2018: The Year in Pictures

As the year comes to a close, I like to take stock of the ground that was covered over 365 days. I have the unique opportunity to scroll through the photos taken day by day of farmers cultivating the soil, athletes competing at the highest level and the beauty that is Iowa. As a photographer, I thrive on the opportunity to document the lives and issues that shape society. I also cherish the chance to look back at a collection of images that one by one evoke memories, illustrate emotions, speak to larger social issues and add clarity to our world. The following pictures are a small selection of my favorite photos from 2018.

2018: The year in pictures

Seven in 2017

New Year's Eve is a natural time to look back at accomplishments from the previous year while looking forward to new opportunities. Below is a selection of my seven favorite photos from 2017. 

I have been fortunate to pursue a career in photography and writing that has led me around the world while meeting many people. I look forward to 2018 and all of the new opportunities it will bring.

Here’s to 2018.

Picture Iowa - Seasons greetings from Winterset

A fresh blanket of snow covers the sidewalks and garland lining a wooden fence near the Winterset town square the day before Christmas. Many Iowan's had a white Christmas after a light storm moved across the state dropping an inch to two-inches of snow. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy)

A fresh blanket of snow covers the sidewalks and garland lining a wooden fence near the Winterset town square the day before Christmas. Many Iowan's had a white Christmas after a light storm moved across the state dropping an inch to two-inches of snow. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy)

Tragedies and memories

A tragedy yesterday in my hometown of Forest City reminded me of a photo that I took years ago during a sunset behind a rusty windmill in Union County. As I was stopped along side the road taking the picture a car pulled up behind me.

The sun sets behind a windmill in Union County south of Winterset, Iowa.

The sun sets behind a windmill in Union County south of Winterset, Iowa.

A gentleman rolled down his window and said good evening to me. We talked about the beauty of the sunset and the rolling prairie that faded off into the distance for several minutes before he told me that he had just come from a funeral visitation for a close friend that had passed away.

That’s when he told me that his friend would be proud to see someone, like myself, alongside the road taking time to appreciate a simple sunset. His heart was heavy as he rolled his window up and drove away.

It was a powerful moment for me, knowing that memories and snapshots are often all we have to remember loved ones that have passed. That man and his story about missing his friend that night will always be attached to this photograph.

I hope that the family in my hometown that suffered such a devastating loss this weekend can hold on to the memories of their children and look at simple things like sunrises and sunsets as a reminder of their joyful memories.