Category Archives: News

Week’s Work: September 16-20

It was another busy week here in Gwinnett County as the fair came into town, the Atlanta Falcons were playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and there is always some high school football action to be had. While I could have done a blog post on each of these, especially the Falcons game and the fair, below are some of my favorite frames from the week.

Guests riding the “Wave Swinger” are silhouetted in the late afternoon light while at the Gwinnett County Fair on Tuesday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Fair guests look to buy ride tickets at ticket booths near the entrance of the Gwinnett County Fair on Tuesday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Young fair guests swing quickly around on a ride at the Gwinnett County Fair on Tuesday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Camila Hernandez, right, has her eyes fixed on a ride at the Gwinnett County Fair on Tuesday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

The “Zero” Gravity ride spins guests at the Gwinnett County Fair on Tuesday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Dre Bulluck, owner of Dre’s Place Carolina BBQ, closes one of the smokers with meat on it at his stand at the Gwinnett County Fair on Wednesday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Smoked pork meat sits on the grill at Dre’s Place Carolina BBQ stand at the Gwinnett County Fair on Wednesday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

A group watches the cattle livestock show judging at the Gwinnett County Fair on Thursday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

A calf is tied to a wall in stall 187 during the livestock show at the Gwinnett County Fair on Thursday at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

The Norcross football twins, Ferdinand (2) and Frederic (3) Aka, Devon (47) and Devonte (8) Goodbeir, and Joshua (62) and Matthew (72) Jajardo, pose for a photo at Norcross High School in Norcross. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) runs up the field during Thursday’s NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Mark Barron (23) after making a catch during Thursday’s NFL game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Atlanta Falcons running back Antone Smith (35) fumbles the ball at the goal line during Thursday’s NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (17) celebrates in the end zone after scoring a touchdown during Thursday’s NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Hester set the all-time NFL record for return touchdowns in a career with 19, surpassing former-Falcon, Deion Sanders. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Kroy Biermann (71) during Thursday’s NFL game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Courtney Roby (15) is hit by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Crezdon Butler (26) after making a catch during Thursday’s NFL game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

A general view of the Shiloh Community Stadium at Shiloh High School prior to Friday’s high school football game between the George Walton Bulldogs and the Providence Storm in Snellville. This is Providence’s first year with a varsity football team, and they are using Shiloh’s facilities for home games. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

George Walton’s JD Buice (4) is tackled by Providence’s Daniel Martin (44) during Friday’s high school football game at Shiloh High School in Snellville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Providence’s Ben Ellison (55) sits in the grass outside the locker room during halftime of Friday’s high school football game against the George Walton Bulldogs at Shiloh High School in Snellville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Fans watch the halftime show put on by the Providence Storm drumlin during Friday’s high school football game between the George Walton Bulldogs and the Providence Storm at Shiloh High School in Snellville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Parkview’s Shehan Parmar (1213) is helped by teammates after finishing the varsity boys 2014 Gwinnett County Cross Country County race on Saturday at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

Logan Williams, 4, slides down an inflatable slide while attending Suwanee Fest on Saturday at Town Center Park in Suwanee. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Suwanee Fest patrons wander through the main food area at Town Center Park in Suwanee on Saturday . (Staff Photo: David Welker)

Back in the Saddle: Work Since Arriving in Gwinnett

It is amazing how fast time flies when you’re doing what you love. Around six weeks ago, I moved myself halfway across the county to start a new career at a daily newspaper just outside of Atlanta. I joined the staff at the Gwinnett Daily Post in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Overall, it has been a fantastic first few weeks and I look forward to seeing what else happens during my time in Atlanta. I’ve had the great opportunity to meet a lot of new friends and have met subjects from all walks of life. Each new relationship, from a 14-year old entrepreneur looking to turn her cookie business into the “Starbucks of coffee” to a 2-year old fighting an inoperable brain tumor (which I can’t post because we are still working on the story), has left me with a sense of relief to finally feel like I am doing what I was made to do. Below are some of my favorite frames from my first month here including my first football games in SEC-land, some touching moments with some great subjects, and of course, more sports. I’ll apologize now, because this is going to be an image heavy post.

 

New teachers at Gwinnett County Public Schools attend the 2014 new teacher orientation event, held at the Gwinnett Center on July 22, 2014 in Duluth.

 

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn (15) catches a pass in a drill during the 2014 Atlanta Falcons Training Camp on Friday in Flowery Beach. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Elva Padilla, left, and her husband Joe stand in the “sorting room of the Eyes of Love Lighthouse Mission on Tuesday in Buford. The Padillas gave up everything they had in New Mexico to open a mission which serves the homeless in Gwinnett County. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

The Padilla’s grandkids play in the office of the Eyes of Love Lighthouse Mission on Tuesday in Buford. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Lawrenceville Police Officer, Michael Inot, pushes the casket of Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk into a hearse on Wednesday in Snellville. Van Kirk was the only remaining crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 at the height of World War II. Theodore Van Kirk was the navigator on that flight. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Fans stand along a railing during the National Anthem prior to the Atlanta Falcons scrimmage at Archer High School on Friday in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Cyclists exit turn 4 while competing in the masters cat 1/2/3 race of the 2014 Duluth Georgia Cup cycling event on Saturday in Duluth. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Braisden Lemelin leaps high into the air after getting a big bounce from his dad during the Sugar Hill 75th Anniversary event on Saturday in Sugar Hill. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Zach Healy hits out of a bunker on the 17th hole of the Riverside course during the 2014 USGA Amateur Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club on Monday in John’s Creek. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Andrew Chapman tees off on the 18th hole of the Riverside course during the 2014 USGA Amateur Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club on Monday in John’s Creek. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Erin Lucier, a third-year student, helps incoming students move into the dorms at Georgia Gwinnett College during move-in day on Thursday in Lawrenceville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Brookwood senior, Nick Murciano, cheers on the softball team during Thursday’s game against the Grayson Lady Rams at Grayson High School in Loganville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Brookwood fans mock the Grayson Lady Rams players during Thursday’s game at Grayson High School in Loganville. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Collins Hill’s Steven Harwell (55) celebrates after getting a sack against the Dacula Falcons in Friday’s football game at Dacula High School. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Norcross’ Damon Woodcock (9) turns the corner past Tucker’s Cedric HEard (71) during the 2014 Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic on Saturday at Walter H Cantrell Stadium at McEachern High School in Powder Springs. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Norcorss defensive end, J.B. Kouassi, stands in for a portrait on Wednesday at Norcross High School. Kouassi is a key returning member to a strong Blue Devils’ defensive line that is looking for its third straight state championship. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Boise State Broncos quarterback Grant Hedrick (9) looks on from the ground after throwing the ball away during the first half of the 2014 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game against the Ole Miss Rebels on Thursday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Boise State Broncos cornerback Cleshawn Page (3) and safety Jeremy Ioane (10) fly through the air after colliding while pursuing Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Cody Core (88) during the second half of the 2014 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game on Thursday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Boise State Broncos running back Jay Ajayi (27) leaps over Mississippi Rebels linebacker Christian Russell (20) in route to the end zone during the second half of the 2014 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game on Thursday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Peachtree Ridge’s Malik Robinson (14) upends Archer’s Nick Blakely (6) during Friday’s game at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Peachtree Ridge’s Chance Thrasher (9) hands off the ball to Na’ceem Antenor (20) during Friday’s game against the Archer Tigers at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Archer’s Dillon Bliss (20) stretches on the sideline prior to Friday’s football game between the Peachtree Ridge Lions and the Archer Tigers at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Georgia Bulldogs players walk onto the field prior to Saturday’s college football game against the Clemson Tigers at Sanford Stadium in Athens. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Amarlo Herrera (52) tackles Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) during Saturday’s college football at Sanford Stadium in Athens. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Clemson Tigers running back D.J. Howard (22) leaps into the end zone for a touchdown during Saturday’s college football game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium in Athens. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Georgia Bulldogs fans cheer on their team during Saturday’s college football game between the Clemson Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium in Athens. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley (3) is lifted by Georgia Bulldogs offensive tackle John Theus (71) after Gurley scored a touchdown during Saturday’s college football game against the Clemson Tigers Sanford Stadium in Athens. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Corner preacher Dwayne Murphy says a prayer with Greg while witnessing at the corner of Hurricane Shoals Drive and Duluth Highway in Lawrenceville. As soon as Murphy saw Greg, he knew about some of the things going on in Greg’s life and began to offer encouragement to him. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

William Krueger, 2, pops bubbles while attending the 2014 Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park on Thursday in Stone Mountain. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Collins Hill Eagles Canyon Slade (5) catches a pass in front of a diving South Gwinnett Comets Chris Skyers (39) during Friday’s high school football game at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville.(Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Collins Hill Eagles Miles Fox (90) chases after South Gwinnett Comets Josh Shim (2) during Friday’s high school football game at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville.(Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

Yellow Daisy Festival official “Bubble Man”, Robin Booth, uses a bubble rope to make enormous bubbles for children to pop during the 2014 Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park on Thursday in Stone Mountain. Booth has been making the bubbles at the festival for 14 years. (Staff Photo: David Welker)

 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking the time to look through these. I have also been shooting video on a weekly basis and if you’d like to see some of my recent assignments, check out this link.

Welding Shop: On Assignment for the the Los Angeles Times

Sparks fly as Loren Minnis, 48, uses a grinder on a piece of metal while working in the Ozarks Barge & Dock Service workshop on April 7, 2014 in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. Minnis was part owner of Menace Bar & Grill in Lake Elsinore but had to close down in part because of a lawsuit against the bar in 2010. He now works as a welder in Missouri. (David Welker/For the Times)

 

Last week, I had one of the coolest assignments of my life. Not only was I working for a client who I have always wanted to do some work for, but I was also shooting something I had very little experience with. Now, before I get started, let me say how grateful I am for having great photo editors who have pushed me to be a better photojournalist. Every now and then, I get a call from other editors who ask me if I could do work for them simply because one of my current clients gave them my name. I am thankful that each and every opportunity I get from current clients. I hope I never underestimate the power of my relationships.

 

 

Now onto this assignment. The Los Angeles Times called and asked if I would be willing to photograph a subject in the middle of Missouri for them. I agreed, all while wondering what they would want of someone in Southwest Missouri. After receiving the background information for the shoot, I called and got a date and time set up for me to make the drive to Lake of the Ozarks to create a few frames of Loren M., my subject. Loren is one of the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure to meet. The guy just bleeds passion for life, and he was awesome to work with. After discussing my plans for the assignment, he agreed that I could follow him around for the day. Loren works as a welder in the machining shop of a dock building business. I was assigned to get two main shots of Loren, but he allowed me to just follow him around for a few hours while he worked. While the majority of my frames are of him working, I found myself always looking for something new in similar situations. New framing, new light, new action. Each time the shutter opened and closed, I knew I had to find another way to shoot the scene in front of me. I spent about three hours of watching Loren and a co-worker weld and grind metal for a new piece of a dock. Every now and again, they would stop and tell me what was happening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the shop’s thirty minute lunch break rolled around, all the workers filed into a small room in the corner of the building. Even the owner of the Ozark dock building service came in and sat down. Loren was nice enough to introduce me to those in the room, and they all joked about why the Times would want to do a story on him. A co-worker joked that his new nickname would be “Hollywood”. But then there was a moment of honesty. Loren began to tell them why I was there. He didn’t necessarily always dive into the details, but he began to tell them about his passion for motorcycles and for the bar he owned in Los Angeles. I have not heard someone speak so passionately about something in a long time. He began showing photos to those in the room. Photos of his old bar, and some of the bikes he built, including one for the San Diego Chargers. And there I was. This is why I got into photojournalism. I had no idea that my day would turn into this moment of honesty and passionate talk about what a grown man cares about. But, I was there to document it, and am thankful that they were either oblivious to me at that moment or, at the very least, willing to let me shoot a few frames.

 

 

After lunch, they all left the room, and I spent only about fifteen minutes more with Loren. I made four final frames of him before I left that I was extremely pleased with. I leave you with one of those. While this may not be where he thought he might end up, Loren is making the best of it, and he continues to be passionate about the things that he loves.

 

 

 

A big thanks goes out to the staff at the Times who contacted me to photograph Loren. It was a great pleasure to meet someone new, and to have the opportunity to tell their story visually. If you want to know more about Loren’s story, click this link.

 

All Images © 2014 David Welker/For the Los Angeles Times

Searching for an Icy Feature

Braden, 12, winces after being hit in the face with a lump of snow during the snow storm on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Nixa, Missouri. Braden was one of many children playing on a hill off Crimson Drive. (David Welker/For the News-Leader)

Southwest Missouri got their first solid snowfall of the year this past weekend, and it was a big one. The skies dumped as much as 10 inches of snow over the area in a two day period. The News-Leader asked if I could go to Ozark and Nixa, South of Springfield, to document how the snow was affecting people, and to get some “pretty” photos. As I slid down icy streets in search of something to take a photo of, I found myself in the same position as some of my subjects (the ones that were actually outside). By the end of it all, I was cold, exhausted, and ready to be inside with family. All it all, it was a blast, and I love being able to photograph the people of the local community.

 

Clayton Oder, of Nixa, uses a snow blower to remove snow from his driveway during the snow storm on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Nixa, Missouri.

 

Trevor, 14, leaps off a hill with a sled during the snow storm on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Nixa, Missouri.

 

Scott Bilyeu, of Nixa, tows the SUV of two men who crashed into a creek off Highway 14 in Nixa during the snow storm on Friday, December 6, 2013.

 

A car drives on a snow covered road off Combs Road during the snow storm on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Ozark, Missouri.

 

Dennis, from Nixa, walks along Gregg Road in Nixa during the snow storm on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Nixa, Missouri. Dennis said that while he walks everywhere he goes, the snow makes his footing less secure, making his trips last longer.

 

Snow clovers the gloves of a young man sledding down a hill off Crimson Drive during the snow storm on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Nixa, Missouri.

 

Snow covers the trees over Combs Road during the snow storm on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Ozark, Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fatal House Fire in South Springfield

 

While on my way home from the Drury Panther’s home opener at the O’Reilly Family Event Center, a call went out over the scanner around 10:50 pm, that a fire had been seen coming from a home in South Springfield. Normally, when a residential fire call goes out, many times, it is a small fire on a stove due to grease or gas, or even an electrical fire some where in the home. However, there was something different about the way the Greene County Sheriff deputies were acting as they arrived on scene. Then I heard what changed the way I viewed the situation. “We have a fully engulfed residence with at least one person inside”. I was only about five minutes out, so I quickly headed to the scene. The officers were right. Firefighters from Nixa, Battlefield, Springfield, and Rogersville were battling a blaze in which the heat could be felt two homes down the street. First responders began pushing water towards the front door to make entry to find the building’s lone occupant. After a few minutes, they retreated out of the residence, and began working on the man who lived there. Unfortunately, it was too late. According to Battlefield Fire Chief, Bryan Newberry, firefighters found the man on the floor by the door as if he was attempting to get out of the residence. Newberry said that units from the four districts fought the blaze for forty-five to sixty minutes before the blaze was totally knocked down. The Battlefield Fire Department released the identity of the victim and the cause of the fire was due to smoking materials on Saturday morning after a thorough investigation was performed. The Springfield News-Leader ran my photos and reporting online and in Sunday’s paper. Their story can be read HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Legion Legacy Run Comes to Springfield

 

In my opinion, there are two great things about being a photojournalist:  1. I have the opportunity to pick and choose my assignments.  2. When a story finds you. Today, I just happened to stumble upon the story while I was out. While heading to a 9:30 a.m. appointment, I saw two men putting an american flag across over the side of an overpass. I decided that if they were still there after my appointment, then I would go see what was going on. Soon after I had finished, I drove over and noticed that the two men had Patriot Guard flags on their motorcycles. As it turns out the American Legion does a 1,500 mile ride each year to raise money for children whose parents have been killed in combat since 9/11. Last year the Legacy Run raised $750,000 for the families. This year’s run had roughly 300 bikes participating and consisted of about 60% new riders. All in all, a pretty cool story to run up on, and thankful to hear some great stories while interviewing some participants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catching up + the Beginning of the Best Time of the Year

Another new year is upon us and that means several things:

– I will more than likely shoot something new this year. Last year, it was Minor League Baseball.

– I will always look forward to baseball season.

– I will hopefully have become a better photographer than I was last year.

-Try new remote angles.

Well, three of those things have already happened. I have actually shot two new things this photography season:

– A National Signing Day

– Professional Boxing (This actually got one of my shots on ESPN.com)

I also tried a new set of remotes that I have never tried before.

Below are some of my favorite shots from the past few months and I am SO glad that baseball season is back.