A Few of My Favorite Frames Explained.
March 3, 2002: Operation Anaconda in Northern Afghanistan.
Things didn't initially go as planned during the first 24 hours of Operation Anaconda. Resistance forces were much larger in numbers than originally anticipated and U.S. forces found themselves pinned down in certain areas, U.S. aircraft received heavy fire during the initial insertion and eventually, Special Operations aircraft and personnel were called in from around the theater in support of the operation. This image shows a Special Operations CH-47 landing at the F.A.R.P. (Forward Arming and Refueling Point) in the high mountain plains of northern Afghanistan in the early morning hours of the second day of the operation.
April 17, 2020: United Center. Chicago, Illinois.
In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began to significantly impact those of us living in the U.S. I deployed with Team Rubicon to Chicago Illinois for a week to document their efforts in assisting with delivering PPE and supplies to those in need in the greater Chicago area. In this image, the United Center (home of the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls) had been transformed into a PPE storage and delivery facility as well as a place to store non-perishable food items (as seen).
April 18, 2020: McCormick Place Convention Center. Chicago, Illinois.
As the United Center had been transformed into a PPE donations and delivery site, the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago had been transformed into an ACF (Alternate Care Facility) to treat COVID-19 patients as the pandemic worsened. Upon completion, the facility would be able to treat 1,200+ patients if needed.
May 30, 2020: Cincinnati, Ohio.
Following the murder of George Floyd, Cincinnatians took to the streets in protest. This image shows Myron Hollister Haynes of Cincinnati standing on the steps of City Hall speaking and leading his fellow demonstrators. The demonstrations and protests lasted over a month in the city and it seemed I spent every day on assignment for WVXU documenting a new chapter in the city's history.
June 7, 2020: Cincinnati, Ohio.
The demonstrations over George Floyd's murder continued to grow in size for over a month in Cincinnati. On June 7th, 2020, during a very well-organized protest and demonstration, an estimated 17,000+ people took to the streets in unison. They marched from Fountain Square to the Hamilton County Courthouse where they took a knee in unity. It felt surreal to stand in the middle of 17,000 people taking a knee while taking this image.
July 15, 2019: Louisville, Kentucky.
In 2018 and 2019, I documented the National Wheelchair Games hosted by Paralyzed Veterans of America. 100's of inspiring athletes took to competition during the event and it seemed as if every image I took was one of my favorites -- but this one stands out to me as it shows the amount of technology needed to simply compete when one loses mobility and/or use of one or more of their limbs. Being a disabled veteran myself, I felt inspired and in awe of both their efforts and accomplishments during the Games while looking through the viewfinder.
February 15, 2019: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
One of the best things about collegiate sports is the hype and intensity during every game and match. Xavier University's women's basketball team always huddles like this prior to tip-off of every game at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati. I shared this image on Instagram and National Geographic chose it as one of the top three images of the week.
September 9, 2018: Harbin Park, Cincinnati, Ohio.
As a former competitive cyclist, U.S.A Cycling Race Director, and photojournalist -- I've documented a lot of cyclocross racing around the country. To me, this image simply sums up the sport: mud and sloppiness on a perfect day for CX racing.
August 15, 2019: Western & Southern Open. Mason, Ohio.
Playing competitive tennis all my life, it was an amazing experience to professionally dphotograph professional tennis for the first time. If you've spent time watching professional tennis over the last decade+, you know that Roger Federer wipes his brow with his wristband before each and every point. I've watched him do this thousands upon thousands of times on television and I wanted an image that represented Federer between points during his routine.
March 3, 2020: Cookeville, Tennessee
On the night of March 2nd and into the morning of March 3rd, 2020, an EF-4 tornado ripped through Putnam County and Cookeville, Tennessee with sustained winds of 175+ mph. I immediately dropped what I was doing and made my way to Cookeville. This image, taken upon my arrival just after sunset, shows an entire neighborhood that was completely leveled by the tornado. Multiple people lost their lives in this neighborhood. I would find out through talking with homeowners the next morning that the house that once stood where I was standing while taking this image was the home were a young girl lost her life. It is gut-wrenching to spend time with homeowners and family members of those lost following natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.
March 11, 2020: Cookeville, Tennessee.
Girl Power. Volunteers of Team Rubicon get to work clearing debris and fallen trees after the deadly EF-4 tornado hit Putnam County and Cookeville, Tennessee. I spent roughly two weeks on location documenting Team Rubicon, their volunteers, and their efforts as they worked to rebuild the local community.
January 8, 2019: Panama City, Florida.
On October 10th, 2018, Hurricane Michael became the first Cat 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Michael resulted in 31 direct and 43 indirect fatalities along with widespread damage along the Florida Panhandle. I spent a week with Team Rubicon in the area documenting their efforts and this was my first time seeing them in action and in person. During my week there, roughly 150 volunteers were on site and upon my departure, nearly 500 TR volunteers total had spent a week in Panama City and the surrounding areas doing what they could clearing debris, fallen trees, and rebuilding homes and businesses.
Septemer 3, 2021: Hammond, Louisiana.
On August 29th, 2021, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana. Hurricane Ida was the second-most damaging and intense hurricane on record behind Katrina in 2005. As Ida made landfall, I flew to Texas to join Team Rubicon and once again document their humanitarian recovery efforts. As Ida pushed north, we pushed to the east towards Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It took two days for our convoy to get on location due to heavy traffic and roads closed by fallen trees and debris. Without electricity, food, and water, many parked their vehicles in long lines at the local Wal-Mart in Hammond, Louisiana to get supplies and water provided by the National Guard and others donating items. As I was walking the lines in the parking lot, this man asked if I would take a picture of him with his "best buddy and traveling partner." In a time of tragedy and despair, he was smiling ear-to-ear. I took thousands of images on site that week but this one is my favorite.
November 12, 2018: World's Toughest Mudder. Atlanta, Georgia.
Luckily for me, the photographer originally scheduled to document the 24 hour endurance race known as 'The World's Toughest Mudder' had to cancel and I got the opportunity. This image shows participants working together to climb 'Everest 2.0' which is a huge wall/obstacle that the athletes have to run full speed at the base in hopes of ascending up and over the wall. Temperatures had dropped to the upper-20's over night and the obstacle had become frozen and incredibly slippery (as it was when this image was taken just after sunrise on day two of the race). If participants failed to successfully clear any obstacle during the race, they were assessed a time penalty via additional distance to traverse during each lap they attempt.
November 12, 2018: World's Toughest Mudder. Atlanta, Georgia.
A man plays the bagpipes as the sun rises on day two at the World's Toughest Mudder. All said and done, I myself walked/hiked/ran just shy of 24 miles photographing and documenting the race over a 24 hour period without any sleep.
July 21, 2019: Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati, Ohio.
2019 marked the first season that FC Cincinnati played in the MLS. If you know anything about FC Cincinnati, you know that its fans are both loyal and fanatical. A seating section of Nippert Stadium was named 'the Bailey' and it was always filled with orange, blue, and a heck of a lot of noise for 90+ minutes during every match. Prior to every home match, a rally and march is held leading to the stadium (which is captured here from an overhead walkway inside of Nippert Stadium as the fans head to the Bailey). Now at TQL Stadium, the fans still march, bang their drums, and take their spot in the new 'Bailey' section as they've always done and will always do.