We’ve got a deep archive of photographs here on the polygamy beat. As I scrolled through them this morning I found many that haven’t been seen.
Some were shot for stories that went unwritten and others just never found a place. This post is the first in an occasional series of unpublished photos and extended edits from the past several years.
The photos in this gallery were taken on a quick tour of the school building at the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints’ YFZ Ranch near Eldorado, Texas, on Thursday May 29, 2008. Our team was on the secretive property for a few hours that morning. It was just me and Tribune reporters Brooke Adams and Julia Lyon. No other media.
We were always monitored pretty closely whenever we were allowed onto the YFZ Ranch. On this tour our escort was extremely cautious, watching all of my shots closely. We walked into a large assembly room filled with chairs and a portrait of church leader Warren Jeffs on the wall front and center.
Shutting me down, our escort wouldn’t allow any photographs of the empty assembly room, telling me it was a sacred religious area. I gritted my teeth and we moved on to other things.
When I got back to my hotel room later I turned on the television to see what the cable news channels were reporting about the YFZ story. You can imagine my surprise when I saw the very room I had just been prohibited from photographing. Not only did this channel have video of the room, but in the shot, another newspaper photographer was walking up and down the aisles, snapping away to his heart’s content.
I saw you on television Brian Connelley. Though it hardly matters now, I hope you got a good shot of that room.
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