It's essential never to overlook expressing gratitude to those who've aided us in our life's journey, whether it be in our personal lives or careers. As I find myself seated in my car, eagerly anticipating the commencement of a football game in Downers Grove, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the following individuals:
Charles Rex Arbogast (AP Photojournalist):
In 2011, during a chilly November evening, I stepped into a classroom at Columbia College to attend a seminar hosted by the Illinois Press Photography Association. It was during this event that Charles Rex Arbogast, an esteemed AP Photojournalist, shared invaluable insights about the world of photojournalism and provided guidance on where to begin this journey. He particularly recommended the Peter Read Miller Sports Workshop in Denver for those serious about mastering sports photography. Listening to his words ignited my passion for becoming a photojournalist.
Peter Read Miller (Sports Illustrated Photographer):
Attending the Sports Workshop in Denver, led by Peter Read Miller, was a transformative experience. The lessons and wisdom I gained from the workshop and my conversations with Mr. Miller about the industry are memories I shall forever cherish.
Terrance Gardner-Shaw (Editorial Photographer):
In 2011, it was Terrance who introduced me to the group of freelancers in Aurora working with the Sun-Times in the western suburbs. Without his introduction, I might not be where I am today, working in this thriving industry.
Jeff Cagle (Photojournalist and Beer Expert):
In September 2012, Jeff noticed me on the sidelines of a football game at Waubonsie Valley and encouraged me to consider shooting for the Sun-Times. He even vouched for me to cover sports and news. Just a week later, I embarked on my first assignment at Burlington Central High School. Jeff's support was instrumental in my journey.
Steve Buyansky (Photojournalist and former photo editor for Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune):
Steve extended to me the opportunity to undertake my initial sports and news assignments. His belief in me was a pivotal moment, and I am eternally grateful.
Sandy Bressner-Butt (Photojournalist and Photo Editor for Shaw Media):
During a football game between Batavia and Downers Grove North in 2012, I crossed paths with Sandy. She inquired if I would be interested in freelancing for the Kane County Chronicle, which marked the beginning of a memorable collaboration. I remain deeply thankful for the chance she afforded me to freelance for Shaw Media.
Mark Busch (Photo Editor and Photojournalist for Shaw Media):
Mark permitted me to cover college sports for the Dekalb Chronicle (Shaw Media). I spent several years covering NIU football and basketball, thoroughly enjoying every moment of it. I shall be forever indebted for this incredible opportunity.
Chris Grove (St. Louis Post-Dispatch):
Chris played a crucial role in enabling me to cover high school sports teams from the St. Louis coverage area, granting me access to some of the state's finest football and basketball teams. Thank you, Chris!
Carter Crane (Owner and Reporter for The Voice Newspaper in Aurora):
Years ago, Carter asked me if I would be interested in covering sports for The Voice, thereby opening the door for me to report on college sports and MLB baseball. To the Crane family, I extend my sincere gratitude for allowing me to share stories through The Voice.
Maria King (Spouse):
When I disclosed my ambition of entering this industry to Maria, she initially harbored some reservations but unwaveringly supported my aspirations. She permitted me to invest in photography equipment and to dedicate my evenings away from home to cover local high school sports. Her unwavering support has been instrumental in my journey.
Photographers and Reporters:
Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to the talented photographers and reporters with whom I've had the privilege of working side by side over the past decade. I tend to talk excessively when nervous and occasionally engage in rambling conversations. Nevertheless, I genuinely appreciate the valuable conversations and advice you've shared with me. Thank you!
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