Some big news

So things have been busier than I ever imagined they could get and I have been horrible at keeping up on blogging.  Facebooking is so much more fun.  I'm taking a few moments while lightroom processes some images to mention that I received the 2011 International Diamond Photographer of the Year award from PPA (the largest non-profit professional photographers organization in the world) http://www.ppa.com
 This award is one of the most prestigious awards that photography offers.  Only 11 other photographers out of thousands received this award this year.  I'm humbled an honored to have my work receive such accolades.  Below is part of the spread that appeared in PPA Magazine this month.

this is not my image but what the article says about award is pretty cool


Virgin Islands Destination Wedding

Todd & Jada decided to get married in the Virgin Islands on St John where he had proposed to her.  Around 30 of their best friends and family came down to help them celebrate and have some fun.  They were planning on having a reception back home after their return and they were looking for a photographer to be there.  But they soon realized that the fun and excitement of their wedding on a tropical island with their best friends is really what they would want to remember and have captured. 

So I had the priveledge of going along and capturing their amazing wedding.  The girls got ready in the morning in a condo high up on the hills overlooking the bay.    We photographed for awhile around the brighly colored shops and homes in town then headed out to Trunk Bay for the ceremony - a beautiful white sand beach that was nearly deserted.  After the ceremony we had more time to photograph on the beach as the sun began to set.  Then as it got dark we headed back to town for the reception at a cool outdoor resturant called Rhumb Lines.  It was an amazing fun filled day and Jada and Todd are going to have tons of amazing portraits to remember it by.  Here are just a couple that I have finished so far.


Joanne & Mike

We've had a few weeks of bad weather leading up to Mike & Joanne's wedding but their day ended up perfect.  We started out at Vander Veer park for their first sight and created some beautiful portraits there.  We then headed down to the Adler Theater for some  more portraits.  Mike & Joanne's first date was at the Adler and they wanted to stop in again.  We had lots of fun photographing there and I love the images that were captured.  There were many beautiful moments through out the day - here are a few of my favorites.


New Studio Details

The new studio is coming along!  We are spending lots of extra time on details to make it amazing.  I can't wait to be able to use nearly 3600 sq feet to play in.  My main shooting area is 30x40 with a 20x30 all cement and metal room next to it that I plan on turning into my water play area, plus when designing the studio nearly every other area was created so that I could use it as shooting space also!  We have a cool spiral staircase, old brick walls, stucco walls, huge windows with awesome iron shutters and much more.  It's going to be so fun to play in.  Stay tuned, we will be having a big open house soon!

A truck load of chandeliers!

getting ready to paint the chandeliers

architectural details

entry way columns

reception desk corbals

my shooting area/work room - it's going to be awesome in here to take senior portraits


Boy's Track Poster

This poster ended up looking pretty sweet.  The girl's team had originally wanted to do run like an animal but changed their theme to the Twilight theme at the last minute.  The boys didn't have any ideas so we switched them to what the girl's were originally going with (one of the few posters I had most of the way built before they came in)  I added the dust and darker background as an after thought originally it was built on a light tan background.


New Girl's Track Poster

So I've been preparing for the girl's poster for awhile because they gave me plenty of notice. The coach said that they wanted to do "Run like an Animal" did some creative brainstorming for a bit then started putting some cool elements together for it. We had the poster shoot last Monday and all the girls arrived in their track outfits to get photographed. I had Emily (a senior from earlier this year) start first and began setting up my lights around her. As I was doing this the girls were talking and somebody said - "I wish we would have done a Twilight Theme" and all the other girls thought that was an awesome idea and even though I knew it would be more work I thought that sounded cool too. Plus the Guy's track team needed a theme yet and I knew that Run like an Animal would work well for them too.

   I have to admit that I have never read or watched any of the Twilight books or movies but vaguely knew the look that they were going for. The girl's didn't really have the look going on at that moment with their mesh shorts and tank tops but luckily I had a big leather trench coat from a Halloween costume a few years back "I made a pretty sweet goth that year" and I snagged a few extra things from Sara's closet. I made up poses as I went along hoping that I would be able to create a scene around them later. Well, it took a little imagination but I think I did it

These are all the elements I used in the poster -
a light post, an old car, a bus stop...

and a few buildings from a trip to chicago last year.

A little photoshop work and I came up with this


Desert Brides

Last month I traveled to Las Vegas to teach some photography courses. When ever we had some free time some friends and I would head out into the desert to play. On one of the days we found an old ghost town about an hour outside of Vegas. We knew we only had a few hours before we had to be back and there were so many cool opportunies with our two brides that we knew we were going to want more time. We checked the time on our cell phones a little while later and suddenly noticed that it was already time to go. We quickly scrambled to pack up all our gear. While we were packing everything back into the car Dan McClanahan called his wife Alex to check in - luckily she checked the time too and noticed we still had another hour (we had unknowingly crossed another time zone). So the happy news was we had more time to play and that's when I took the time to create the shot of the bride standing on the water tower below.

This plane wreck was supposedly from the set of 3000 Miles to Graceland


We headed out to Red Rock Canyon on another morning.  We left at 5:30 that morning to catch the sunrise even though we only had stopped shooting at 3:30 am the "night" before.  2 hours sleep was well worth the beautiful opportunity.


Photoshop World Expo!

So was sorting through my junk email folder the other day and saw something from Adobe.  I'm always getting product updates and such from them so I skipped over it.  Looked over the junk emails quickly one last time and decided to click on the Adobe email just to see what it was about.  I'm very glad I did.  It was an email from them asking for some of my images to display at Photoshop World in Orlando and possibly also in Las Vegas!  They asked for two images and the before and after versions of each. It took me quite awhile to decide what to submit.  Finally choose two and sent them to them this week and they emailed back asking for more!
Photoshop World in Orlando begins in 6 days.  Really wish I could make it down to see my images on display there.  It's kind of an unimaginable compliment to have them display my work.  To put it into perspective that non-graphic oriented people can understand - it's kind of like if there was a single program that everyone that had anything to do with music used and the creators of that  music program asked me if they could use some of my music as examples to show off.

Here are the images that I let them use.

Most of the elements in this poster where hand drawn in photoshop - took a little while but I wanted to see how I could compare to Disney's top artists

This poster took a few different turns before it ended up here.

Created this one just to see if I it was possible

After I created this one the school told me that they couldn't use it because their shirts were off and that I would have to retake the potraits.  Instead I drew on body armor and capes.  The stones were just cement parking blocks that I layered in photoshop.