A Word With: Ursula H. Yost
The multi-talented Ursula H. Yost sits down with our host to discuss action photography and cheerleading, among other things.
GM: I’m here with Ursula Horn Yost, the team photographer for the Hanover Rhinos. Tell our readers how long you’ve been with the team?
UY: 4th season.
GM: Haha. You’re known for the beautiful action photography you do for all Rhinos games, and other community events. How did you get started with photography, and what has fueled your passion along the way?
UY: Since I can remember, I have had a camera. I took some photography courses in college, even though it was not my major. I learned how to develop and process film. It was so much fun. After college, I put the camera down for a while. Once my kids were born, I picked it back up. I really got in to sports photography when my nephews started to play high school volleyball. I found that I could catch the action shot so much better than, say, a portrait.
GM: You’re more than the photographer for the Rhinos, though. Talk about your role within the Rhinos community.
UY: I am the team secretary. This is because (Rhinos owner) Adam (Bostian) needs someone to write things down. I help maintain the website and the Facebook page. I keep the contracts in order. I am also “Mom”. I am old enough to be mom to everyone but Greg Day. I consider all of them “My Boys”. They know I am tough and do not take crap, but that I love them and will do what I can for them.
GM: Is there anything special that you do to welcome new players to the team?
UY: No, nothing really special. Maybe tell them if they want good pictures of themselves, they need to make good plays.
GM: How did you become part of the Rhinos family?
UY: A friend of mine knew I had been really enjoying taking pictures of volleyball and wanted to get more into sports photography. She told me that the Rhinos were looking for someone to help out and take pictures. So, I contacted Chris Bunty and volunteered. I was so nervous that first game, but everyone was so welcoming. What started out as just taking pictures of the games, turned in to me being an ever-present fixture of the Rhino family.
GM: What was the moment when you felt like you arrived at being that ever-present fixture?
UY: I do not know if there was a specific moment. I just knew I had found an organization that I wanted to be a part of.
GM: What’s the funniest moment you’ve had during a game?
UY: Sorry, no funny stories. During games, I am pretty much in a zone. I am always thinking about where I need to be to get the good shots.
GM: And it shows in your work. What are some of your favorite shots you’ve gotten over the years?
UY: Omg, you know when a receiver makes a catch and just has his toes touching when he catches the ball… I got that shot. It was against the Phantoms and Jay Collins was the receiver. I looked at my screen to see if I had really gotten that shot. Sure enough, I had. It was a spectacular catch and I caught it on film. Other favorites are actually heartbreaking images. I captured some of the last pictures of Roma Michael playing a game that he loved. I had pictures of Shannon Martin holding one of his children after a playoff game, and had pictures of David Telp being David and dancing on the field.
GM: What do you think it is that causes us as human beings to be drawn to tragic works of art?
UY: I don’t think it is being drawn to it. I think you see it and those memories are pushed to the forefront again.
GM: So, it causes a rush of emotion, and helps you remember the good times you had with a person?
UY: Yes. And the impact they had on everyone around them.
GM: Despite what you said about your ability to do portraits, you got a nice portrait of Rhinos’ defensive back Lloyd Welford.
UY: Those are more candids. Portraits are very set up. Lighting, posing, all that stuff. I rarely get a good portrait. The one of Brady Hearn and his drum are the best ones I have ever done. I always say I can get a better shot of someone moving, than just being still.
GM: You’ve been working with Essential End, Brady’s band from the local area. What has the experience been like?
UY: Hanging out backstage at shows, watching the crowd react to them as they perform, seeing/hearing such amazing talent, and getting to take pictures of it all… it is an absolute blast.
GM: What are some things about you that not many people know?
UY: Here you go… things people do not know about me. Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, BS degree in Criminal Justice, cheerleader in high school and college, played the cello for 6-7 years, played flute for 3, but can not really read music.
GM: Out of all those things, which is the most exciting for you?
UY: Loved Tae Kwon Do!
GM: What’s your favorite move that you learned?
UY: Spinning back kick. I could do like 10 of them in a row.
GM: Do you think you could give Chuck Norris a run for his money?
UY: Ha, he and I have an understanding.
GM: I believe it. You got me with a softer version of that at practice once and I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds.
UY: Never underestimate the short, old lady with a camera. And now that I am working out again… really, really do not underestimate me.
GM: Where did you go to college, and what prompted you to go for a criminal justice degree?
UY: Haha, which time? I graduated from York College. All I ever wanted to be when I was little was a police officer. I also knew going to college was important. So criminal justice was the perfect fit.
GM: Have you ever served jury duty?
UY: No. No I haven’t.
GM: Tell us about your time as a cheerleader?
UY: Started cheering in 9th grade, and kept going through college. I have cheered for football, basketball, wrestling, and soccer. I performed at a Baltimore Blast soccer game during college.
GM: Were you part of the popular crowd?
UY: Yes and no. I socialized with everyone. I did not stick with one group all the time.
GM: Being a cheerleader, did you have a lot of boys asking you for dates?
UY: Nope. I think today they say I was in the friend zone.
GM: Were you one of the girls they tossed in the air?
UY: No. I lifted weights pretty regularly, so I was a good solid base.
GM: Did you ever feel bad after accidentally dropping someone?
UY: Never dropped anyone.
GM: Do you still have friendships that you formed during your squad days?
UY: Just on facebook. I keep my friends circle very, very small.
GM: How did you manage to play the cello and the flute without reading music?
UY: I was told what the notes were, or they were written down for me, and the hand placement, and just memorized it. That is why Tae Kwon Do do was so easy. Someone would show me and I would memorize it and give it back exactly as I was shown.
GM: So, you recently had a birthday. Tell our readers what you did to celebrate?
UY: Nothing really. Going to wait for my son to come home from college for Thanksgiving break next week, then do the dinner and cake thing. Next year though, when I turn 50, I am having a huge party.
GM: What’s the most exciting birthday gift you’ve ever gotten?
UY: Actually, I am not a big gift person. But the but present was that my dad would call me (as he did with all my brothers and sisters) every year and sing happy birthday to me. Last year, he was in the hospital and could not sing, and he was so disappointed. So my oldest son told him not to worry, that he would take care of it. Well, since my dad’s passing in January, my son has called each of my brothers and sisters to sing to them. So, on my birthday, at 7:30 AM, about the time dad would call, I got a call from my oldest, and he sung to me. I cried the entire time. He made a promise to his grandpa, and he is keeping that promise.
GM: You are a hockey fan. Why did you choose the Pittsburgh Penguins as your favorite team?
UY: They were franchised the year I was born, have always had talented players, and since I am a Steelers fan, it just came natural to cheer for them.
GM: So many great players over the years. Who have you enjoyed watching the most?
UY: Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby, Tom Barrasso.
GM: Is the mullet the greatest hairstyle ever invented?
UY: Hey, hey, when I was in high school, that was the popular style.
GM: More stylish- Jaromir Jagr’s mullet in the 90’s or Jagr’s mullet now?
UY: Oh, he rocked it in the 90’s. (Laughs).
GM: Jagr’s mullet, or Donald Trump’s hair?
UY: Wow, that is a tough one. Ummm, Jagr.
GM: If you could go one place in the world, where would it be?
UY: I am not a good flyer… plus, I love the US too much. I would go back to Wyoming. Actually, that is where we want to end up.
GM: Oh yeah? What are your plans once you get there?
UY: Small ranch at the base of the Beartooth Mountains, with a few horses and alpaca. The horses are for me, since I ride, and the alpaca are for the husband.
GM: Thank you for spending a moment of your time with us.