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2012 OWH Year in Pictures

2012 OWH Year in Pictures

Iowa National Guard Spc. John Kerschner, 46, hugs four of his daughters including, from left, Grace, 14, Gianna, 7, Gaela, 9, and Gladys, 11, outside of their home in Clearfield, Iowa on Jan. 21, 2012. Kerschner served at Combat Outpost Dand Patan with Bravo Company of the 1 168th battalion of the Iowa National Guard. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALDCLEARFIELD, IOWA Iowa National Guard Spc. John Kerschner, 46, hugs four of his daughters including, from left, Grace, 14, Gianna, 7, Gaela, 9, and Gladys, 11, outside of their home in Clearfield, Iowa on Jan. 21, 2012. Kerschner served at Combat Outpost Dand Patan with Bravo Company of the 1 168th battalion of the Iowa National Guard. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALD

Iowa National Guard Spc. John Kerschner, 46, hugs four of his daughters including, from left, Grace, 14, Gianna, 7, Gaela, 9, and Gladys, 11, outside of their home in Clearfield, Iowa on Jan. 21, 2012. Kerschner served at Combat Outpost Dand Patan with Bravo Company of the 1 168th battalion of the Iowa National Guard. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALDCLEARFIELD, IOWA Iowa National Guard Spc. John Kerschner, 46, hugs four of his daughters including, from left, Grace, 14, Gianna, 7, Gaela, 9, and Gladys, 11, outside of their home in Clearfield, Iowa on Jan. 21, 2012. Kerschner served at Combat Outpost Dand Patan with Bravo Company of the 1 168th battalion of the Iowa National Guard. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALD

I’ve always loved the beginning of a new year. In the dead of winter, the idea of looking forward to a fresh start appeals to me, But as I’ve gotten older and more experienced in my role at the newspaper, I’ve come to appreciate the opportunity to look back and revisit the people I’ve met in the past year.

Below you’ll find five of my favorite images from the past 12 months. None of these pictures would have come about had people not been so giving of their time, so please consider this a tribute to the people I’ve photographed in the past year.
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If you’d like to see the rest of my favorite images, please visit my gallery.

1. I dropped in during branding weekend at the Burdick Ranch in Cherry County in April. Ben Burdick and his family welcomed me during one of the busiest weekends of their year, and it didn’t take long before I was in the mix, taking pictures and wrasslin’ calves.

A calf escapes the rope of Paul Kenner as he and a crew of close to 70 workers corral and brand young calves at the Burdick Ranch south of Wood Lake, Neb., on April 21, 2012. Branding relies heavily on the ranching community. “We run a thousand cows,”?? rancher Ben Burdick said. “??If you didn’t have help, you couldn’t operate.” ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALD

2. My job is to document the lives of Nebraskans, and you have to admit: There are few people more “Nebraska” than retiring NU Athletic Director Tom Osborne. Though we both share a general dislike of having our pictures taken, he was very gracious and patient with me as assistants Andrew Dickinson and Morgan Spiehs and I hustled to get a variety of portraits from the session.

Check out Henry J. Cordes’s article accompanying Osborne’s title of the Omaha World Herald’s 2012 Midlander of the Year, and while you’re at it, pick up a copy of “Unbeatable,” Cordes’s book on Tom Osborne and the greatest era of Nebraska football.

Retiring Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne poses for a portrait along the jerseys, portraits and trophies of many Husker greats at the Tom and Nancy Osborne Athletic Complex attached to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Dec. 13, 2012. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALD

3. Funerals are always tough to cover, but after embedding with the Nebraska and Iowa National Guard for two months in Afghanistan in 2011, I have found that funerals for soldiers have become even more emotionally draining. I want to thank Marine Lance Cpl. Hunter Hogan’s family for so graciously allowing me to take pictures, and I can only hope that the pictures provided some kind of comfort to them.

Taylor Rudd of Lubbock, Texas, kneels to pray with White Horse during the funeral services for Marine Lance Cpl. Hunter Hogan at St. Joseph Cemetery on July 6, 2012, in York, Neb. Hogan, 21, died while serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on June 23, 2012. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALD

4. In 2012, I revisited five of the soldiers I met during my embed in Afghanistan. We spoke of our shared experiences on the other side of the world and adjustments to life back in Nebraska and Iowa.

Spc. John Kerschner, his wife, Cinnamon, and their 10 children included me in an evening at their Clearfield, Iowa, home, and I could see that their time apart made his return all the more sweet.

Iowa National Guard Spc. John Kerschner, 46, hugs four of his daughters including, from left, Grace, 14, Gianna, 7, Gaela, 9, and Gladys, 11, outside of their home in Clearfield, Iowa, on Jan. 21, 2012. Kerschner served at Combat Outpost Dand Patan with Bravo Company of the 1 168th battalion of the Iowa National Guard. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALD

5. The last image is, admittedly, more of personal one than the rest. It came from the final night of Omaha Fashion Week, a night in which I had struggled for pictures. I arrived early and worked hard, but pictures just weren’t coming together.

As the models moved from dressing room to runway, I noticed that some were covered in plastic bags in hope of keeping their pieces dry. The rainy evening light one of my favorite kinds for pictures was fading quickly, so I sort of shot from the hip as I ran ahead of the models.

I wasn’t sure it would be in focus, but when I got back to my laptop to transmit for the newspaper, I was pleased with the feeling and the humor of the photograph.

As rain falls, models Audrey Giambattista,left, and Claire Tweedy wear plastic over their Eliana Smith pieces on the way from dressing room to runway during the finale of Omaha Fashion Week on Aug. 25, 2012. The evening’s collection drew from some of the favorites from the five previous nights of fashion. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD HERALD

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