Reflections of 2012

“The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” 

Thomas S. Monson


As I go back through the images I've captured in 2012, I reflect on the positives and negatives of the year, as well as ways I can improve on things in the upcoming year.  I contemplate with appreciation, what I have gained from the previous year whether personally, professionally,  mentally, emotionally or spiritually.



Recently, as I was shooting the Veterans Christmas Wreath Ceremony, I was approached by Rosa Martinez, an older resident of Deatur who has the most heart warming smile and great outlook on life.  I remember seeing her several times at various ceremonies over the years, as she is married to a local veteran. Mrs. Martinez complimented me several times on my work in Wise County and thanked me for what I do here.  As I thought about her words, I was reminded of the things I hold most sacred, the things that make a difference in my life as well as the lives of others.  Those things are the relationships and the connections that I have formed with so many of my story subjects.  The great shots come and go, awards come and go, but I've come to realize that the relationships I've formed are here forever.  I believe that one of the most cherished parts of what I do at the Wise County Messenger is to form new relationships and continue to nurture the old ones.



My goal for the upcoming year is to re-establish some of those relationships created from past stories that I have been a part of.  I've been very fortunate to  be in a community that surrounds me like a warm blanket on a cool night.  I have been taken into the hearts and lives of so many as they shared their stories and experiences with me and allow me to share them with our readers.  I thank you Wise County. 

From moments collection


Year in Faces

As I go back through the images for the year end issue of the Wise County Messenger, my favorite has to be the Best Faces of the Year.  On various shoots throughout the year, I am honored to record some of the faces and personalities of individuals throughout Wise County.  I have compiled a collection of some of my favorite images captured throughout the year and would like to share these with you, our readers.  I had an editor once tell me, "that the places are all the same, it's only the faces that change", nothing touches us more than the emotion of a great face.

Mobile users, the year in faces.



Cody Duty......Son, Friend, Fellow Colleague


Where is he now? Starting from humble beginnings in Decatur, Texas at the Wise County Messenger, Cody Duty has traveled all over the United States shooting for various newspapers before settling in Houston at the Houston Chronicle.  His words today.......


"I must first say, that I am very honored to share my experiences and be featured on my father's blog, thanks for having me". 

Like many father-son relationships, my dad and I share a common interest. We don't fish or hunt, nor do we ride bikes or race cars, however, we do share a mutual love for visual communication.

As I returned home this past weekend, like always, Pops and I shared our new thoughts about the industry, as well as our opinions on the matter.  I am currently at the Houston Chronicle, a daily newspaper with an average audience of 500,000 readers, while my dad is at the Wise County Messenger, a semi-weekly newspaper with an average audience of 8,000 readers.  Despite these differences, we always seem to come to the same conclusion, the work and dedication, is the same no matter where you are, no matter the population of the city and no matter the amount of your readers.  There's always spot news to cover, whether a wreck with inuries/fatalities, various crimes with differing outcomes or other newsworthy reporting, the list could go on and on.  One thing remains the same for all situations, you always have to be willing to fight for a great story.  

No matter the subject that I photograph, it's always nice to trade opinions with Dad.  He may ask "why didn't you do this"? or say "hey that's great."  Other times, it may be "what the hell were you thinking, did you not see that pole coming out of his head"? But, I always remember that I am a mirror that reflects the same thoughts when needed as I look at his work.

Truthfully, that's probably why my father and I have such a great relationship, our honesty that we share for each other's work often transcends into all aspects of our lives. We can always be honest with each other no matter the topic.  

Here's a link to my most recent work. 

Cody Duty
Houston Chronicle
(832) 291-5252



A few days after i asked Cody for his words, the Chronicle chose him to head north and cover one of our nations most horrific events of all time.  I was so happy and honored that they had enough faith in this 24 year old photojournalist to send him to Connecticut.  But at the same time, I knew it would have a huge impact on his heart and soul.  This is the same young man that grew up with a camera in his hand and use to tell me," Dad, I just want to make a difference."  I would say, he's doing just that. 



They say...

Pictures are worth a 1000 words, good thing because I have a hard enough time talking, much less trying to compose a sentence.

 Here are my words!. Check out new upload to flickrflickr



Lemur moment


Looking for a different Halloween this opportunity presented itself at the CARE in Bridgeport, Texas last week. The Lemur is a funny little animal, kind of a cross between a spider monkey and a racoon with orange pumpkin looking eyes.  I found myself as curious about their nature as they were mine. These little furry balls of energy move like greased lightning so camera ready mode is a must!

This particular shot, due to the graphics makes it a addition to my favorites.  Looking for a different Halloween?  Go check it out.

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