Thursday, December 23, 2010


It's been a super-busy time of the year as the first semester of school ends and the kids take their final exams.  I was lucky this year, as I had no finals on the last day, so I was able to shoot All-State Band and Orchestra members and do some other fun stuff.  

The music program at Kirkwood is hard to believe.  Every year numerous kids qualify for All-State.  This year, in the All-State Band alone, Kirkwood has 17 individuals!!  Here Beth and Hannah ham it up.  These are two outstanding young ladies.  They both excel in the classroom, are amazing runners, and obviously outstanding musicians, but most importantly are just wonderful people.

In addition to the All-State stuff, I've really enjoyed shooting some Holiday sessions with kids from school.  They plan on giving the photos as gifts to their parents.  

The Dyroff girls were dynamite, and we got lucky to have scheduled our shoot on the day it snowed a couple of weeks ago.  We did some stuff inside, then ventured down to the train station in downtown Kirkwood.  It was FREEZING and windy and the snow was blowing so we had to work fast, but I think we got some cool images from it, and we had some good laughs as well.

Allie and her brother Jake lit up the room.  You can tell they're appreciative of each other as siblings and seem to get along really well.

Olivia has a birthday this week and decided she wanted to have a photo shoot with some of her close friends.  I got to meet Olivia, Sophie, Grace, and Shannon.  They were a lot of fun, and came out of their shells early on to really "work the runway".  You girls are fortunate to have each other as friends!

The Moran sisters were Marvelous.  They are beautiful and fun to be around.  Lots of smiles and laughter.  Thanks for hanging out. . .

Delaney is a student of mine and needed to get some promo shots done for her body-building competition.  I had no idea she was as graceful as she was.  It made me wonder what hidden talents all my other students have.  You just never know what's inside of people, and if you let them, they can pleasantly surprise you.  

Thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful Holiday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. . .

Borrowing from the famous Christmas Carol, the Lieschen Fink Dance Recital certainly puts you in the Holiday spirit.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year!  Nothing beats watching kids you know dance and laugh and smile.  It's always a great night, and this year was no exception.  Adding to the fun were the large number of boys who decided to take the class this year.  They did an outstanding job.  Tony F. is a natural, but Twigo just might have stolen the show.  

This was Dr. Fink's farewell performance, as she has announced her retirement.  Well, you went out hitting a "walk off". . .  Way to go!  

And thanks to all the dancers. . . what a fun night!!  You were great!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pioneers Win Northwest Tournament!

The Pioneers have started strong, and defeated a very good Westminster team to claim the Championship of the Northwest Tournament on Saturday.  The tempo was controlled by the Wildcats in the first half, as their zone slowed down the Pioneers and kept them from running successfully.  But all that changed after halftime, as the Pioneers turned up the pressure and forced numerous turnovers that led to some transition baskets.  Natalie Fryrear continued to shoot the ball well from behind the arc, and when Westminster took her away, Kayla Martin stepped up and hit a huge 3 late.  Once the Pioneers got the lead, they just put the ball in the hands on Lianna Doty, and she ran the delay to perfection, icing the victory.  Kudos to Brianna McWoods!  Role players are so important to the success of a team and she did a great job in her role today.  Hustle plays, defense, and a couple of made free throws did BIG things to help the team win.

Former Indiana Pacer, Mizzou Tiger, and DeSmet Spartan star, Steve Stipanovich is the coach of the Westminster Wildcats, and I couldn't help wondering, during the introduction of the starters if our players really understood who they were shaking hands with.  Although only a year older than me, Steve was one of my idols.  I remember reading about him and cutting out the article and pinning it on my wall.  The article talked about what a great work ethic he had, and I wanted to be just like him.  My junior year at Pattonville, I had the dubious honor of trying to guard him. . . I successfully held him to 32, and I still have bumps and bruises from that night.  

He had one of the great college performances of all time, when he led the Tigers to an upset win over 7'4" Ralph Sampson and the Virginia Cavaliers.  After college he played in the NBA, and his career was unfairly cut short by a knee injury.  Ladies, you shook hands with a guy who was once one of the top basketball players in the world.  

Congratulations on your Championship.  Keep working hard, keep pressuring, and keep having FUN!!