I will never be able to appropriately describe Mariah and Clay. I used to work with Mariah years ago, and although I've seen her on the periphery via Facebook, we haven't connected in quite a number of years. Well, a lot has changed. . . she's married, has a house, and now expecting her first baby in a few months. So when she got in touch with me to take maternity photos, I jumped at the chance ( ...said in my best dad voice : and I could check out this "guy" she was married to). Well this "guy" was equally as wonderful, funny, well spoken and super fun to be around. There are not two people more suited for each other. Their humor and fun loving nature made it a dream to shoot. . . . not taking everything so seriously, and just "going with it". I've said it before, that a photographer is only as good as what they get from their subjects. . . and they gave me LOTS. I can't wait to meet the little man when he arrives (and take some "outside" photos of him :) ). (oh yeah, and their dog 'Moose' joined in for some of the fun.)
If you know me, you know I love taking pictures. Pictures of people, objects, animals, buildings. . you name it. . . .EVERYTHING. Except myself. My wife jokes that when I'm gone, my kids will not know they had a father because there will be no photographic evidence (although I'd hope they'd remember me without photos). Well, I had to turn the camera on myself last night. I became obsessed, like most of the world, with Breaking Bad. So 6 weeks ago I decided to grow a beard to be Walter White (Heisenberg) for Halloween. Since I didn't know if I could pull off a goatee, I left the full beard. Additionally, I didn't want people get "used" to the goatee so I could make a bigger impact on October 31st. Well, it all came together and the resemblance was eerily similar. But since I couldn't wait to get the 6 weeks of hair off my face, I figured I should take more than just an iPhone picture and document it for posterity. So I set up my camera and lit myself to try and roughly match the photo that was the source of my inspiration before my alter ego was washed down the drain (literally).
It's Friday night.
The biggest rivals are visiting.
And I was asked to shoot it . . .
Yesterday, September 3, 2013, was 34 years since my dad passed away. I was 9 years old. It doesn't even seem possible that I'm old enough to have had something happen to me 34 years ago.
I can't help to wonder, as I do often, who would I have been if he had been around all these years?
Would I be be a tougher guy? Would I be a more adventurous guy? Would I have been better with the ladies ? Would I be a better father ? Would I be a better husband ? Would I have exercised more? Would I have gone AWAY to college? Would I be a CELTICS FAN???? Would I be more emotional? Less emotional? Would I like vegetables? Would I be a photographer? Would I have met my wife? Would I have my same friends ? Would my mom, sister, best friends, aunts & uncles still be alive? Would I be less scared? Would I be happier? Sadder? Would I have more money? Would I have ever moved from Los Angeles? Would I have played the piano professionally? Would I have been mean or nice women? Would I have followed his footsteps? Would I be close with him?
Would I have asked "who would I be " ?
There was a local (small) car show the other weekend in the town I live in. I have to say, I don't know much (ok, anything) about cars, but I thought it could lend itself to some interesting photographs. I have to say, the attention to detail in these old cars was much greater than it is today. I even let my daughter take one (she said she wanted to take a "cool shot like daddy")
Another "Day in the Life", another incredible family. As a gift to his wife, Dad bought a "Day in the Life" photo essay for his wife for her birthday. This was a jam packed, morning to night, event filled day. I don't know how they do it. After looking back at this book, and all the different activities, places and things, I'm exhausted! These kids were amazing. So polite, smart, respectful to everyone, and smiles on their faces. This day reminded me why saving these moments are so important. They go by in a an instant. The days are about "Go! Go! Go!", and by the time you have a moment to breathe, you get to start all over again the next day.
Nothing like Vacaville in June for a wedding. Well, was I wrong! The weather was perfect! I had been looking at the forecast for weeks anticipating 100 degree temperatures. But when the day came, it couldn't be more perfect. The wedding was at Pippo Ranch , about an hour north of San Francisco, a unique venue where the ceremony and reception both took place. It lent itself to many wonderful moments and images. The bride, Tanya, was so fun and incorporated balloons and other festive things in the wedding and photographs. Sean, who is in the Coast Guard, displayed his incredible honors dressed in his military attired. Besides being such a wonderful couple, they approached the day with such a fun , light, attitude in the spirit of why there were there. . . for each other. Here are a few from their day.
Ah, Summer Camp. This this is one of the faces I came home to yesterday . . .
My latest baby shoot was for the gorgeous Ella. This little one , beyond being beautiful, was so incredibly strong. At 1 month old, she would roll herself off the blanket on the floor, and even held her head up for me to take one of the cutest photographs I've ever taken. Take a peek at our shoot . . .
Take a good look, because it's rare you will see me in a photograph, but as my wife 'jokes', when I'm no longer around, my children will have no evidence that they had a father. So, I turned my camera (and pride) over to a family member to document a moment in my life that included me on the streets of San Francisco.
My family spoiled me yesterday with cards and gifts and lot of activities. We got to see an pre release screening of Monsters University at Pixar, and then off to the city for an "Urban Quest". A trek around an area in San Francisco (Washington Square) to find clues that will all lead us to solve a puzzle to figure out where we will be eating dinner. A reservation will be waiting for us, but we have to figure out what the restaurant is.
Thanks girls for a fun day.
Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.
As I looked through the viewfinder of my camera at my girls this morning, I had this wave come over me about how hard it is to fathom how much has happened our lives. Another last day of school, another year gone, another last picture. There are so many quotes about time, but this one spoke so much to me. This is the exact age I lost my dad (I was 9 and he was 42 . . ok, I'm 43 now). Time is constantly the most incredible concept for me, and to this day, I wish I had and endless supply.
Here are a few shots from a photo session I just did of the 1 day old Supermodel Darcy J. It's been a while since I've had babies this little and you forget just how small and fragile and dependent on you they are.
C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s L e s l i e a n d T o b i n !
Another quick portrait shoot of a future star . . Maggie. With these gorgeous eyes, I'm not sure if the blue polka dots brought out her eyes, or her eyes brought out the polka dots !
I had the pleasure of shooting a wedding last weekend up in Vacaville, CA. A wonderful couple, a beautiful venue, and incredible weather. As much as I love shooting, at the end of an 8 hour wedding, I'm pretty exhausted. I haven't sat down all day. . . climbing, squatting, crouching, laying down. . you name it. Anything to get that photograph. Well, it was 9pm, I had carefully loaded all my gear into my trunk, and sat down in the driver's seat ready for my hour plus drive back home. I pulled out of the venue, still a tiny bit of light left in the sky (only visible by a slightly long exposure) only to see, in my opinion, something that would make a great photograph. But I JUST put all my gear neatly away in the trunk. But I JUST sat down for the first time in 8 hours! But I have over an hour drive ahead of me. I haven't eaten since breakfast and I'm starving! But as tired, sore, hungry and exhaused, I thought about how much worse I'd feel tomorrow if I didn't get the shot. You tell me if it was the right decision . . .
I had the pleasure of shooting Senior Portraits for Matthew Magnus (Magnus in Latin means "Great"). Well, "great" is certainly fitting for this young man. Beyond the knowing smile and cavernous dimples, Matthew is a polite, considerate, and motivated kid ready to take on the world. Here are some of the images from our shoot this past weekend. . .
For the past 5 years, I've had the pleasure of shooting my "little" niece's "Model Shoot Birthday Party". Her and a bunch of girlfriends go out and we do a photo session for a few hours as if we were on a magazine shoot. Now 17, she's no longer the little girl that I picture in my head. She, and her friends, have grown to be beautiful young women. It's crazy to think how fast time races by. It seems like just yesterday, I had this little 9 month old sitting on my lap playing with a cast on my broken arm. Although she has a lot more teeth now, the smile is the same. Happy Birthday Charlotte.