A picture may be worth a thousand words, but pictures alone rarely explain the ordeals, hassles and escapades of Deseret News photographer Garry Bryant in pursuit of an award-winning photo.
Take, for example, the time he was frisked and detained by security guards during Gov. Norm Bangerter's inauguration because he matched the description of someone who had threatened the governor. Explaining that he only wanted to "shoot" the governor so he could get back to the paper for deadline didn't help matters any (although it provided plenty of entertainment for his fellow photogs when he later recounted the tale).Then there was the time the 34-year-old accidently locked himself in the restroom - for two hours - while he was on assignment to photograph a University of Utah football player.
While long and varied stories of aggravation and harassment accompany each assignment, one thing remains constant - a great photo.
Bryant has worked his way through many of the Utah papers, having been photo editor at the BYU Daily Universe and photographer at the Price Sun Advocate, Logan Herald Journal and Ogden Standard Examiner. He came to the Deseret News in 1985.
He has reaped many awards in his career, including Region 9 College Photographer of the Year and Sigma Delta Chi's Utah Photographer of the Year. Among his award-winning photographs was a three-picture sequence (one portion of which is shown above) of a Utah National Guard Special Forces practice jump that ended in disaster in January 1981. The photo was taken after Bryant had completed his first photojournalism class at BYU. The result launched his career.
Bryant is passionate about photojournalism. He spends much of his time away from the Deseret News teaching his trade to students at BYU. He travels to Provo two or three times a week to share his real-life encounters with students. Often he will borrow situations from work to teach his students about choices they will have to make later about journalism ethics and difficult situations such as covering grief-filled incidents.
While his sturdy build seems imposing to security guards, he is actually a "sensitive dude" who spends a lot of time with his wife, DaLene, and two sons, Sterling and Ian. (In fact, you'd probably recognize Sterling and Ian as the stars of several Bryant photo illustrations.)
Well, now that you know so much about this famous/infamous photographer, make sure to say "Hi" the next time you see him at an event. He will be the one in the corner trying to stay calm in a heated debate with an usher who's telling him he has the wrong pass.