Category Archives: Events

Encourage Reading: 2017 Denver, IA Dr. Seuss Celebration

Who doesn’t love the energy of an event put on for families and children¬†– especially one designed to foster the love of reading and celebrate the life of Dr. Seuss? I had the honor of photographing the Denver, Iowa Public Library‘s annual Dr. Seuss celebration – both the celebration itself as well as the dedicated photobooth that had been set up.

You should have seen all of the kid-friendly activities here! I’m not even sure how I would have managed to make it through all of the activities if I’d tried. The event was even larger than last year!

Kids seemed to love all of the options, though, and all of the activities were based upon Dr. Seuss and his famous book characters. Families could enjoy Dr. Seuss bingo, Dr. Seuss Tic-Tac-Toe, multiple craft areas, cake and “green eggs and ham” for snacks, sit down and watch a Dr. Seuss movie in the movie area, enjoy some “Hop On Pop” popcorn with an old-fashioned popcorn maker, and even meet Thing 1 and the Cat in the Hat! All of the kids there were clearly having a great time.

Just check out some of the shots from this literary event:

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Photographing the Greater Good at the Michigan Duck Rescue and Sanctuary!

Lots of us have causes that we feel strongly about – myself included. Despite the fact that it’s a pain in the butt and requires me to make a special trip to the recycling center, I sort out the recyclables and take them down to the center to try and reduce any excess waste from my household. Yeah, it’s a pain in my butt, but it also makes me feel like I’m doing something that makes the planet a little bit better.

Along with the recycling, I’ve always tried to make it a habit to donate to worthy causes as much as I can. One of those causes happens to be the Michigan Duck Rescue and Sanctuary. Over the past couple years, I’ve watched as the sanctuary rescued unwanted or injured ducks and took them back to their sanctuary that provides a healthy and happy living space for these birds to live out their lives.

Following the Sanctuary on Facebook meant that I kept up with a lot of their news. I watched as they rescued abandoned ducks that people had kept as pets until they tired of them and left them in the wild to fend for themselves. I watched as they took in injured wild ducks and geese. They post quite a few of their stories, with photos, of the feathered friends that they rescued.

That’s why I felt so honored to be able to head up to Michigan and capture some of the good that they’ve done. When Matthew and Theresa bought their gorgeous property, they never had imagined it turning into a duck sanctuary. When someone asked them to take a couple ducks on their new property, they figured they had enough room and said “yes”. Falling in love with their new feathered friends, they found themselves saying “yes” more and more often, and it has led to a place that ducks probably consider heaven-on-Earth.

The property is over 5 acres in size, and it includes a giant, bird-friendly pond of about an acre in size. Wanting the ducks to have a nice, safe place to play, Theresa and Matthew built a couple man-made islands. The property has a safe indoor area, and for the ducks who want to bathe and play, they have a couple tiny portable pools that can be filled with fresh water. There is always food available, and believe me, the ducks and geese take advantage of it!

All of the ducks are well cared for, safe on the property, and While some of the birds can fly, most stay on the property day-in and day-out because it just doesn’t get any better. Some of the ducks will come when called, and many of them treat Theresa and Matthew’s presence as a comforting one. The local Kroger grocery store helps out with fresh food donations for the ducks, and they’re all fed a balanced diet for their health.

Basically, the Michigan Duck Rescue and Sanctuary is everything a duck or goose could want, and I’m amazed by Theresa and Matthew’s dedication to keeping their feathered friends healthy – and rescuing any birds who are in need. Just check out some of these photos from their beautiful sanctuary:










Of course, like any non-profit that’s helping make the world a better place, the Michigan Duck Rescue and Sanctuary could always use your help as well. They have a wishlist for requested items if you live in the area, or you can always make a monetary donation to help with vet bills from the injured ducks they take in or other expenses as well. If nothing else, feel free to follow them on Facebook to keep up with what they’re doing.

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Celebrate Reading: Denver Dr. Seuss Party Photos

“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish!”

Okay, so I’ll admit that I only have a few Dr. Seuss quotes memorized (and it’s probably not the best ones he had to offer), but I still had fun celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday with the people of Denver and their public library. While Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, we had fun with our delayed March 5th celebration (on a weekend!) while I had the chance to be their Denver, IA photographer.

The library had a lot of fun activities to offer for the kids, and I ended up seeing a lot of pretty tired kids by the end of the event! Kids could make Dr. Seuss-themed crafts, enjoy Dr. Seuss treats and cake, enter to win prizes, watch Trixie Pockets make them a fun balloon animal, get temporary tattoos, and more! There was so much fun and action going on that it was a challenge to capture a lot of the moments!

If you came by the Denver library, you would have seen me as the photographer running the Dr. Seuss photo booth! Thanks to all of the volunteers to help organized and staff events like this to give kids fun activities to do that focus on reading and learning.

I managed to get some good shots of the rest of the event. Look fun? Why don’t you come join in next year?

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Passionate about Coding: HackISU Hackathon Event Photos

I had the pleasure of being the official HackISU photographer this year. Taking back the negative connotations to the word “hack”, a Hackathon event (such as HackISU) is an event where programmers come together for a “no-holds-barred” event to create new products. Divided into teams, each group starts on a brand-new software or hardware project, and after three days, participants are judged and awarded prizes.

I loved getting to be involved with documenting the hard work that went into every project at the hackathon. In many cases, people were so involved with their work that they didn’t even notice the photographer around them. Many of the participants slept on-site with sleeping bags or tents, and with food provided by Major League Hacking, people could spend all of their attention on perfecting their project.

I saw some amazing projects come out of this. One group created a cell phone app that scanned barcodes from items in your kitchen and automatically added them to a shopping list for the next time you went into the store. Another group used hand-movement recognition technology to create a program that allowed those who speak sign language to easily communicate with those that didn’t. Yet another group created a bicycle-rider jacket that used tension in the muscles to automatically blink brake lights on the back of the jacket to increase driver recognition of bicycles on the road (for example, when the bicyclist pulled the handlebar for the brakes, it would light up the brake lights on the jacket).

It was a pleasure to be a part of the HackISU team in journaling exactly what happened this year. It’s amazing what people can create when they’re passionate about something. Enjoy some of the photos from the event this year. Even more of examples of my Central Iowa event photography can be found in my event photography gallery.

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