Free Press photographers shoot hundreds of events, portraits and sports contests each year. Thousands and thousands of times the shutters on our cameras click, each time capturing a moment of time in south central Minnesota.
With each shutter click is a chance to capture a unique moment, something funny, interesting, unique and story telling. These are some of our favorite moments from the last year.
Walking the cow
There are moments when you see what could be a good photo and you feel compelled to stop and make a photograph, then there is seeing Pat Drummer taking his dog Marley and one of his calves for a walk down a rural St. Clair road. There was no way I could not stop and photograph this idillic scene. Photo by Pat Christman
What do teachers do when they get snow days? Lynnae Nelson and her dog went for a walk down a North Mankato street, making for a perfect winter wonderland-like photo. Photo by Pat Christman
I've photographed many church rituals over the years, but found this Ash Wednesday one to be interesting and unique as Pastor Michelle Hargrave burns cards where members wrote their worries during an Ash Wednesday service at Centenary United Methodist Church in Mankato. Photo by Pat Christman
The look on the face of one of Chuck Schroeder's alpacas at the Sibley Park Farm begged to be photographed. Photo by Pat Christman
A farmer harvesting soybeans in a field near Lake Crystal takes on a whole new look when photographed from an airplane. Photo by Pat Christman
Big 9 track discus
Even though Karissa Shank's discus throw didn't go as planned the juxtaposition of the discus, her arm and her pony tail made for an interesting photo. Photo by Pat Christman
Going into shooting the Monroe Color Run, I knew that I would need to prepare my camera for the worst. So the night before, I sealed my camera with clear plastic wrapping that you use to seal your windows in the winter, leaving only the front of the lens exposed. And lots of tape. After the color run, the children at the event decided to make use of the rest of the color and I got in the middle of the action and captured this moment in the nice morning light. Photo by Jackson Forderer
Covering the Warrior Dash this past year presented a few challenges, keeping my equipment clean and getting people's names when their name badge is completely covered in mud. It was also fun to have a few "Oh my God, that's you?" moments when I would slowly recognize people I had photographed before. As hard as the Warrior Dash was, I couldn't believe Grant Wood from Andover carried a briefcase with him throughout. Using my flash gave the mud an almost cartoon quality to it. Photo by Jackson Forderer
Sgt. Dustin Pearson was gracious enough to let us in on the plan to surprise his mother after coming home from Kuwait at her graduation from Rasmussen College. We nearly blew the surprise a few times by peeking through the door, but when the moment grew close, Pearson showed his nervousness. It all paid off though seeing the surprise on Margaret's face as he revealed himself from behind the door. Photo by Jackson Forderer
This would be my first and last time covering Vikings training camp in Mankato. I can remember going to camp myself as a kid and being in awe of these giant humans towering above me. I was incredibly nervous and very busy during those few weeks, but I will never regret being able to experience the last one in Mankato. I asked Carol Jensen, or Queen Hellgah, if I could get a picture of her and took a portrait of her in all her garb, but as she walked past other Vikings fans I caught her passing through some nice light and got a more candid moment of her. Photo by Jackson Forderer
While on assignment covering English language learning classes for immigrants and refugees, I took this picture of Aperngo Cham holding up a book she picked out. When you shoot a lot of pictures, usually Murphy's law applies, but sometimes you get lucky. I am actually still kicking myself for not noticing until editing that Cham had opened her book to a page that said Pig tails. Even so, I still love this portrait. Photo by Jackson Forderer
I was amazed to watch Margaret Gronstal, 88, not only attempting to rappel down the VINE building, but actually do it with ease. I was tethered to the building and as a breeze picked up Gronstal's cape I captured this moment at the start of her descent down the wall. Photo by Jackson Forderer