Editor's note: We've been taking advantage of our weekday feature, "Utah People, etc.," on Sundays to introduce you to our Deseret News professionals. This week, Utah County Bureau office manager and writer Genelle Larsen profiles Robert Hood, the bureau's intern photographer.Deseret News photographer Robert Hood doesn't carry his camera, he follows it. Last week, his camera took him to the Utah Special Olympics at Brigham Young University where he was volunteer chairman of the photography committee.
As chairman, Hood organized and coordinated all the Olympics events, including a staff of volunteer photographers. Eventually, Hood's photos will be used for slide presentations, brochures and promotional pieces for the Special Olympics.
Working with children is one of Hood's favorite things to do, whether as a newspaper photographer for the Deseret News Utah County Bureau or in the capacity of coach for a local Little League team. "My favorite assignments are feature stories and anything to do with kids."
Hood is coaching 12 boys ages 9 and 10 on Ream's Little League baseball team. "Right now we are 4 and 1, and the game we lost was pretty close," he said.
Hood's interest in working with the boys came recently after covering a child-abuse story for the Deseret News in Orem.
"It really bothered me that that happened. I started thinking, what could I do that would have a positive effect on the world? I had coached before so I called the Little League office to see if they needed me. They did."
It was as a child himself that Hood became interested in photography. He was in the seventh grade at Midvale Junior High School when he saw a print come up in the developer for the first time. "I knew then what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," he said.
After graduating from Hillcrest High School in Salt Lake City, Hood attended Utah State University on a scholarship in fine-arts photography. He was in Logan for five years. After concentrating the first four years on fine arts he decided to return to photojournalism for his last year.
While under the tutelage of USU professor Nelson Wadsworth, Hood received an internship with Parade Magazine in New York. "Two days after graduation I was walking down Broadway in New York City," he said.
Hood's assignment was to assist Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Eddie Adams, an experience he said was the hardest thing he has ever done.
"I learned a lot from Eddie, not just about photography, but about going the extra mile, covering all the bases and being a good coordinator."
Last August, after being home in Salt Lake City from New York two days, Hood heard about a photography internship for the Deseret News in Utah County. He checked into it, and a few days later he was working at the bureau.
Hood's internship ends in August. From there he's not quite sure where he and his camera are heading.
"I follow my camera. If it wants to go to New York, I go. If it wants to go to Provo, I go. I wonder where I will be going next?"