Best of 2015

As I reflect on 2015, I continue to experience the blessings God has given to me throughout the year and in my lifetime. Oftentimes while exploring Westmoreland County for a feature or after an adrenaline-pumped sports event, I mentally pause while driving home at weird times of my night shift expressing my gratitude in prayer. How could I refrain when I have the best job ever?!

Without a doubt, I would not feel this pure joy without the many special people in my life that support my love for photojournalism. There are no words that accurately describe my thankfulness to use a camera every day to capture my community's fleeting moments of life.

I am excited to feel new growth in 2016. Though it may be tough in my industry with constant change, I plan to remain grateful through it all. 

To my colleagues, friends and family, I wish you a year of intentional progress. Never cease to count all of life's simplest blessings.

-Steph  

A young fan looks to congratulate West Virginia linebacker Marvin Gross (18) after West Virginia beat Texas Tech on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU won 31-26.

A young fan looks to congratulate West Virginia linebacker Marvin Gross (18) after West Virginia beat Texas Tech on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU won 31-26.

West Virginia safety Dravon Askew-Henry (6) defends Texas Tech wide receiver Jakeem Grant (11) on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. The pass was incomplete. WVU won 31-26.

West Virginia safety Dravon Askew-Henry (6) defends Texas Tech wide receiver Jakeem Grant (11) on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. The pass was incomplete. WVU won 31-26.

A West Virginia tuba player sings a march after losing his horn top on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU won 41-17 over Liberty.

A West Virginia tuba player sings a march after losing his horn top on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU won 41-17 over Liberty.

West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood (4) fumbles the ball near the end zone against Oklahoma State  on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. Oklahoma State won 33-26 in overtime.

West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood (4) fumbles the ball near the end zone against Oklahoma State  on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. Oklahoma State won 33-26 in overtime.

West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard (3) reacts after his touchdown against Texas Tech on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU won 31-26.

West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard (3) reacts after his touchdown against Texas Tech on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU won 31-26.

West Virginia offensive lineman Adam Pankey (57) amps up with his team before playing Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. Oklahoma State won 33-26 in overtime.

West Virginia offensive lineman Adam Pankey (57) amps up with his team before playing Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. Oklahoma State won 33-26 in overtime.

West Virginia safety Jeremy Tyler (24) runs onto the field before playing Texas on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU won 38-20.

West Virginia safety Jeremy Tyler (24) runs onto the field before playing Texas on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va. WVU won 38-20.

Penn-Trafford's Casey Aunkst and Jeannette's Julian Batts, the Tribune-Review's Athletes of the Year, are photographed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at Penn-Trafford High School. Aunkst, who will be playing soccer at Duquesne University, holds the school record for football field goals, basketball all-time assists and was named all-state for soccer. Batts, who will be playing basketball at a junior college in Connecticut, is the school's second all-time leading scorer and a star quarterback.

Penn-Trafford's Casey Aunkst and Jeannette's Julian Batts, the Tribune-Review's Athletes of the Year, are photographed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at Penn-Trafford High School. Aunkst, who will be playing soccer at Duquesne University, holds the school record for football field goals, basketball all-time assists and was named all-state for soccer. Batts, who will be playing basketball at a junior college in Connecticut, is the school's second all-time leading scorer and a star quarterback.

Penn-Trafford's Jared Phillips tries to gain possession from the legs of Hempfield's Ben Midlik on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015 at Hempfield Area High School. Hempfield won 2-1.

Penn-Trafford's Jared Phillips tries to gain possession from the legs of Hempfield's Ben Midlik on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015 at Hempfield Area High School. Hempfield won 2-1.

Greensburg Central Catholic's Jake Nesser collides with Riverview's Brandon Davis at home plate on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at Mt. Pleasant Area High School. Nesser was tagged out. GCC won 11-1 in five innings.

Greensburg Central Catholic's Jake Nesser collides with Riverview's Brandon Davis at home plate on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at Mt. Pleasant Area High School. Nesser was tagged out. GCC won 11-1 in five innings.

Greensburg Salem's Jesse Quatse is checked by medics after his injury against Latrobe's Joe Russo during their 120-pound bout on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 at Latrobe High School. Latrobe won 65-6.

Greensburg Salem's Jesse Quatse is checked by medics after his injury against Latrobe's Joe Russo during their 120-pound bout on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 at Latrobe High School. Latrobe won 65-6.

Greensburg Central Catholic's Brad Caric looks back to Riley Slike, right, during a victory slide after beating Serra Catholic on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 at Greensburg Central Catholic. GCC won 3-0.

Greensburg Central Catholic's Brad Caric looks back to Riley Slike, right, during a victory slide after beating Serra Catholic on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 at Greensburg Central Catholic. GCC won 3-0.

Mt. Pleasant's Dom Monstrola celebrates his team's win against Greensburg Salem on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015 at Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant won 1-0.

Mt. Pleasant's Dom Monstrola celebrates his team's win against Greensburg Salem on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015 at Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant won 1-0.

Penns Manor's Bailey Mumau hoists the Heritage Conference plaque as Zach Hnatko reacts after beating Ligonier Valley during a football game on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 in Ligonier. Penns Manor won 19-12.

Penns Manor's Bailey Mumau hoists the Heritage Conference plaque as Zach Hnatko reacts after beating Ligonier Valley during a football game on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 in Ligonier. Penns Manor won 19-12.

A bead of sweat falls from the face of Penn Trafford lineman Andre Guest during the first day of high school football training camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Warrior Stadium in Harrison City.

A bead of sweat falls from the face of Penn Trafford lineman Andre Guest during the first day of high school football training camp on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Warrior Stadium in Harrison City.

Southmoreland first baseman Michael Baird gathers with his team after they beat Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 13, 2015 at Greensburg Salem High School. Southmoreland won 9-6.

Southmoreland first baseman Michael Baird gathers with his team after they beat Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 13, 2015 at Greensburg Salem High School. Southmoreland won 9-6.

Jeannette's Jimmy Malik, right, prepares to take the field against Chartiers-Houston during a WPIAL football game on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 at Jeannette's McKee Stadium.

Jeannette's Jimmy Malik, right, prepares to take the field against Chartiers-Houston during a WPIAL football game on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 at Jeannette's McKee Stadium.

Connellsville's Tim Bish holds an American flag while listening to the national anthem prior to playing Penn-Trafford during the second week of WPIAL football on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 at Falcon Stadium in Connellsville.

Connellsville's Tim Bish holds an American flag while listening to the national anthem prior to playing Penn-Trafford during the second week of WPIAL football on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 at Falcon Stadium in Connellsville.

Greensburg Salem girls lacrosse practices in the golden light on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Offutt Field in Greensburg. 

Greensburg Salem girls lacrosse practices in the golden light on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Offutt Field in Greensburg. 

Burrell's Natalie Myers walks off the court as Bishop Canevin celebrates their 32-30 win during the WPIAL semifinal AA girls basketball game on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 at Hampton High School.

Burrell's Natalie Myers walks off the court as Bishop Canevin celebrates their 32-30 win during the WPIAL semifinal AA girls basketball game on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 at Hampton High School.

Latrobe's Tommy Kisick (52), Matt Dragon (14), Sean Graytok (41) and Seth Holler (far right) celebrate as Upper St. Clair's Andrew Wheeler reacts after a call against Upper St. Clair as during the first round of AAAA WPIAL boys basketball playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at Charleroi Area High School. Upper St. Clair won 61-59.

Latrobe's Tommy Kisick (52), Matt Dragon (14), Sean Graytok (41) and Seth Holler (far right) celebrate as Upper St. Clair's Andrew Wheeler reacts after a call against Upper St. Clair as during the first round of AAAA WPIAL boys basketball playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at Charleroi Area High School. Upper St. Clair won 61-59.

Neshannock's Jason Swope (top) celebrates with his team their victory over Neumann-Goretti in during the PIAA Class AA baseball title game at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubano Park on Friday, June 12, 2015. Neshannock won 9-0.

Neshannock's Jason Swope (top) celebrates with his team their victory over Neumann-Goretti in during the PIAA Class AA baseball title game at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubano Park on Friday, June 12, 2015. Neshannock won 9-0.

Neshannock's Thomas Scott is overcome with emotion after beating Neumann-Goretti during the PIAA Class AA baseball title game at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubano Park on Friday, June 12, 2015. Neshannock won 9-0.

Neshannock's Thomas Scott is overcome with emotion after beating Neumann-Goretti during the PIAA Class AA baseball title game at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubano Park on Friday, June 12, 2015. Neshannock won 9-0.

Burrell's Nicole Scherer reacts after winning the 100-meter dash at the Class AA PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University on May 23, 2015 in Shippensburg. Scherer's time was 12.32.

Burrell's Nicole Scherer reacts after winning the 100-meter dash at the Class AA PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University on May 23, 2015 in Shippensburg. Scherer's time was 12.32.

PIAA official Jim Maple shoots a starting pistol during Lady Spartan/Wildcat track invitational at Latrobe Memorial Stadium on Friday, April 10, 2015.

PIAA official Jim Maple shoots a starting pistol during Lady Spartan/Wildcat track invitational at Latrobe Memorial Stadium on Friday, April 10, 2015.

Ian Van Wingert of Friendsville, Md. rides down an 18-foot waterfall during 16th annual Ohiopyle Over The Falls Festival on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015.

Ian Van Wingert of Friendsville, Md. rides down an 18-foot waterfall during 16th annual Ohiopyle Over The Falls Festival on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015.

Seton-La Salle bombards Cassidy Walsh after her buzzer beater shot as Greensburg Central Catholic's Carolyn Appleby (5) reacts during a PIAA game on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at Canon-McMillan High School. Seton-La Salle won 54-52.

Seton-La Salle bombards Cassidy Walsh after her buzzer beater shot as Greensburg Central Catholic's Carolyn Appleby (5) reacts during a PIAA game on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at Canon-McMillan High School. Seton-La Salle won 54-52.

Deer Lakes' Maria Taliani, center, hugs pitcher Tiffany Edwards, right, as they celebrate with teammates their win over Mohawk during the WPIAL Class AA softball championship on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at California University of Pennsylvania. Deer Lakes won 13-5.

Deer Lakes' Maria Taliani, center, hugs pitcher Tiffany Edwards, right, as they celebrate with teammates their win over Mohawk during the WPIAL Class AA softball championship on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at California University of Pennsylvania. Deer Lakes won 13-5.

Bethel Park cheerleader Erin Brown reacts as she is pushed around while waiting for champions to be named at the WPIAL Competitive Spirit championships on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 at Hempfield Area High School.

Bethel Park cheerleader Erin Brown reacts as she is pushed around while waiting for champions to be named at the WPIAL Competitive Spirit championships on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 at Hempfield Area High School.

From right to left, Jenny Campbell, Haley Pilston, Sam Kolar, Lisa Reddington wait to compete in the WPIAL Competitive Spirit championships on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 at Hempfield Area High School.

From right to left, Jenny Campbell, Haley Pilston, Sam Kolar, Lisa Reddington wait to compete in the WPIAL Competitive Spirit championships on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 at Hempfield Area High School.

Huntingdon's Collin Glorioso is introduced before wrestling Jefferson Morgan's Brendan Howard during their 120-pound championship match in the Southwest Regional Class AA wrestling tournament on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Canon-McMillan High School. Glorioso won 8-2.

Huntingdon's Collin Glorioso is introduced before wrestling Jefferson Morgan's Brendan Howard during their 120-pound championship match in the Southwest Regional Class AA wrestling tournament on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Canon-McMillan High School. Glorioso won 8-2.

Quaker Valley's John Medich tags out Neshannock's Jason Swope at home plate during the WPIAL Class AA Championship on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at Consol Energy Park in Washington. Neshannock won 4-0.

Quaker Valley's John Medich tags out Neshannock's Jason Swope at home plate during the WPIAL Class AA Championship on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at Consol Energy Park in Washington. Neshannock won 4-0.

Mohawk's Samantha Carr cries as she embraces Christine Jones after their loss to Deer Lakes during the WPIAL Class AA softball championship on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at California University of Pennsylvania. Deer Lakes won 13-5.

Mohawk's Samantha Carr cries as she embraces Christine Jones after their loss to Deer Lakes during the WPIAL Class AA softball championship on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at California University of Pennsylvania. Deer Lakes won 13-5.

Ligonier Township Police Chief Michael Matrunics wipes his eye during a press conference describing the death of Lt. Eric Eslary on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the Ligonier Township Police Department. Eslary was killed early Tuesday when a van headed the wrong way on Route 30 West struck his sport utility vehicle head-on in front of Idlewild Park, according to police reports. K-9 Blek was taken to Monroeville for surgery.  

Ligonier Township Police Chief Michael Matrunics wipes his eye during a press conference describing the death of Lt. Eric Eslary on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the Ligonier Township Police Department. Eslary was killed early Tuesday when a van headed the wrong way on Route 30 West struck his sport utility vehicle head-on in front of Idlewild Park, according to police reports. K-9 Blek was taken to Monroeville for surgery.

 

Mourners watch from Route 30 as a hearse escorts Ligonier Township police Lt. Eric Eslary after his funeral at Holy Trinity Catholic Church to Ligonier Valley Cemetery on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Mourners watch from Route 30 as a hearse escorts Ligonier Township police Lt. Eric Eslary after his funeral at Holy Trinity Catholic Church to Ligonier Valley Cemetery on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Army veteran Darrell Moody, 88, of Latrobe watches floats from inside his assisted living home during the 4th of July Parade on Saturday, July 4, 2015 in Latrobe. "I am a World War II veteran, a Korean veteran and a veteran here (in the home)," Moody said laughing.

Army veteran Darrell Moody, 88, of Latrobe watches floats from inside his assisted living home during the 4th of July Parade on Saturday, July 4, 2015 in Latrobe. "I am a World War II veteran, a Korean veteran and a veteran here (in the home)," Moody said laughing.

Riders carry flags before a rodeo during the Bullskin Township Community Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 in Wooddale.

Riders carry flags before a rodeo during the Bullskin Township Community Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 in Wooddale.

Demolished cars make for an unusual backdrop for  6-year-old horse Macy as owner Doreen Ulery of Bullskin cares for her before a rodeo at the Fayette County Fair on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 in Dunbar.

Demolished cars make for an unusual backdrop for  6-year-old horse Macy as owner Doreen Ulery of Bullskin cares for her before a rodeo at the Fayette County Fair on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 in Dunbar.

People watch as a 57-pound bear is weighed at the Pennsylvania Game Commission Southwest Region Office on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Bolivar.

People watch as a 57-pound bear is weighed at the Pennsylvania Game Commission Southwest Region Office on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Bolivar.

Kevin Mikita of Santella Excavating exhales cold air as he tends to one of two simultaneous water main breaks in Latrobe on the 400th block of Main Street on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.

Kevin Mikita of Santella Excavating exhales cold air as he tends to one of two simultaneous water main breaks in Latrobe on the 400th block of Main Street on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.

Michaela Sopher reaches for the right apple in an attempt to out balance her friend Jaelyn Roupe, both 11, while the two take a break from a neighborhood apple fight along Harvey Avenue in Greensburg on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015.

Michaela Sopher reaches for the right apple in an attempt to out balance her friend Jaelyn Roupe, both 11, while the two take a break from a neighborhood apple fight along Harvey Avenue in Greensburg on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015.

Gene Jackson (left) of Level Green, 72, and Ray Hunsberger of Wilkins Township, 73, roll their golf carts around a snowy green on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 at Meadowink Golf Course in Murrysville. Jackson, Hunsberger and Bill Jones of Delmont, 72, (not pictured) are Air Force veterans.

Gene Jackson (left) of Level Green, 72, and Ray Hunsberger of Wilkins Township, 73, roll their golf carts around a snowy green on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 at Meadowink Golf Course in Murrysville. Jackson, Hunsberger and Bill Jones of Delmont, 72, (not pictured) are Air Force veterans.

Deb Tatarka of Greensburg grasps her scarf as she walks past a butterfly mural while temperatures hover in the teens along Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg on Jan. 8, 2015. 

Deb Tatarka of Greensburg grasps her scarf as she walks past a butterfly mural while temperatures hover in the teens along Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg on Jan. 8, 2015. 

A biker rides along the Great Allegheny Passage over the Youghiogheny River and fall foliage in Ohiopyle State Park on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015.

A biker rides along the Great Allegheny Passage over the Youghiogheny River and fall foliage in Ohiopyle State Park on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015.

A biker rides along the Great Allegheny Passage past fall foliage in Ohiopyle State Park on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015.

A biker rides along the Great Allegheny Passage past fall foliage in Ohiopyle State Park on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015.

A pedestrian makes her way along a soggy Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg near Seton Hill University's visual arts center on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

A pedestrian makes her way along a soggy Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg near Seton Hill University's visual arts center on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Rob Holland in a Window World MXS and Jack Knutson in an Extra 300 S fly during the Westmoreland County Airshow on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe.

Rob Holland in a Window World MXS and Jack Knutson in an Extra 300 S fly during the Westmoreland County Airshow on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe.

Rob Holland in a Window World MXS, Matt Chapman in an Eagle 540, Jack Knutson in an Extra 300 S and Bill Stein in a Zivko Edge 540 collectively fly in a formation called "The 4ce" over rural Westmoreland County during a practice in between rain showers on Friday, June 19, 2015 in preparation for Saturday and Sunday's Westmoreland County Airshow at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe.

Rob Holland in a Window World MXS, Matt Chapman in an Eagle 540, Jack Knutson in an Extra 300 S and Bill Stein in a Zivko Edge 540 collectively fly in a formation called "The 4ce" over rural Westmoreland County during a practice in between rain showers on Friday, June 19, 2015 in preparation for Saturday and Sunday's Westmoreland County Airshow at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe.

A storm moves in after the first day of the Westmoreland County Air Show at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe on Saturday, June 20, 2015. The expected storms held off for the entire air show.

A storm moves in after the first day of the Westmoreland County Air Show at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe on Saturday, June 20, 2015. The expected storms held off for the entire air show.

Sal Mignogna, 75, of Greensburg pulls Marsha Kirker-Bozich close to him as they dance during a Valentine's Ball on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at Senior LIFE in Greensburg. "I've never seen him so happy," said Kirker-Bozich, the activities coordinator. "He remembers jitter-bugging with his girlfriend."

Sal Mignogna, 75, of Greensburg pulls Marsha Kirker-Bozich close to him as they dance during a Valentine's Ball on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at Senior LIFE in Greensburg. "I've never seen him so happy," said Kirker-Bozich, the activities coordinator. "He remembers jitter-bugging with his girlfriend."

Molly Ray, 6, kisses her grandfather former Army Sgt. Merle Ray before she went back to class as Beverly Ray looks on after a Veterans Concert at Derry Area's Grandview Elementary School on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. 

Molly Ray, 6, kisses her grandfather former Army Sgt. Merle Ray before she went back to class as Beverly Ray looks on after a Veterans Concert at Derry Area's Grandview Elementary School on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.