All posts in Storytelling

13 Posts

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!

Morris-122-feature

morris family // storytelling

I’ve been excited to post this session for a few weeks now. It was such a fun day and little Coco is the cutest little girl I’ve ever met. It gives me something to really look forward to with my own children! The Morris’ love to enjoy a good time at the park, relax with some amazing Frost gelato, painting and picnics at home. It wouldn’t have been a perfect day without bath time and some jumping on the bed. What a beautiful family!

Hart-105

hart family // corpus christi family portraits

Another awesome family in the Corpus Christi area, we went to the Texas State Aquarium, the USS Lexington (aircraft carrier) and then spent some time on the beach.  I loved being able to just tag along with their family doing things that they would normally would do.  Their son is a little ball of energy and could run around all day, and he kept me on my toes for sure!  Thank you thank you for letting me be a part of your day!

Viersen-077

nikki + chad + family // texas family lifestyle

I’m finally getting back around to blogging some of my recent portrait work, it’s been a super busy spring and am sooooo thankful for all of the awesome clients I’ve been able to work with!  I traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas, last month and had a wonderful time creating some of my favorite portraits to date.  Nikki & Chad have a beautiful family, a wonderful home, and live in a really really awesome part of the USA.  I tagged along for a couple of hours at their place, went swimming, and then hung out at the beach.  Natural and fun, that’s the way it should be.  Enjoy!

Eyes

landon // ABC lifestyle

Two years ago, I was shopping for a christmas gift for my little nephew, I walked into a book store looking for a fun book for him. We found a great little baby book, the kind with the fabric swatches that imitated the fur or skin of all different types of animals. That’s when the idea came to me: a photographic baby book. I had never enjoyed the baby photos that were popular at the time (the fufu sleeping babies, dressing them up in clothes they never wear, doing things babies would never do, all for the sake of a pretty “cute” photo). Naturally, the idea kept on churning in my mind for weeks, but I filed it away as something that I would get back to in the future. I wanted it to be ultra simplistic, a creative medley of colors, activities, emotions and expressions. Great photography combined with great graphic design would be the focus of my next big creation.

Kravec2-040-website

nora // baby

Laura + David + Nora are one cool family.  If you missed their maternity portraits, you won’t want to miss it.  Little Nora came less than 2 weeks after their maternity session, and all I had seen until now was the most adorable photos from facebook.  Nora really is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen.  She was as calm and as quite as can be, a terrific sport.  A new family portrait wouldn’t be complete with the other furry family members as well :)  Looking forward to some more in the next few months!

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

tucson baby infant newborn portraits photography arizona

aaron + sarah // film

I shot these a few months back when I was having some fun with film (still am) and just now realized I never posted them!  This was sort of a hybrid of some engagement portraits and then capturing life as it happens.  Aaron & Sarah didn’t want too many “directed” portraits, but more of a documentary style approach.  We planned a few different locations and ideas and then just let them be themselves.  Their wedding is this weekend (boy does time fly) and am super excited to be working with my brother on his wedding day.

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

tucson engagement portrait medium format film

laura + david // family & maternity

I was pretty excited when I first met with Laura + David, and for a couple of reasons.  To be honest, I have never really been asked about maternity photos in the past because I don’t show any on my website or blog.  There is a certain style that generally has stayed with some of the past and current trends of maternity and infant portraits: bare bellies, half-naked mothers, elaborate and gimmicky props and a whole bunch of things that I have never cared for as a photographer.  I have always, from day one, always focused on realism: real people being themselves.  I do NOT want to prematurely ‘date’ my photographs by including hokey props and other things I find silly . . . mainly because I could never see myself doing those things if I were the subject!  Over the past years I have seen millions of photographs from all different genres and talents, and I can always tell when photographs are “fake’, in the sense that the subjects doing whatever they are doing in the photographs isn’t something that they ever do, and most certainly not on a regular basis.  This is all fine, but the fantasy style elaborate sets and themes has just never jelled with my style.  What excited me most about working with Laura + David was that they saw my vision and LOVED the ‘documentary’ type approach to portraits: real people doing real everyday things.

They described to me what their normal, everyday life is like on a typical average week.  They love each other, they love their totally awesome home, they love to cook, and they love their two dogs.  Although they still wanted some more directed portraits for the home, and to commemorate the maternity experience, they still loved the idea of capturing what life was like before the new baby, because maybe it would never be the same again :)  Laura + David are proud parents of a new baby girl, and having seen some of their own photographs from home, she looks absolutely ADORABLE . . . so there are a few more portrait sessions of this family already coming in the future, can’t wait.

Share a comment with them, everyone loves hearing how good they look :)

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

Absolutely LOVE this

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

The dogs weren’t too thrilled with the whole ‘getting wet’ idea

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

One of the dogs was very shy, I think it was just me though :)

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

tucson arizona maternity photography portraits baby infant pregnant photo pictures

gomez family // family documentary

A while back I took a venture into a different approach for my family portraits.  The style, as I and others may call it, is called “family documentary”.  Normally photojournalism is completely undirected, unaided “life as it happens” moments where NO intervention or planning has been made to create a photographic opportunity.  It is raw, it is real, it is exactly what the story tells.  Now this isn’t always what we want to see with family portraits, we always want to look our best, and of course, like we like each other :)  If you missed this first post I made, go see it now, it’s worth a look (besides the fact it was also shot on film).  This to me is showcasing what life is like in an average, everyday normal family’s life.  For the most part I try and stay completely out of the way with little to no “direction”.  We will plan out a schedule per se, but then it’s up to the family to just be themselves.  For the many many families that have seen this first session above, it connects with people on a different level because it’s very easy for most families to just “be themselves”.  A lot of families will come to me for family portraits feeling a little shy, unsure or uneasy about what the actual “photographic creation” will be like.  My number one goal is to make sure that EVERYONE is having a great time and is comfortable, and when I’m not directing you, posing you, or telling you to do something, most people feel like “themselves” and end up completely enjoying the entire time working with me.  So, while I still enjoy doing family or couple’s portrait sessions where there is definitely some directed portraiture, being able to relax and “be yourself” definitely makes the entire experience a little bit more fun :)

Clearly this was the case with the Gomez family!  I was delighted to find out that they LOVED this concept and approach and I was even more excited after getting to know them as a family and what they might like to include in their own personal “documentary”.  After maybe 3 minutes, their son was an absolute ham for the camera for the entire day and everything was just a blast.  It was a little work on my end just trying to keep up with them :)  With careful planning, a creative mind and just having fun, these are moments that will be cherished forever . . . I love being able to be a part of something that will be handed down through the family.

If you know the family, are friends or even complete strangers, share a comment for the Gomez clan . . . I’m sure they’ll love it!

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

The more and more he went through the slides and tubes, the more the static made his hair stand up

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

Digging for treasure, they just found something

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

The rest of the evening was spent with family and friends preparing for dinner

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

They both wanted to show off the tomatoes that they found

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

Such hams, this might have been their first ‘wet-willie’

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

While dinner was cooking, they found out that the “water main” was leaking and it was now their job to find it and fix it :)  such an amazing imagination

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

Making sure their fix was working

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

A new leak sprung, time to fix

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

Post-dinner DQ run

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

tucson family portraits photo documentary lifestyle arizona photography

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!


maxwell family // family portraits in picacho

It’s been about 2 months since I was able to photograph the Maxwell family, time to now blog their awesome family portraits.  The Maxwell’s are good friends that I have known for quite some time now and it was just good fund times working with them as well!  They have a big family with a demanding schedule and we were finally able to coordinate a schedule with the kids before they start moving out and enjoying their lives in different parts of the country.  In Tucson, we were incredibile blessed with lots of water during the winter time and the desert look AMAZING back in March.  I don’t think I’ve EVER seen the desert this green, and I’ve lived here my whole life.  Picacho looked like a mountain in Hawaii and we have the pics to prove it.  They are all laid back and just fun to be around so THANK YOU guys for allowing me to document an important phase for your family, looking forward to the next time :)

Enjoy everyone!

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

Just pure fun :)

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

This is a shot from earlier in the day of Picacho Peak, looked AMAZING this time of year!

tucson arizona family portraits picacho desert green beautiful

film + family

When I first got involved with photography, like most people, I learned on a digital camera.  While I love the benefits and advantages that the digital realm can offer in terms of quality, workflow and many other things, I have always had a passion for the look and feel of film.  Now, when I look at old film photographs from the early century and how it has evolved as film formats have changed, the colors, contrast and depth of field has always enamored me.  I’ve shot some film over the past 4 years in my career and have loved the approach and look of the images, but the workflow and technical side of taking that image from an analog source to digital has been a struggle.

Not too long ago the opportunity arose to purchase the film camera of my dreams and I jumped on it.  Ever since I became acquainted with the many different medium and large format cameras, the Contax stood out to me above all others.  Since the acquisition of the 645 camera, I have fallen in love with how fun photography has become!  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE photographing people, families and real moments on digital.  But, the approach I take for photographing on film has really different, REALLY fun, and with a look that cannot be duplicated with digital.  So, like any boy with a new toy, I wanted to go out and play and have some fun with the new camera and get to know its characteristics . . . as well as the many challenges I’ve run into with bringing the analog images into digital format to create the many awesome products that I offer.

My good friends Lashley & Tania (I’ve known Lash since I was literally 4 years old) were due for some new family portraits and it was the perfect opportunity for a day with the new system.  My approach was to document their family, as they are, with no real direction, so that in 10 years they could look back on these photographs and remember what it was like as a young family.  A lot of most portrait photographers work (and I’ll admit that some of mine as well) is very contrived, “fake” in the sense that the photographer is trying to create something that isn’t necessarily true.  Accompanied with this style is a LOT of digital manipulation (not my style!!) to tweak, alter and create something that wasn’t there before (adding textures, altering the focus, changing skies or scenery).  I don’t have a problem with that, it just has never been my style.  Occasionally I’ll have done some extreme edits, but  99% of all the photographs that you see on my blog have not been doctored, altered or really tweaked in any way.  I have always tried to capture my portraits as raw, real and full of emotion.  While I do add some oomph to contrast and colors, or correct for crooked horizons, most of the photography you see isn’t very far from what the reality was.

Enter my approach with film, reality is pushed even further.  Everything is real, no doctoring, no contrived smiles or poses, just pure life as it happens.  A lot of this style and influence comes from my good friend Evan Baines (who primarily is a wedding photojournalist), but it has pushed me towards a passion about photography that I have somewhat divorced for the “rockstar” type images.  Since the beginning of the year, I’ve attended many national and worldwide conventions and have seen a LOT of some of the VERY BEST photography being created today, it really is quite phenomenal.  Since these conventions, I walked away doing a lot of self inflection on my own style, and what I want to accomplish as a portrait photographer.  Had my scans been better, I would love to include the actual border of the film, just so you can see that the composition and everything else about the photograph was straight out of the camera.  Below are scans I did myself, and boy was that time consuming.  But, to me, the portraits and documentation is very real, almost tangible in that you can almost feel like you were there watching.  I hope this is something you’ll all enjoy, and expect to see more of it in the future!

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography

tucson family photojournalism portraits arizona photography