Year after year, all over the country, youth athletes are awarded this prestigious honor... and local photographers struggle to do something different with each new batch of portraits. After I got assigned this year's load of portraits, my editor Mark Johnston made a simple request: "let's bring these back to strong, clean photography," he said. Sounds good to me.
I lucked out with Mercedes Riggs, the Utah Valley female basketball player of 2012. Not only was she a total sweetheart and came prepared in a badass Timpanogos jersey, but she allowed me to corral her around for over an hour and half as I executed various portrait ideas I had been cooking up for the shoot. The paper ended up running three portraits of her, pictured below. My only wish is that the high school had stocked more basketballs for the first image. Another hundred orange orbs in the background of the picture couldn't have hurt. I can only hope that she enjoyed seeing them in print as much as I enjoyed shooting them.