Everyday Heroes | Professor Michael Goldsmith

The man who inspired the project deserves at least a full post of his own.

An entire wall in his home office is host to "Professor of the Year" awards, each given by the law students at BYU. His sheer intelligence coupled with uncanny wit and charm have made him an easy favorite.

Professor Goldsmith's "can do" attitude has recently reached far beyond the classroom. He has single-handedly led a movement throughout the country that will benefit only those ALS victims who come after him. Though now confined to communicating through this computer, Professor Goldsmith's vocal efforts have paved the way for bounds of improvement in ALS research.

Below are various news stories and reports about his journey through his battle with ALS and his fight to help others.

Watch the segment the Today Show ran on his efforts:

Watch him throw the opening pitch at the July 4, 2009 Yankees game:

Watch the local news story about him:

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Read his column from the November 10 issue of Newsweek entitled "My Turn" HERE.

Read what the New York Times published about him HERE.

Read a local story about him published HERE.

Introducing . . . The 'Everyday Heroes' Project

Everyday heroes. We all have them: those people who teach us to be better, encourage us to pursue our dreams, and hold our hands when the going gets tough. Parents, siblings, neighbors, friends, teachers, religious leaders, and many others—our true heroes. Strong and steady through personal tragedies—theirs and others’—constantly motivating us to be greater, stronger, better. Reminding us that we “can do” anything.

On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig gave his “immortal speech” in Yankee stadium, announcing his retirement from the sport that made him a household name. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s disease, quickly claimed the life of the baseball legend when he not yet 38 years old. This fatal, neurodegenerative disease affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing ultimate loss of voluntary muscle movement. There is no cure for ALS, but with funding for research and development, there are hopeful treatments.

Last year, I enrolled in my first class from Professor Michael Goldsmith, a favorite among BYU Law students. Intimidated by his intellect and wit, I was also inspired by his pleas to us, as students, to take a “can do” approach to both our legal ambitions and to life in general. Professor Goldsmith suffers from ALS, but has not allowed the disease to run his life. In the November 10, 2008 issue of Newsweek, Professor Goldsmith—a lifetime MLB fan—urged Major League Baseball to help raise funds to find a cure for ALS. On the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous speech, Professor Goldsmith threw the opening pitch at a New York Yankees game. There and around the country players wore a “4 ALS” patch on their jerseys and famous Americans recited Gehrig’s speech during the seventh inning stretch. Professor Goldsmith, one of my everyday heroes, has helped raise thousands of dollars for the cause—an endeavor from which he will not personally benefit because of the disease’s quick progression.

Now you and I have the chance to join the effort to find a cure for ALS. This year will be my final year at BYU Law School. So during this school year (September 2009–April 2010) I will be photographing 25 of your everyday heroes. In lieu of paying a session fee to me, for a $25 donation to ALS TDI (the only organization dedicated exclusively to ALS research) an individual or group of up to 5 will receive a portrait session and a signed 8x10 print. A $50 donation will cover groups of 6­–10. Nominate your everyday hero. If your hero happens to be a part of your own family (like a parent/sibling/child), you could get a family session!

To participate in the “Everyday Heroes” project, please contact me at alli (at) allismiles (dot) com with your name, contact information, and why your everyday hero is a hero to you. Sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and will be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time during the school year.

Thank you for interest in supporting ALS research and in paying tribute to Professor Michael Goldsmith and to your everyday heroes.

I participated in this great project back in April. Since then, I've wanted to come up with my own version, for something I really care about. Thanks, Justin, for your tips & advice!


An announcement

My official website, allismiles.com, is live!

If you have a moment, please take a look around and tell me what you think! I'd be happy to receive any critical feedback you may have, as I know there are always areas I can improve.

Thank you to my wonderful husband, family, friends, mentors, and clients for making this business thrive! This point has been nine years in the making--from the time I developed my first print in the darkroom. I love this job.



Portraits of a Professor | Michael Goldsmith

My big project announcement is coming in the next few days. It is inspired by this incredible man. In preparation for my project, I photographed Professor Michael Goldsmith in his beautiful home in Heber, Utah. The family session turned into a father/daughter session, and I couldn't have been happier. Honestly, the stars aligned to make this shoot happen. Since his health is rapidly declining, Professor Goldsmith moved to New York two days after my visit so he could be near his family. His law school family will certainly miss him.



I love this imperfect shot from my engagement session on Saturday. This is straight out of camera (SOOC) and clearly demonstrates why I love film photography so much! The color and quality of film are unreal. If only film weren't so expensive to process (sigh).

However, I have been integrating film into each of my sessions and weddings lately, and I have been thrilled with the results.

In other news, my website and big photo project should launch later this week! Stay tuned.


Runyan Family | Salt Lake City Family Photography

The weather cooperated with us just long enough to fit in this great family shoot. It literally started raining as I loaded up my car to head home.

What personality! To see the entire event, click HERE.


Introducing Bryan & Jessica Kehl | Utah Wedding Photographer

Bryan and Jessica's reception was stunning. See for yourself!

All of the details at the Grand America were just right, from the photo booth guest book to the mashed potato bar, to the stretch getaway limo. I'm so glad I got to help document this gorgeous event! Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Kehl!

See the entire event HERE.