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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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