The photography of Sam Householder


Fair-y Good

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Better late than never, here are my highlights from the 2014 Elkhart County 4-H Fair.

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All’s Fairs in July

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As a community photojournalist the seasons aren’t marked by what seasonal calendars but rather by which events you’re photographing. From August to June its high school sports season, then it’s graduation season and as the calendar turns to July in the Midwest, it’s fair season.

That great American Midwest tradition of the county fair. It’s a piece of Americana and something that has a long tradition in the summer months. I’ve been around the county fair as long as I can remember whether it was going as a patron when I was kid, working them as a carnie in high school or shooting them for work.

This week I visited two of the local fairs around here: Kosciusko County and LaGrange County 4-H fairs. A week from today, though, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair starts which will consume just about every second of my working life. There will be plenty of pictures from that to come, I hope. In the meantime, here are some of the better photos I got.

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Graduation Season

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As the calendar flips to June that can mean only one thing: high school graduation season. Even with the long winter and many snow days all ten of our coverage schools held their graduations in the last nine days. Four of them fell on one day.

Thankfully I had help covering those but I still managed to shoot five of the ten. These are my favorite photos.
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Waka Waka

IMG_0173Last weekend was the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival. I took the opportunity to try out my street photography skills with my iPhone. These are my favorites.


Scenes from an abandoned building

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Regular viewers of my work here will know that I am fascinated by abandoned things. Whether it’s buildings, roadside debris or old cars, I find items that were discarded full of mystery and intrigue. Why was the item left there? What was it’s purpose at one time? What’s left behind?

I was at the former Hawks Furniture building in Goshen today for a different assignment when I snapped these two photos. The first is a plywood backboard basketball hoop left on the third floor of the building. The building has had various occupants dating back to the 1880s but I wonder why the hoop was put up there? Was it in the break room and allowed workers to use their lunch hour for games of “H-O-R-S-E” or “21?”

Who knows. The other photo I just took looking out an opening in the side of the building. The building is in the process of being renovated into apartment and workspace for artists. The inside was recently power-washed and the puddle made for a nice reflector.

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Left Behind

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Here in the Midwest we’ve endured the worst winter in recent memory. In fact it was nearly as bad as the winters of 1977 and ’78, widely considered the worst of the last century.

Snow, long snaps and more snow made for a frustratingly-long winter that seemed like it was never going to end. In fact, it still feels like winter is trying to hold on for dear life as temperatures continue to struggle to hit 50 degrees with any sort of consistency.

The winter was hard on everyone and almost everything. Now that the snow is all but gone it’s time to step back and see what winter left behind.

I cruised around and took some photos of the things the snow revealed once it was gone. Items that somehow ended up on roadsides over the course of the winter. How did they get there? I don’t know. Maybe they were left there last fall and got pushed into a snowbank. Maybe they were left behind during a snowstorm or just got lost. However they got there, that’s where they are now.

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Warriors Down

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After a 23-4 season, the Westview High School Warriors lost in the 2A championship game to Park Tudor, who has now won three of the last four 2A titles.

The Warriors had the deck stacked against them, as Park Tudor, a private school, boasted size and athleticism that Westview couldn’t match.

Westview, located in rural LaGrange County gave all of us at The Goshen News a nice “Hoosiers”-type feel-good story as they ran through the Indiana basketball tournament. Westview has 384 students and is located in the unincorporated town of Emma. The school is fed mainly by Shipshewana (Population 666) and Topeka (Pop. 1,153).

Needless to say it’s a public school that is not well equipped to hang with a private school from Indianapolis like Park Tudor. However, the school has a proud basketball history and is annually going deep into their sectional.

Despite their success, Park Tudor proved to be too much for Westview as they throttled the Warriors 84-57. I hope the communities can ignore the loss and look back proudly on a great season in Topeka.

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