Here are 20 unforgettable moments I experienced as a photographer for The Salt Lake Tribune in 2012.
These are people I met along the way, moments that touched my heart, things that reminded me what a wonderful world we live in, and a few moments that remind us not to waste a single day because life is fragile and easily lost. Mixed in with these powerful moments are a few photos from sports assignments, which are not at all important. (Hey, that’s a joke!)
But seriously, these experiences mean more to me than any portfolio of award-winning photos I might come away with. It is a privilege and honor to be a witness, to act as your eyes in the community.
Note: No endorsements of movements, wars, religions, football teams, political candidates, etc., are intended.
This was a tough one. When you’re photographing a moment like this, you do so with the utmost respect and reverence. And you never forget.
You should have seen LeBron James turn it on in the fourth quarter. It was an amazing show. This photo is what happened next, when Devin Harris got fouled in the final seconds and put the Jazz ahead for the win.
Six teens in tough situations spoke from the heart and shared their most candid feelings and experiences. They told heartbreaking stories but I was left with optimism for their futures and a lot of respect for the courage they had to speak out.
Amazing celebration from Fabian.
Everything about the Mock Prison Riot was unforgettable, but watching Rachel Taylor, a mother of six, charge into a CERT team full of bad-ass dudes firing pepperball guns from behind riot shields? Well, that just blew me away.
Thanks to the awesome Ruben Saldivar for sliding into the photo op and making me laugh on a routine summer assignment.
Can’t say enough about the sacrifices being made by military families during our two long wars over the past decade. I know I’ve said this before, but every time I’m sent to see troops leaving or returning I feel that all Americans should be forced to attend these events so we can see the effects of the wars we have been ignoring.
An anniversary story on the mine disaster brought me to this beautiful secluded spot. It’s very peaceful. My thoughts go out to the families. For them, the media focus on anniversaries must be painful.
I stood in an old cemetery in the desert watching this dust storm coming at me like a huge wall of brown. It hit hard and I looked to the right and made this photograph. There’s nothing like the desert and the way it pulls you in.
I’ve been photographing Jen for nearly a year now as part of a larger project at the paper. Her wedding was filled with great moments but this one was my favorite, a touching dance with her young son.
Let’s see, political conventions are scripted and staged, there are too many photographers and not enough real subjects. I felt ridiculous succumbing to the temptation to photograph people in red, white and blue hats and such. But still, it was pretty cool to see history being made— or at least one possible version of history.
This was the start of a special season for the Aggies. Wish I could have been there for more of it, but my schedule kept me away from Logan most of the season.
Michael was one of the most thoughtful kids I’ve met. He gave me a tour of his room, showed me his wonderful artwork, and posed for a few photos outside with his lightsaber. Be well, my friend. Life is good and it only gets better.
One of the craziest endings of a game, ever. With no time left BYU attempts a field goal for the win but the ball bounces off the post. You’ve got to be kidding me. My colleague Chris nailed this moment. I was shooting right over his shoulder and blew it so this one’s really two memories for me… sweet (the thrilling game) and sour (missing the shot).
Nice people, good conversation, and a beautiful place.
I’m grateful anytime a family opens up to my camera, but especially so during one of their toughest moments.
I was excited about this photo of Adawe celebrating Obama’s win, and then he pulled out a copy of the photo I took of him four years ago doing the exact same thing and my mind was blown!
Okay, Garcia, I have to admit I thought you had no chance of making that 54-yard field goal. You guys had lost so much yardage, there was no way you were going to make this kick to win the game. Luckily I was smart enough to fire off a couple of frames just in case, but I almost didn’t even bother. Then you made it, setting a state record and becoming champions. What an amazing end. Congratulations.
To be honest, I wasn’t all that excited to travel to Boulder to see the Utes take on the 1-9 Buffaloes on Thanksgiving weekend. But having Reggie Dunn win the game for the Utes by running an NCAA record fifth career kick return touchdown right at me changed my mind. It was a great trip after all.
Watching this group of children climb the zoo gate was an amazing sight. I felt like I’d gone back in time to the mid 1900s. I was so happy to be getting the shot, all the while knowing I was too far away and had an obstructed view. I wish I could photograph a moment like this up close without scaring everyone away, but this is Short Creek, a town where the people are intensely private and will run from the camera. I had to settle for getting what I could, shooting with a very long lens from far away.
I’ve been covering the FLDS and polygamy for past several years. It’s been some of the most important work of my career. Sometimes I’ve had good access and other times none. Through it all I’ve tried to photograph this community objectively and without shoving a camera in anyone’s face unless it was absolutely necessary.
Right now there is little access. The FLDS have shut off all access to the outside world. I must be one of the few photojournalists doing a long-term project with a subject that’s unwilling to participate. Normally I build trust and rapport with my subjects, so this has been very frustrating. But I’m okay with facing the challenge. It’s important to keep telling their story. I feel that someday they will agree.
bwjones: Amazing moments Trent. I always look forward to your take on these moments and your thoughts as to what you document. Really nice work.
Trudy: Once again you have amazed me. Thanks for your work and delightful insight.
katie: awesome stuff. i love your blog, your personality, your view of your environment. thanks so much for sharing, all year long.
Edie Zambrano: These are amazing, Trent!
Alex Gallivan: I always enjoy the story you tell through your photography. The written story has nothing on what can be told through photography.
Tus: Great stuff Trent , as always you show some awesome talent and humility at the same time.
mike a: Thanks Trent for sharing you photos. I always enjoy your work.
Tita Rifkin: Tis was wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
Trent Nelson: Thanks everyone for your kind comments.
sam morris: Trent, the best thing I can say is that you make me re-evaluate my own work and give me things to think of going forward. Sam