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posted: 6/24/2012 5:00 AM

Photogs' faves: From MJ to ?Guatemala

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  • Mark Black received numerous compliments on his shot of Michael Jordan celebrating the Bulls 1998 NBA championship.

      Mark Black received numerous compliments on his shot of Michael Jordan celebrating the Bulls 1998 NBA championship.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • A young girl in Acuna, Mexico holds up her hands filled with the names of the men who built her family a new house. Jeff Knox was one of them.

       A young girl in Acuna, Mexico holds up her hands filled with the names of the men who built her family a new house. Jeff Knox was one of them.
    Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

  • Bill and Kris Hull and son Myles meet their new son Clayton at a lawyer's office in Guatemala City. Bev Horne shot this photo during a 2006 series on international adoption.

       Bill and Kris Hull and son Myles meet their new son Clayton at a lawyer's office in Guatemala City. Bev Horne shot this photo during a 2006 series on international adoption.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • A contestant does some last-minute preparations before the final competition in the 2002 Mrs. Illinois Pageant in Elgin. Patrick Kunzer got this shot despite a threat to life and limb.

       A contestant does some last-minute preparations before the final competition in the 2002 Mrs. Illinois Pageant in Elgin. Patrick Kunzer got this shot despite a threat to life and limb.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • One of Bob Chwedyk's all-time faves is this shot of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville hoisting the Stanley Cup trophy.

       One of Bob Chwedyk's all-time faves is this shot of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville hoisting the Stanley Cup trophy.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

So, Patrick Kunzer's irascible photo editor tells him to get something other than the standard head-on shot. Something we've never seen before, maybe a behind-the-scenes thing.

"But it's a beauty pageant," Patrick thinks in protest.

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The only way to get that photo was the dressing room. Patrick cautiously asked an official of the Mrs. Illinois Pageant if everyone in there was "decent." He tippytoed in and began taking pictures. He seemed to be fulfilling the mission when he suddenly was pushed from behind and pinned against the wall by the pageant organizer as one of the contestants apparently just noticed the intruder and yelled, "She's indecent! She's indecent!"

But another came to Patrick's defense, noticing his wedding ring. "Oh, honey, I can see he's a married man -- what I got to show isn't anything he hasn't seen before."

Had you been among the 100 or so folks who signed up for the Daily Herald's subscribers-only event this past week, you'd have heard in person Patrick's telling of one of his favorite photojournalistic moments. He was among several members of our photo staff who met with our readers at Cantigny Park in Wheaton to share their experiences -- and their expertise. Our guests strolled Cantigny's beautiful grounds with their cameras as our photo crew made themselves available to anyone who wanted to improve his or her craft. A question-and-answer session followed, and it dawned on me after the event: Wouldn't it be interesting to ask all our photographers what was their favorite photo moment? So I asked them, and their answers were interesting and perhaps a little unpredictable. Yes, there were the home-run types of shots, such as Mark Black's great image of Michael Jordan, but a more common response was something that struck a personal chord.

Photo Director Jeff Knox recalled a church trip to help build homes in Mexico. His photo is of giving the key to a new home to a family that had been living in a home "made of pallets and cardboard." The girl Jeff photographed did not speak English, but through an interpreter asked her benefactors to write their names on her hand so she could remember them. "I like to make photos that help make a difference and raise awareness that some people need a hand," Jeff said.

Photographer Bev Horne has fond memories of a series we did in 2006 on international adoption. She accompanied a Naperville family to Guatemala where they met their adopted son for the first time. "By spending so much time with them I could capture quiet moments as well as the joyous, emotional moments" Bev says. "It's a luxury we don't often have and I'm grateful to have worked on such a project."

Photographer Bob Chwedyk, who has worked here since 1984, has photographed six presidents and scores of celebrities, but one of his favorite moments is "photographing, being photographed with and just staring agog at the Stanley Cup, the greatest trophy in sports. Like witnessing royalty!"

Photographer Mark Black's fave is his shot of Jordan pumping his fist after capturing yet another title. "I received compliments from many people on the images including the AP photo editor at the time."

All of these photos are attached to the online version of this column for your viewing pleasure.

And if you missed the Daily Herald's latest event, don't worry, we're scheduling more. Next up is a Schaumburg Boomers game July 25.

jdavis@dailyherald.com

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