Photos of the year 2010

It has been a whirlwind year for me, going by minute by minute yet almost in a blink of an eye. January will mark my one year anniversary at the Beacon-News here in Aurora, Ill and I still don't believe it is real.
Every week there seems to be another dooms-dayer and nay-sayer going on about the death of journalism, "Every photo has been taken!" they say, or, "It's just not what it used to be." I hear these people, and yes I understand, but I have not taken every photo, this class of photographers may not be like what they used to be, but I believe that is a good thing. We were told from the start this is a dying trade, yet for some reason we went on with a chip on our shoulder to not only prove them wrong, but to be even better.
Everyday seemed to bring another paper's demise, yet we kept shooting. "Why do you want to get into this business anyway?" Is a question I hear way to much, followed closely by, "What got you into photography?" For me the answer is the same: I love taking pictures. Pictures of people, pictures of dogs, pictures of brides, pictures of bugs, pictures of places, pictures of nothing, I don't care, I just love taking pictures. That is why I got into this business and that is why I will never stop, no matter how "dead" journalism is.
Just as any job begins to become monotonous, I began to take for granted the gift I had at my feet every day. If I viewed it as the daily grind that's what it would become, but we have the greatest job in the world. Because of a small black box with some glass attached to it, people will open their arms and let us into their lives as if we are family to witness some of the best or worst moments they experience. Go outside, find a park or street and just walk around, take a few photos and your now feature hunting! "You get paid for this!?" I'm often asked, to which I reply, "Heck ya!" not much, but heck ya anyway!
Maybe it's because I'm new to the game, but if that's the case then I don't care. If becoming more seasoned means being more jaded then I choose to remain as green as they come. Bring on your journalism death threats and depressing outlooks; there is a whole hungry generation ready to fight back.

So with that here are my favorite images from this past year in no particular order. As always, comments and criticisms are welcome!