Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hill Country Wedding

Brynn Dickie and Tom Bowyer were married at the Mansefeldt Ranch outside Fredericksburg, Texas on September 4, 2010. It was a great privilege and a great challenge to photograph their wedding, and I was very thankful for the dedicated help of wife/assistant, Kelly McWhorter. Click here to see more photos.

Front Yard Flash Test

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Roadside Memorial

If you have seen any of my photography work, you have probably seen The Boys of Booker T, the multimedia documentary piece I produced for my Plan II thesis at UT-Austin. Many of you also know that Christian Martinez, the young man most prominently featured in the piece, was killed in a car accident on US Highway 290 between Houston and Austin in the early morning of April 11, 2010. You may find photos of this continuing story here.

On August 15, Kelly and I met Christian’s family and friends at the roadside spot where Texas DPS estimates the accident occurred. (They actually gave us a pretty specific location). No one had been out there since the accident, so everyone was seeing the spot for the first time, including Joey Gutierrez, who was actually in the car with Christian when it crashed that Sunday morning.

The past few months have been difficult for Maricela with continued hardships relating to and stemming from Christian's death. But she called me last night to tell me she would be in San Antonio today to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen. She told me she is so thankful to God for this small blessing.
Joey Gutierrez, 14, who was in the car with Christian when it crashed, picks up a piece of debris from the side of the road while Christian's older brother Jorge, 21, looks on. Joey was visiting the site for the first time since the wreck occured at 3 a.m. on Sunday April 21, 2010.

Maricela's brother holds a handmade cross that the family placed in the ground at the estimated crash site while Christian's sisters and friends stand by the roadside.

Maricela Juarez, Christian's mother, adjusts some flowers on the handmade cross the family placed in the ground at the crash site.

Maricela gazes towards US Highway 290 in Chappel Hill, Texas at the site where Texas Department of Public Safety officers estimate a car carrying her two sons crashed on April 11, 2010.

Looking west towards Austin on US Highway 290 at the estimated crash site.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Our neighbor Avery loves animals. About three months ago, as she was working at Make A Wish Foundation (which has nothing to do with animals), a distraught woman called and told her that she had a dog in her backyard but wasn't able to take care of it. Avery, went over to the woman's house, and found Bear tied up in the backyard in August heat with no shade. He was covered with probably over 100 fully engorged ticks. Bear's owner, who was blind and couldn't take care of her dog, let Avery take him, as she promised to find him a new home. This is how Bear ended up in our backyard. And as they say, the rest is history. We are pleased to introduce the newest member of the McWhorter family.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Got a Job

Since the middle of August, I have been working as the director of an after-school program called Kids' Involvement Network here in San Antonio. The program is affiliated with the North East Independent School District, and the site I direct is at Walzem Elementary School. It has definitely been a huge challenge and a very humbling experience. It is also one of the reasons I have been sadly absent from this blog. This photo was taken the morning of my interview.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Wife

June 5, 2010.
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey McWhorter.
I am so thankful for her.
Photo by Bryant Haertlein.
More photos by Sara Young, Peter Franklin and Bryant can be found here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Backlog: January 25, 2007

This picture was my very first image to run in a newspaper. It was actually much smaller than you see it on your screen. I think it was one column width over on the far left side of PI, but it was in there. And it was in COLOR! It was my first assignment of my first tryout day of my first year at The Daily Texan. The story was about student government's campaign for tax-free textbooks. They had a table set up spread with Ramen noodles and a poster set up with the question posted, "Where will you spend the money save on textbooks?" I wonder if they ever got this passed.

I also remember that guy in the photo - Mr. Zach C. Hall. He was all over the place. When you shoot for the Texan, you start seeing the same few involved people rather frequently. Democratic state rep Mark Strama was another one of these guys.

Speaking of expensive textbooks, Kelly and I were looking at an article in the Alcalde, the UT alumni magazine (since we are old alumni now), about the possibility of digital textbooks. There is actually a small school in Pennsylvania that has already purchased iPads for their entire student body. Interesting.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lesson #2: Always keep names

Having just moved to San Antonio, I have been working on getting together my portfolio and organizing it into a polished and presentable form. In this process, I have of course been writing and re-writing cutlines (captions). I have many photos that I took while at the Texan that I would consider using in my portfolio, but I no longer have caption information for them. I have been going on some amazing investigative journeys trying to track down these names. This photo was actually a success story:
I emailed the University of Colorado band director and asked him the name of this student and what instrument he was playing. He emailed me back the information within 15 minutes.

This photo, on the other hand, has given me a bit more trouble:
I took this picture right before the Fiesta Bowl in January 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. For some reason, probably because I thought he might eat me, I didn't get his name. So I summoned my Sherlock Holmes powers and came up with the idea of posting it on an Ohio State Buckeyes fan forum and asking if anyone knew the guy's name. To my surprise, a lot of people knew his name. It's actually Dwight Schrute. It's also Bill Brasky, Kirk Herbstreit and Buck-i-guy.

Lesson learned: when you get names, write them down. With a pen. On something more substantial than a reporter's pad. When you upload, put the caption in the IPTC info immediately, and not just for the photo that's running. Do it for any photo you consider to be good. You don't have to write an entire caption, just basic info like names and titles in case you have to come back and use it later. It may seem like a lot of work at the time, but it will save you a lot more work two years later when you are emailing the Austin Republican Women to figure out who the heck these ladies are:

Lesson #1: Always get names

A University of Texas maintenance worker cleans chairs that have been set up for 40 Acres Fest, an annual festival held on the South Mall of the UT campus, on April 12, 2007.

This guy's name is not "A University of Texas maintenance worker."

Always get names. You'll need them later.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If you didn't read the entire post below (I don't blame you if you didn't), allow me to introduce A big thanks to David Alley and Brian Hahn for their assistance.

Return to the Phlog

Hello everybody! If anyone still checks this blog, which is doubtful, I wanted to announce that I will be returning to my photo blog. First, a quick update on what I have been up to since the blog slowly faded away. A lot of time has passed, but I will try to pack it in.

In the Spring of 2009, most of my photographic attention was turned towards my thesis. Many of you have seen it, some of you haven't, but I did not post it on the blog because I wanted it to be viewed as a completed whole, and not as a bunch of chronological "in-progress" posts. For those who do not know, I am referring to my Plan II thesis project. It is a multimedia documentary project called "The Boys of Booker T," and it is about the effects of father absence in East Austin. It can be viewed here. The project was supervised by UT photojournalism professor Donna De Cesare. If you are not familiar with her work, you can see it at her newly completed website designed by Joey Castillo. She provided me with a great amount of wisdom and guidance in what became quite an in-depth project.

During this time (Spring 2009), I also continued work in my last semester at the Texan. I shot a lot of baseball and a lot of wild art. It was one of my most enjoyable semesters at the paper. Now, a year out of UT, I can say that my experience at the Texan was one of my favorite things about college and I am so grateful for the incredible experiences I was able to have and for all the wisdom shared by so many talented photographers. You know who you are. Thank you.

Upon graduation, I began working two part-time jobs (neither of which had anything to do with photography) in East Austin. One with a after-school program at Kealing Middle School called "Citizen Schools" and the other with Mission Possible, the ministry with which I volunteered since 2007. I worked both of these jobs from Summer 2009 to June 2010.

On June 5, 2010, I married Kelly Marie Loso (now McWhorter) at the Winfield Inn in Kyle, TX. Our wedding was photographed by wonderfully talented DT photographers Peter Franklin, Bryant Haertlein and Sara Young. You can see their photos here.

After our wedding and honeymoon to Colorado, Kelly and I moved into 410 E. Carson St. #2 in San Antonio. Kelly has been in pharmacy school here (through UT-Austin) since January 2010, so I am happy to have finally joined her.

So what are we doing now? Kelly works every day in her first rotation - drug information - at the UT Health Science Center. Meanwhile, I have been at home designing and building my photo website and trying to figure out where I fit into the photo world of San Antonio. I had some wonderful help getting the website going and it is finally online. You can check it out at:

Thanks for reading. I hope all you photogs are doing well and thanks for pushing me to be better.