A few of my favorite things: photographer Melissa Dillon shares her best of 2021

·2 min read

It's been a pleasure and an honor to work for the Reporter-Times newspaper and surrounding publications for15 years — nearly half my life! My editor Julie, asked me to come up with my top five photos of the year and that was incredibly harder than I thought it would be.

From a photographer's standpoint, I found photos that were sharp quality, despite being taken by my 15-year old camera. But my top five really have a story behind them as well, and that's what photojournalism is all about.

Martinsville gymnast Laney Carrell demonstrates her skills during a gymnastics meet in the first part of 2021. The team reached the state finals.
Martinsville gymnast Laney Carrell demonstrates her skills during a gymnastics meet in the first part of 2021. The team reached the state finals.

Laney Carrell gymnastics

First off, Miss Laney Carrell is a beautiful person inside and out, but this photo just captures her athleticism and beauty all in one. Gymnastics is an unbelievable sport as it is - scary, hard, disciplined and fun. Taking photos of it is a whole skill of its own.

Martinsville senior Chase Mabry makes a great catch for a touchdown from junior quarterback Tyler Adkins during Friday's Mid-State game at Whiteland.
Martinsville senior Chase Mabry makes a great catch for a touchdown from junior quarterback Tyler Adkins during Friday's Mid-State game at Whiteland.

Chase Mabry reaches

Here is my favorite photo of Chase Mabry, a senior for Martinsville football this year. He made an amazing catch here over a defender with a perfect pass from junior Tyler Adkins during the game against Whiteland. This photo just shows great timing on Mabry's part, as well as me being in the right place at the right time.

Martinsville brought out the jersey number of Gunner Burnam to the coin toss before Friday's senior night game against Mooresville. Burnam passed away from cancer in the middle school and this year would've been his senior season.
Martinsville brought out the jersey number of Gunner Burnam to the coin toss before Friday's senior night game against Mooresville. Burnam passed away from cancer in the middle school and this year would've been his senior season.

Gunner Burnam tribute

If you've been from Martinsville for a little while, you know the story behind #55. This was an awesome moment with these seniors bringing their teammate's jersey out on the field for the coin toss when he couldn't be there himself. The whole pregame leading up to this photo was an emotional one for not only the class of 2022, but for the Gunner Burnam family.

Former Martinsville head coach Jan Conner speaks to the junior varsity group during Monday's Basketball Frenzy at John R. Wooden Gymnasium.
Former Martinsville head coach Jan Conner speaks to the junior varsity group during Monday's Basketball Frenzy at John R. Wooden Gymnasium.

Jan Conner visit

The photo of Jan Conner's visit just makes me laugh. Coach Jan Conner is one of my most favorite people in the world, but the story behind this photo just makes me smile. She was giving a speech in front of a crowd and the current Martinsville High School varsity girls' basketball team. In this particular photo, she had just asked the junior varsity squad why they were so shy and someone said "because you're scary." This is her reaction to that comment. If you know coach Conner, this will make you laugh too.

Members of the Lady Artesians youth basketball league react to Aden Cross getting picked to do a trick with Boomer during halftime of Tuesday's Martinsville girls' basketball home game against Center Grove.
Members of the Lady Artesians youth basketball league react to Aden Cross getting picked to do a trick with Boomer during halftime of Tuesday's Martinsville girls' basketball home game against Center Grove.

Boomer visits

I took this photo of Boomer's visit to Martinsville High School very recently. I'm a little partial to this one because I coach Miss Aden Cross in basketball and she's a stud and also because my own kid is behind her. Aden got chosen to be a prop in Boomer's dunking halftime show. She was nervous, but the best part of this photo is everyone behind her. Not one person is upset they didn't get picked but instead were fired up that Aden did. What a great example this group of young ladies are — we should all be excited for each other like these girls are for Aden.

This article originally appeared on The Reporter Times: My favorites: Photographer Melissa Dillon shares her best of 2021

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