won the C-final by one-tenth of a second.

Madisyn Cox (right) congratulates Melanie Margalis (left) after Margalis won the 200-meter Individual Medley at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

Madisyn Cox (right) congratulates Melanie Margalis (left) after Margalis won the 200-meter Individual Medley at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

Georgia's Chase Kalisz and Cal's Josh Pernot battle it out during the breaststroke leg of the 200-meter Individual Medley at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Kalisz would go on to win the event and Pernot would have to settle for third place behind Stanford's Abrahm DeVine.

Georgia's Chase Kalisz and Cal's Josh Pernot battle it out during the breaststroke leg of the 200-meter Individual Medley at the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Kalisz would go on to win the event and Pernot would have to settle for third place behind Stanford's Abrahm DeVine.

One month down.

I have been at the IndyStar for about a month now for my summer internship, and it seems like each week is a learning experience. My biggest challenge so far has been balancing doing photos and video simultaneously for every assignment. The IndyStar is part of the USA Today network which is making a big push for video, so I shoot and edit a video for almost everything. I've also videotaped several press conferences and edited those together, and have recorded post-practice interviews with Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis Colts players.

It's definitely been a challenge for me, and I'm still working on it. I've found it difficult to get *good* photos AND *good* video, as opposed to just getting average photos and average video. It frustrates me when I'm shooting video and I see a moment that could've made a good photo, and vice-versa. What I keep hearing is that the reality is that you can't just be a photographer anymore. You have to be able to do both photo and video, and you have to be able to do them well. I may struggle a little bit with it now, but I'm sure these skills will benefit me down the road. Especially as I get more and more efficient.

So, now that you're here... here's some stuff I've shot in the past month I've been here.

Jeff Moffatt hands his son, Devin, 8, a container of strawberry shortcake to enjoy with his mother, Belinda, at the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Jeff Moffatt hands his son, Devin, 8, a container of strawberry shortcake to enjoy with his mother, Belinda, at the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Volunteers prepare strawberry shortcake at the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Volunteers prepare strawberry shortcake at the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Elaina Mellott scoops strawberries at the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Elaina Mellott scoops strawberries at the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Vivian Grant, 17, and Michael Catano enjoy strawberry shortcake on a ledge of Monument Circle at the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Vivian Grant, 17, and Michael Catano enjoy strawberry shortcake on a ledge of Monument Circle at the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Crowds gather at Monument Circle for the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Crowds gather at Monument Circle for the 52nd Annual Strawberry Festival in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

People wait to begin the 8-mile ride at Bike Party Indianapolis in downtown Indianapolis on Friday, June 9, 2017. The group meets every second Friday of every month.

People wait to begin the 8-mile ride at Bike Party Indianapolis in downtown Indianapolis on Friday, June 9, 2017. The group meets every second Friday of every month.

Cyclists decorate their bikes with flowers at Bike Party Indianapolis in downtown Indianapolis on Friday, June 9, 2017. The cyclists could win prizes for the best decorated bike.

Cyclists decorate their bikes with flowers at Bike Party Indianapolis in downtown Indianapolis on Friday, June 9, 2017. The cyclists could win prizes for the best decorated bike.

Warren Central’s Mack Smith (4) and  Scott’s Jake Ohmer (2) at the Indiana vs. Kentucky High School All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Warren Central’s Mack Smith (4) and  Scott’s Jake Ohmer (2) at the Indiana vs. Kentucky High School All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

New Albany’s Chyna Anthony (10), Metcalfe County’s Mackenzie Coleman (13), and Franklin County’s Rebecca Cook (9) at the Indiana vs. Kentucky High School All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

New Albany’s Chyna Anthony (10), Metcalfe County’s Mackenzie Coleman (13), and Franklin County’s Rebecca Cook (9) at the Indiana vs. Kentucky High School All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

North Central’s Ajanae’ Thomas (11), Franklin County’s Rebecca Cook (9), and Butler’s Breia Torrens (3) at the Indiana vs. Kentucky High School All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

North Central’s Ajanae’ Thomas (11), Franklin County’s Rebecca Cook (9), and Butler’s Breia Torrens (3) at the Indiana vs. Kentucky High School All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Gary West’s Dana Evans (4) at the Indiana vs. Kentucky High School All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Gary West’s Dana Evans (4) at the Indiana vs. Kentucky High School All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Connor Lin, 3, sits atop his father, Mike's, shoulders at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Connor Lin, 3, sits atop his father, Mike's, shoulders at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Winners of one the day's earliest races celebrate in the Winner's Circle at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Winners of one the day's earliest races celebrate in the Winner's Circle at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Fans take photos of cars in the garages at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Fans take photos of cars in the garages at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Bud Taylor hoists Andrew Lewis, 7, into his car in at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Bud Taylor hoists Andrew Lewis, 7, into his car in at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Elliott Marshall, 3, hugs his neighbor Too Belli at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Elliott Marshall, 3, hugs his neighbor Too Belli at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Fans walk through Gasoline Alley at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Fans walk through Gasoline Alley at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Flags are hoisted into the air during the National Anthem at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Flags are hoisted into the air during the National Anthem at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Ava Carter, 11, rolls her flag after ceremony for the National Anthem at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Ava Carter, 11, rolls her flag after ceremony for the National Anthem at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Crew members try to get a vintage car started prior to the start of a race at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Crew members try to get a vintage car started prior to the start of a race at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 17, 2017.