My Boy 3 /
Drennan is now a year and 9 months old. I can’t believe in only 3 short months, he will be 2! He is such an amazing and smart little boy. He is constantly learning new words and phrases (and jabbers non stop). He knows how to feed the dog we’ve been watching for the last two weeks (he has the routine down pat). He knows what is trash and needs to be thrown away. When it’s bedtime or nap time, he takes us both by the hand and leads us to his room. He goes over to the boxfan, turns it on HIGH, then runs and lunges onto the bed. It’s amazing how savvy kids are at this age and how QUICK they pick up on things. Drennan loves to be funny and make us laugh.
His biggest obsession right now is wanting to listen to records with me in my office. He is constantly taking me by the hand and leading me to my office door to ask if we can listen to music. He’s fascinated by the record player and once the music starts, he jumps into my arms and wraps me up tight. He sings along to the songs (and literally will do this for hours on end). He’s such an amazing kid, and I hope these pictures capture at least a little of that.
I had the pleasure of working with Citizens National Bank recently. They are a local bank that has been established for over 100 years and has 10 branches in our area. They reached out to me wanting updated pictures of all their branches. Over the course of two weeks I worked with them to get shots of the exteriors and interiors of all the branches. For most of them, this required shooting the interiors before or after lobby house as we didn't want people in the shots. It was a fun project and I thought I would share some of my favorite shots.
My wife was contacted by a watch company called Jord to sponsor a giveaway on her YouTube channel. They let her have her pick of any watch on their website for free in return for hosting a giveaway. This included not only mentioning Jord watches in one of her videos, but posting a couple Instagram pictures as well. I was happy to be able to shoot product shots as well as shots of her wearing the watch she chose. Though I'm not the best at product photography, I'm happy with the way these shots turned out.
The watch is made of wood and when I saw the wooden box it came in I new immediately that I wanted to shoot these outdoors in the woods. I think the environment really lent itself well to the aesthetics of the watch and the box. The sunlight was paramount to creating the look I wanted. Had I shot these same compositions with an overcast sky, the photos would have looked flat and boring. Placing them in direct sunlight made the images standout more and created a "mood" to them that wouldn't have been possible with a shady area.
Dealing with reflections was the hardest part of the shoot. As you can see, I wasn't entirely successful in avoiding them. I had to do quite a bit of touching up in Photoshop and Lightroom and even then I couldn't get them completely out of the shots. Despite the fact they wouldn't be considered "perfect" i'm still proud of them and happy with the results.
I've been helping a friend remodel a house recently. On this particular day, we were framing walls in the basement. I decided to take a camera to document the process. Unfortunately, the house is about an hour and a half from where I live, which is why the first shot is of us in a car.
I couldn't focus all my energy on taking photos, as I was there to help build, but I still managed to get some shots I found interesting.
My Boy 2 /
Drennan is now 15 months old as I'm writing this. It's fascinating to see the physical change in him through pictures. Since my first post titled "My Boy," he looks like a drastically different child. It's crazy that we often don't realize how much he's growing and changing until we go back and look at older photos of him. He has SO much personality and he does things that crack us up on a daily basis. He loves being outside and he has so much joy! He's constantly looking for a reason to smile. He constantly jabbers and has certain words and phrases he says over and over. "Thank you!" "Please!" "What?!" "Uh Oh!" "No!" "Bye!" "Oooh, man!" "Hey!" are his most used. He changes more and more every day and we continue to fall more and more in love with him.
The tradition in my family is to go to my grandparents' house for Christmas Eve. We've been doing this ever since I was about 3 years old. My dad's side of the family all come together to have a Christmas dinner and exchange a couple gifts. We then spend Christmas morning with our families. My mom will always cook a big breakfast complete with pancakes and bacon. We didn't really get snow on Christmas day (except for a little on the rooftops and cars), but we did get an incredible sunrise!
With my sister and her husband having kids and my wife and me staring a family as well, traditions will soon change. I wanted to document things this year because I'm not sure how much longer the Christmas traditions of the past will continue. Christmas is always my favorite time of the year and now that I have a boy of my own, it's even more fun. We spent Christmas morning with my parents, then went out to my wife's parents' house in the afternoon. This is where I got my favorite shot of the day. My mother-in-law was holding my son up to the Christmas tree where he was ripping ornaments off only to try and put them back on. I snapped multiple pictures and came away with two that I really loved.
I had the pleasure of working with a local coffee shop in my town that roasts their own coffee. I got to capture their roasting and packaging processes as well as do product shots for their different flavors of coffee and mugs.
This type of photography is probably my favorite to do. I love being a fly on the wall and documenting things as they are happening. I feel like I am in my element on these types of shoots. I am also enjoying shooting products as of late. Product photography isn't something I ever thought I would enjoy, but I'm finding it to be quite the opposite. It's fun, but challenging and I like the slow, considered process. Check out some of my favorite shots from the day!
"It still doesn't feel real. It was a dream I was pursuing in private and now it's actually in my hands and out in the world."
I couldn't be happier for my wife. She wrote her first fictional novel and now it's published! She poured so much of herself into this story and it's surreal to actually hold her book.
I recently invested in a couple of speed lights and a transmitter. I've never really done any flash work before as I have been an available light photographer virtually my whole "career." However, I want to branch out and learn new techniques. There comes a time where you plateau in your growth as a photographer and learning to use a flash definitely helps me get out of a growing rut. I still am a complete noob to the flash game, but I'm excited to keep learning. Thankfully I have a wife who's willing to be my guinea pig and help me practice.
Take a look at some of my first photos where I've incorporated flash successfully (for me at least) and if you like reading fiction, her book is on Amazon!
As of writing this, our family just got back from a week long vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We had a great time hanging out with my sister, brother-in-law and their 1 year old daughter; as well as my parents. For me and Makayla, this was our first week long vacation since going on our honeymoon back in April of 2014. An interesting variable is that we took our 6 month old along with us.
We were somewhat apprehensive about how that was going to work (mostly how the 8 hour long car ride was going to go) and how communal living in a condo was going to effect him. We had an amazing time and it turns out that our son loves the water! We took him to the beach a couple of times, but other than that, we swam with him in either the lazy river or the pool. The weather was fantastic and since I'm up before sunrise anyway, I was able to get some nice sunrise shots on the beach and from our beachfront balcony.
These are my favorite shots from the trip. I hope you enjoy them!