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Best of 2012

I can hardly believe that another year has come and gone, and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to all of my clients, fans, critics, supporters, antagonists, blog-stalkers, and anyone and everyone that has helped me become a better photographer.  I never knew that my business would become what it has become today.  2012 has been the best year ever all thanks to you.  The ones who come back looking for more, who keep pushing me to try something new, to be better than I was the day before, and to those that offered the harshest critique.  Thank you.  Thank you all.  I have high hopes for 2013!

brasil-1

brasil part 2

A dream came true, I finally returned to Brazil!  After working with my ABC book family, my father and I (who was the best photo assistant) traveled around South America for another week.  Some days were spent sight seeing, and others visiting with friends that I had made while I served a mission in 2003-2005.

disney-013

Color, shape & light // fuji X100 review

First off, I need to thank ALL of you.  My family, friends, clients, fans, antagonists, acquaintances and colleagues.  The 2011 year was simply amazing and I have only to thank but you!  Thank you for sticking with my for over 5 years now as I hack away at this photography gig.  One of my goals this year is to “reactivate” my blog.  2011 was so so busy that my blog didn’t see as much interesting content other than the usual post with weddings, senior and family portraits.  That needs to change, and I’m starting off with a much different post than normal.

genesislogo2011

lighting & portrait sales // genesis workshop

Another post for the photographers!

As you all know (read here if you don’t!), I’m incredibly excited and humbled to be teaching at the next Genesis Workshop this coming March. If you haven’t read about this amazing workshop, I highly recommend spending a few minutes on the website to get some more info on the incredible location and amenities: www.genesisworkshop.com

Genesis: Chapter 3

This post is for photographers, but it’s not a bad read either :)

I feel so incredibly lucky, dumbfounded, excited and incompetent to be part of something so incredible. Genesis, a worskhop by photographer, for photographers, is one of the very few workshops I have ever heard of that I feel honest in being able to recommend to photographers. I’ve never really had a chance to recommend it to others because it sells out in a mere few hours…but, it’s put on by some of my very dear and good friends. Sam Hassas, Tony Hoffer & Melanie + Jeff Mansfield.  Having known them for years and understanding their expertise in what they do, this is a workshop that brings substance, value and legitimate educational value to any photographer looking to up their game. The only thing different now is that I’m part of it – teaching, sharing my meager knowledge with hungry photographers. No pressure right?

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glass + steel // chicago

I had a wonderful visit to Chicago in July, such a beautiful place.  I had been there when I was a very young kid, so it was great to return and see how it has changed.  If you missed Debbie + Aaron’s engagement photos in Chicago, I highly recommend it!  Just thought I’d share some personal work, which I haven’t done in a very long time.  Love this place, can’t wait to go back!

CR-blog-094

ISPWP // contest

Just wanted to share two images that recently were placed in the Top 20 for the ISPWP International Winter contest.  First time I ever entered anything to ISPWP and feel honored to be ranked with so many extremely talented photographers from all over the globe. See all the amazing photographs on the ISPWP website.

cason // birth photography

In case you didn’t see the slideshow, go check out the post below this one, you don’t want to miss it. Although it is a multimedia piece using still images in video format, I still tend to LOVE traditional blogging (and that way you can study individual photographs at your own pace, instead of hitting the pause button)! So, more details on the experience in the post below, but, this was shot on film with 2 lenses (for all that care). Love the look that film gives me for this type of approach, but at the same time there are things that I miss about digital. Verdict is still out, what do you guys think?

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

tucson birth documentary newborn labor childbirth pregnancy arizona photograph

cason // birth documentary

I’ve been an active photographer for about 5 years now and have loved every minute of it.  I’m fortunate to say I have a successful business that allows me to to what I LOVE to do, and what I LOVE most about my job is working with the people I work with.  I love weddings, I love portraits, I love interacting with people and watching their emotions, and being part of those memories.  I find it rather corny to say that “I love capturing moments” . . . bleh, it just sounds soooo corny to me.  But, what I love most is just being a fly on the wall, a front row seat in the lives of others . . .

About 3 years ago, I came across a set of documentary images by a good friend of mine, Daniel Shaw, who captured an amazing documentary of his wife giving birth to their son.  Being the father, it was easy for him to be front and center, and the emotion and pure wonder of child birth was captured with striking imagery.  Since then I have always wanted to document an actual birth, and I finally mustered up the guts to do it.

My experience was a whirlwind of 20 hours that is still quite vivid in my memory.  They arrived 8pm the night before, and Cason was finally born around 2:15pm the next day. I got very little sleep, but, I didn’t mind.  I loved just being able to be there, in the same room as the family, and experience life’s most amazing and sacred events.  Maybe I didn’t sleep because I wanted to know what it might feel like to not sleep at all, to help me put myself in a father’s shoes moments before the birth of his first child.  In short, I walked away completely amazed at the miracle of life, and how amazing both Kelly and Roger are.  Thank you so much for letting me be part of something so special, I will never forget it!

Now, this is the first time I’ve created a slideshow for the blog, would love your thoughts and I’m sure the new mom & dad would love to hear your thoughts as well!


Free Presetopia Samples

With the myriad of practical jokes that will inevitably occur throughout the day, Presetopia.com has unveiled a NEW sample set that you can try for free, and this is NO JOKE.  Yep, download over 6 free presets to try at your own leisure and see if it’s the missing link in your digital post-production, be warned, you’ll be back to get the entire set due to their awesomeness!  Try ‘em out, share the news with your friends, this is just the beginning of new announcements coming this year.  What are you waiting for?  Free Presetopia Sampler!

free lightroom presetopia presets samples

NYC

I left for Philadelphia on Wednesday to shoot with a good friend of mine, Tony Hoffer.  I realized that I have never been this close to NYC, so we made a quick trip up to see the Big Apple, something that I have been waiting to do my whole life.  It definitely was an experience, sort of an all-day “lets cram as much as we can do in 8 hours” type of trip.  Can’t wait to go back, but here are a few images I shot during the day.

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

Hoffer on the left, Jason Prezant on the right

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

I can’t quite explain the effect below, it was an LED lamp on the front of the subway car, but it looks cool

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

nyc trip 2010

Best of 2009

2009 came and went faster than I could have imagined. So many wonderful things happened during the year, so much that I am truly grateful for. It would be hard for me to spend even a whole week trying to document the wonderful things that 2009 brings to me, so suffice to say, this blog post is a weak attempt at highlighting some of the very best. This is mainly a “Best of 2009″ showcase of a the many photographs and wonderful clients from the year 2009. Trust me, it was a hard task to pick and cull through thousands of images that were to be selected to show what I did in 2009. I tried to limit my selections to the very very best from each session. Not all sessions were blogged, not all of them will have made it into the “Best of 2009″ slideshow simply because I am human and will err. I want to give a BIG thank you to all my wonderful clients that I had a chance to work with and have made 2009 such an amazing year. It has been one of the best yet for me, which leaves me with a lot of excitement for 2010.

One of the biggest accomplishments of 2009 was the new studio! Thanks to everyone who was able to join me at the open house. If you have yet to come by, please give me a call or shoot me an email so you can see its glory in person! Along with the studio came a lot of new work, a lot of which I’m still trying to catch up!

As for 2010, expect to see many new and great things coming from the studio. I’m currently in the process of rebranding the website, blog and studio. New year, new changes, so a new look thats refined and a little more “updated” to what I feel my style has evolved into. Stay tuned for that one, it should be ready before February! A lot of travel plans have already been made for 2010, I’ll be in Nashville next week, Philadelphia in 1 month and many more exciting places. Due to the growth that I am experiencing and expecting, I will possibly be adding atleast 1-2 full time staff members. Don’t get me started on the headache of new accounting woes and payroll, but, I’m excited to start on new projects and offer better service (you’re probably thinking how it could get better already!) to all of my totally awesome customers!

So take a moment, sit back, and enjoy the “Best of 2009″ slideshow. The slides are in almost chronological order, so try and keep up! If you enjoyed it, please use the links below to share on Facbeook, Twitter, Digg and other social media sites. Feel free to leave a comment as well!

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Awards

I recently entered into an international competition for some of my images.  I have never been into this sort of thing as there was no need for it personally.  I have always viewed it as a way for photographers to make money from photographers (the organizations and judges) and for other photographers to brag and say “hey peeps! I’m an international award winning photographer”.  Nothing wrong with either reasons, but it’s just not really me.

So, I thought I would send in some photos just for fun, see what the judges would think as winners in certain categories.  Seeing how I’ve never really had any experience with preparing images for competition (a large part of the score is simply based on the print quality, the paper, the presentation and other things beyond the photograph), so it was a learning experience for me.  Knowing full well that my images were NOT printed up to par, I’m surprised I did as well as I did honestly. This was for the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) 8×10 competition, which isn’t quite at the same level as a 16×20 competition. So, hopefully with some tweaks and extra printing quality I might even do a little better at the next.

As a side note, 1900 images were submitted in this round of competition.

Just thought I’d share the 2 that won awards, in the Senior and Wedding Detail categories:

“Montana Girl”

tucson award winning senior portrait photography

untitled

tucson award winning senior portrait photography

Data Management, Backup Solution: For Photographers

First and foremost, I want to mention that this article/blogpost/guide is a long time in the making.  Not that I have been working and preparing my comments for a number of months, but that it has been on my mind for probably one year now.  A lot of friends and colleagues have asked me a lot about my current data management and backup system and I feel the desire to help others better understand the options that are available today.

Although the intended audience for this post is mainly for photographers or anyone who wants a little more insight about digital asset management, it is a good read for anyone who wants to understand how important it is to have a photographer (or graphic designer, printer, etc etc) who takes their digital assets very seriously.  If you were a bride, how would you feel if your photographer had to explain to you that your images were lost, deleted, destroyed.  You probably would not like it and you would probably wonder what happened.  A photographer that does NOT take digital asset management seriously, should not be toying with events as important as weddings.  More after the break.

BOOTH at church :)

–For some reason the password protection wasn’t working on this post and it was invisible, even after the password was entered!–

I had a fun time at my church last night for the Valentines Dance (props to the Ensigns and Shaners for the great job on organizing the party!).  I was able to bring along the BOOTH to have some fun and donate some time with the Campbell Ward.  Just thought I’d share some of the recent photos of our crazy concoction!  Please feel free to laugh :P

St. Croix, USVI Photography

Of course a photographer travels to an exotic island in the Caribbean to photograph an amazing wedding with an amazingly good-looking couple . . . and then doesn’t share the “other” pics. I do enjoy shooting landscapes, but I really just enjoyed the beauty of the island and relaxed. Of course this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to photograph such a beautiful place that I HAD to take my big camera and take some snaps. I love doing panoramas, as you’ll see at the bottom. I do hope that these give you a glimpse of the island of St. Croix in all it’s beauty. There is a lot to see, more to learn, and even more history that made this trip so memorable to me. A big thanks goes to Mr. Bidelspacher from the east end of the island for the historical information that he so willingly shared to me, that made me better enjoy my stay . . . immensely. Can’t wait to go back!

Something special that I learned prior to coming to St. Croix was that my great-great-great grandfather lived here when he was part of the Royal Danish army.  He later moved to Illinois and thats how part of my family came to the states.  It was meant to be that I go back and visit!

This is part of one of the larger intact ruins left from the Danes.  There are many many old sugar mill plantations on the island, some preserved and some not.

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

This is near the pier in Fredriksted (West Island)

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

Some of the Fredriksted Buildings.  The architecture on the island is beautiful, very unique.

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

This was taken during the “rehearsal” for Amber & Carraig’s wedding.  Killer awesome sunset!!!

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

This is the Rust Op Twist sugar mill.  One of the largest and very well preserved still!

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

I took a snorkel tour to Buck Island, one of the most pristine beaches in the entire world (I’m not making that up either!)  JFK came to Buck island in the 60s and designated Buck Island the only National Underwater Park.  It is very well preserved and has some of the world’s best snorkeling.  I can tell you first hand it was absolutely AMAZING!  Below is the world famous “Turtle Beach”.

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

This was taken from our sail boat of the very very east tip of Buck Island, right where the boat ‘docked’ and where we snorkeled for an hour.  The water is really that clear, there is no magic or tricks here, it was simply that amazing!

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

Again, another from Turtle Beach, with a view of the north central part of the island, Christiansted.  I took a quick dive here, the water is absolutely amazing.  There were a bunch of small, clear transparent fish swimming everywhere.

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

A view of the east end of the island.  Just past those hills is the eastern most property of the USA.

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

Here is the south east bay.  Near here is the Divi Carina Resort/Casino.  You are looking at Grape Tree Bay, and on the very left side of the pic is where we shot Amber’s bridal pictures in the old, run-down resort hotel.

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

From atop a hill in the pic above you can see Isaac’s Bay, one of the less frequented beaches due to its accessibility.  On the other side of that hill is Jack’s Bay, supposed to be one of the most beautiful parts of the island.  It’s a good hike to get down there!

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

One last one from the other side of Turtle Beach on Buck Island.  Amazing day to take some pics!

us virgin islands st croix landscape panorama photographs

My Family

It sure has been quite a while since my family worked out a time for our own family portrait . . . the last time being just before Karen and I got married . . . 3 years ago.  Time flies, still can’t believe that it has been that long, but, definitely still overdue for a nice family portrait.  I happened to remember a super-secret location only known to very few people (well, maybe not, but I like to think I know something special).  Near the wonderful Sabino Canyon there was this dry riverbed (more likely a stream even when water is in it!) that just looked beautiful.  There was even some colorful leaves still on some of the small trees, so we got lucky.

The lighting was beautiful and sensational . . . and with al little help from some Pocket Wizard radio triggers, taking the photograph was the easy part.  Luckily everyone was good sports and we wrapped it up pretty quickly :)

tucson family portrait

All you photographer droolers, this one’s for you

So my lovely 5D mk2 just arrived this morning from Pictureline (in SLC).  Lovely camera.  Battery is currently charging, but I have a full weekend of shooting ahead of me, perfect timing for it’s arrival :)   Got A couple family portraits, 1 wedding, engagement session and possibly a model shoot.  I might venture into some quickie HD video recordings if time permits.

Expect a lot of REAL (yes, client assignments) pictures in the next few days with a good review as well.  I might even have some video posted as well, we’ll see . . . Make sure you sign up for our RRS updates to be informed!

Sneak peak . . .




Its coming . . . [UPDATE] It’s here!

. . . on Friday!!!  Man, I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been waiting for my camera to ship.  Pictureline in SLC has long been a favorite retailer for me, since I visit SLC a lot, and luckily, they had a couple not claimed for.  I had to order the kit to get it, but, at least it will be here on Friday.  I’m going to cross my fingers for UPS that they will deliver it, since I’ve had a number of unpleasant experiences with them in the not so distant past :(   Overnight usually does a good job :)

For all you non-techie photographer people, simply put, the Canon 5D mk2 produces the very best image quality and resolution of ANY digital SLR camera every produced.  Period.  Oh ya, it shoots full 1080P video too, lol.  I don’t get anything but the best!

Happy TURKEY DAY everyone!  May we all be a little more grateful for everything that we have been given to us!

Headin’ to Nashville!

I don’t remember commenting about this, but I get to head off to Nashville this weekend to shoot a wedding with a friend of mine, Evan Baines.  Evan is an amazing photographer whose work is simply top notch!  He asked me to come out and help him with this important wedding he has and I couldn’t be more delighted to go.  I’ve always wanted to travel to Tennessee and I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll be sure to spoil you all with some awesome wedding pics on my way back :)

You can view some of Evan’s great works at www.evanbaines.com

Presetopia.com

Presetopia
Well, I guess it’s official.  My past week has been extremely busy wrangling a nice website together, prepping documents and information for my first release of Lightroom Presets.  Presets are like actions for Photoshop, just better.  For all you photographers, take a gander at the new site and see what it’s all about.  They have been a hit so far and its been 2 days.  We’ll be adding more products in the next coming months, like actions that mimic my current presets (even though Lightroom is far better for processing) for all you die-hard Photoshop users.

Here’s the site, check it out: www.presetopia.com

Why the 4 week pause? It was worth it . . .

OK, since I haven’t blogged in about 4 weeks, many have asked me if I have contracted some infectious disease, fallen off the earth or just lost hope.  LUCKILY, none of the latter.  I’ve been preparing for and working on a project that was conceived around that same time . . . and it was such an adventure!  One of my absolute favorite couples I have worked with (and have become really great friends along the way) are Amber & Carraig.  I shot their engagement pictures back in May in the U.S. Virgin Islands on St. Croix.  WOW!  If you didn’t see their pics, do a quick search for them it’s worth it.

Anyway, Carraig’s birthday is today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) and Amber wanted to surprise him with something unique, very special and from the heart.  Supposively Carraig is the world’s best at surprises, so she had to do something cool.  Luckily I came to the rescue with a super cool idea for a photo shoot of just Amber, and one of Carraig’s favorite things, snakes.  Yes, Amber and a large 6ft Columbian Boa.  So, unbeknownsted to Carraig, we made plans for her to fly out from Texas, arrive a day before his birthday, do an awesome photo shoot with the snake, get it printed and framed in time for a grande surprise the following day.  Whew, I had a blast and it was absolutely one of the funnest shoots I’ve ever been on.  I’m glad it’s over now because it consumed a lot of my anxiety, I couldn’t wait for it to come :)   Thanks again Amber!!!

So, in case you jumped straight to here, this is what happens when you have awesome clients that let you take complete creative control to create something electrifying:

tucson portrait photography model snake

tucson portrait photography model snake

tucson portrait photography model snake

tucson portrait photography model snake

tucson portrait photography model snake

tucson portrait photography model snake

tucson portrait photography model snake

New Product Shots! arizona wedding albums

I received back some sample products, and also the wedding album for Heather & Jay and just had to post some photos.  Heather & Jay received a 60 page Asukabook Deluxe album and it was HOT!  Asukabook has never let me down on their album quality, consistency and all around value.  They are a bit less-expensive than some of my other albums I offer but equally as popular and excellent.  It had one of those special moments as a photographer . . . and as a business owner (kind of a sneak peak in to what really keeps me going!) . . . I was able to deliver the album to Heather & Jay, and also preview it with them for the first time.  It’s the funnest thing in the world to see their reactions and emotions as they look at their album for the first time.  If I was thinking straight that day, I would have brought the camera to remember it . . . but it was fun anyways!!!

 

Now for some other product shots of my new Senior Portfolios.  Holy COW.  It’s hard to describe how cool these things are, since I’m a very visual person and don’t express myself easily with words . . . but here goes.  These are 6×8″ in size and are hand-made in Italy . . . yes, that’s right, Italy.  They are produced by GraphiStudio, one of the best Album producers in the world right now.  Each page is printed on a fine-art linen, bound with their patented binding method, where each page lays flat (as you can see below, and in contrast above how the Asukabook albums DO NOT lay flat like the GraphiStudio albums).  Each comes with a hard-cover black fabric cover, but the custom-designed dust jacket is included as well.  Oh ya, these are all custom designed by yours truly!  You won’t find these designs with ANYONE else.  This is a 20 page album sample that is just sooooooo cool.  No wonder they have been popular lately!  Give me a call if you’d like to see a custom preview of these bad-boys!

Here are some actual design layouts (not just photos of the book):

Google Chrome!

OK OK, this is totally not related to anything photography, or anything in my life really.  But, since I have a friend works at Google, and the fact that I have been a long supporter of Google, cloud computing and open-source software, I wanted to write about my new experience with Google Chrome.  Well, not much to write as of now because I have been using it for a whole 10 minutes or so.  But, after checking out this cool link, http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/#, and learning about the new Google Browser, I was quite amazed at the new approach.  Mozilla FireFox has always been my preffered browser, and the new FF3 release a couple of months ago was a welcomed upgrade.Since I spend a lot of my time on the computer, and also on the internet (making sure I’m up to date on the latest software, keeping my technique and style on the up-and-up, other stuff) a good web browser is a must.  

FF3 has been great.  But, visit the link above to learn more about the new wave of web browsers.  They said it’s much much faster than FF3, of which my immediate thought was “how do you get much faster than FF3, because it’s FAST.  Especially on my computer”.  Well, I wasn’t dissappointed because Chrome is VERY VERY fast.  It’s like I just got a new computer that is 5x faster than the current one, because web browsing now is VERY fast. 

Anyway . . . this is my little “I just found the coolest thing this week” kind of info tidbit and thought I’d share it around.  Go ahead, try it.  I dare you . . . double dog dare you! (ok maybe not the double dog, thats a big dare)

Download Google Chrome:  http://www.google.com/chrome

NOTE:  In no way am I sponsored by Google, nor do I get any kind of search engine benefit by typing this.  This is purely because I was excited about it :)  

No Power, No Work!

So the power went out last night (around 8pm) while I was trying to enjoy some of the Olympic games.  It’s the first time the power went off for more than an hour.  Luckily the trusty Macbook had some juice left in it and was able to watch the rest of season 2 of The Office, something me and my enjoyed a lot :)

Well, wake up today and guess what . . . no power.  I was surprised because I woke up after dreaming that the power had come on.  Gratefully there was still some hot water left, but no power yet, as of now.

Strangest thing is, that everything else along Sunrise has power.  I live between Campbell and Swan, along Sunrise, and every single location and every single traffic-light has power, except the one closest to mine.  I’m starting to think it’s a conspiracy.  Atleast its not a million degrees inside yet.