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The leafless cherry, Old as a toothless woman, Blooms in flowers, Mindful of its youth. -Matsuo Basho

The leafless cherry,
Old as a toothless woman,
Blooms in flowers,
Mindful of its youth.
-Matsuo Basho

From an assignment for The Wall Street Journal in 2012:
The editor I was working with put me in touch with Will Courtney, who suffered complications from his first hernia surgery that led to multiple follow up operations. As Will explained it, just the act of walking was painful. He was unable to play any of the sports he had participated in since high school. His most recent hernia surgery, which was performed about three years ago, repaired the original damage and has allowed Will to return to some of his favorite sports. We met at his house in Arlington and headed over to a nearby basketball court for the shoot, though he warned me that he hadn’t picked up a basketball in some eight months.The shoot was a bit thorny, what with the clear sky and beautiful, bright, midday (overhead) sun. More powerful lights would have been helpful, but I was able to get a pair of speedlights to do the trick. It’s not ideal, but in a pinch (and with a remarkably generous subject) we were able to get a couple versions of these lit shots to work out. I mention Will’s generosity, and it bears repeating because he really worked hard for this to come together. Will was able not only to work with me for over an hour in the middle of his work day, but he kept putting up layup after layup until we had a few different shots in the bag. It was a fun shoot and a great way to spend a little time on a Monday afternoon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to working on my hook shot.
Check out the full story.

From an assignment for The Wall Street Journal in 2012:

The editor I was working with put me in touch with Will Courtney, who suffered complications from his first hernia surgery that led to multiple follow up operations. As Will explained it, just the act of walking was painful. He was unable to play any of the sports he had participated in since high school. His most recent hernia surgery, which was performed about three years ago, repaired the original damage and has allowed Will to return to some of his favorite sports. We met at his house in Arlington and headed over to a nearby basketball court for the shoot, though he warned me that he hadn’t picked up a basketball in some eight months.

The shoot was a bit thorny, what with the clear sky and beautiful, bright, midday (overhead) sun. More powerful lights would have been helpful, but I was able to get a pair of speedlights to do the trick. It’s not ideal, but in a pinch (and with a remarkably generous subject) we were able to get a couple versions of these lit shots to work out. I mention Will’s generosity, and it bears repeating because he really worked hard for this to come together. Will was able not only to work with me for over an hour in the middle of his work day, but he kept putting up layup after layup until we had a few different shots in the bag. It was a fun shoot and a great way to spend a little time on a Monday afternoon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to working on my hook shot.

Check out the full story.

From 2010 when I worked for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah:
Ethan was in Utah with his mother and her new husband on a custody agreement that placed him with his mother for the summer and his father (who lives out of state) the rest of the year. He was reported missing a few weeks prior to this vigil and the investigation quickly turned in to a search for the boy’s remains. His mother and her husband were arrested on charges of murder in what turned out to be a grim and painful story of abuse and neglect. The outpouring of mourners, many of whom never met Ethan or any of his family, was incredibly emotional.
The vigil was on the second or third night after Ethan’s body was found, and many of the media folks there to cover it (yours truly among them) were surprised at the turnout. Several hundred people, some from the surrounding apartments and others who traveled from out of town, gathered in the courtyard to shed tears in memory of a boy many of them never knew.Covering emotionally charged, mournful events is difficult, but everyone I met that night was open to talk. It was moving: I’m thankful for being raised in a loving and supportive family, and the overwhelming feeling of common loss suggests that we have the capacity to connect with others on an incredibly deep level.

From 2010 when I worked for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah:

Ethan was in Utah with his mother and her new husband on a custody agreement that placed him with his mother for the summer and his father (who lives out of state) the rest of the year. He was reported missing a few weeks prior to this vigil and the investigation quickly turned in to a search for the boy’s remains. His mother and her husband were arrested on charges of murder in what turned out to be a grim and painful story of abuse and neglect. The outpouring of mourners, many of whom never met Ethan or any of his family, was incredibly emotional.


The vigil was on the second or third night after Ethan’s body was found, and many of the media folks there to cover it (yours truly among them) were surprised at the turnout. Several hundred people, some from the surrounding apartments and others who traveled from out of town, gathered in the courtyard to shed tears in memory of a boy many of them never knew.

Covering emotionally charged, mournful events is difficult, but everyone I met that night was open to talk. It was moving: I’m thankful for being raised in a loving and supportive family, and the overwhelming feeling of common loss suggests that we have the capacity to connect with others on an incredibly deep level.

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