Best of 17: Sports

Sports photography is a pretty big part of what we do as newspaper photographers. 

Occasionally, four of five workdays in a week will be filled with sports assignments, especially during the prep tournament seasons. Sometimes you get to witness big moments on the national stage, like the Minnesota Lynx winning their fourth WNBA Championship, or the Twins' Byron Buxton setting the all-time MLB record for the fastest inside-the-park home run. Other times, you get to witness local stories with broader reach. Amaiya Zafar, a teenage Muslim boxer, was the first hijab-wearning boxer to fight in a sanctioned US boxing match and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to document the moment.

Sports photography can also take you to weird places. I never imagined I'd watch a thoroughbred race horse being born, much less spend six days waiting for it to happen, but that happened in 2017.

I have no clue what 2018 will hold, other than a pretty big football game in February, but I'm thankful the opportunities I've had to make pictures this last year and am even more thankful for the talented folks I work with in the field, the people who allow us into their lives to document, and my friends, family and editors for managing my mild neuroses.

All photos ©Star Tribune

Best of 16'

There's not much to say about 2016 that hasn't already been said. Every time you think the craziness has calmed down, something else blows up. Most people I know are excited for 2016 to end, but are equally scared of 2017. 

Minneapolis has seen its fair share of major news. The officer-involved shooting of Philando Castille. Prince's overdose. Jacob Wetterling. Politics. A seemingly never-ending deluge of controversies, some blown out of proportion, some not so much. 

But luckily, working for a newspaper also exposes you to the lighter side of the humanity. Sometimes, It's Ostrich racing, or making the most of the arctic winter by freezing your blue jeans on your front lawn. Or sometimes it's a selfless human being who teaches children mathematics while struggling themselves with blindness. You just never know, and I'm not sure I want to know what 2017 has is store. But I hope we're pleasantly surprised. 

Photos © Star Tribune / Aaron Lavinsky

Ryder Cup 2016: Hazeltine

Had the opportunity to photograph the Ryder Cup and all its pomp and circumstance this year at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. The top ranked US and European golfers went head-to-head to compete for national glory in a unique, team-based tournament.  The United States won 17-11 to take home the cup after an eight year drought. A little more than 50 miles of walking later, here are a few of my favorite photos the the week. All images the ©Star Tribune.