Last week I had the distinct pleasure of capturing a surprise vow renewal ceremony for Kathy & Robert on their 50th anniversary. They're children put everything together, writing the vows and each taking turns as the officiant. The weather was perfect, the setting at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake provided an amazing backdrop, and they were all the absolute sweetest people you could ever want to meet. We could all be so lucky to share such a life of adventure with someone for so many years, and to have such a wonderful family to boot! Congratulations on 50 years Kathy and Robert!
This past fall I had the pleasure of second-shooting for your pal and mine—Dave McLaughlin—for a beautiful wedding out at Prospect House in Dripping Springs. I'd never shot there before and was really happy to get my first opportunity to do so, it is one of the more unique Texas Hill Country venues I've had a chance to shoot at with a great combination of intimate rooms and grand vistas. Congrats to Morgan & Billy, and thank you to Dave for bringing me out there for the assist!
I very nearly botched any chance of shooting Jana and Michael's wedding in my very first correspondence with them. In my initial response to Jana's inquiry, my phone autocorrected her name to my Mom's name—Jane. I caught the error as soon as I hit send and realized I'd better send an immediate follow-up, explaining what had happened. Thankfully this frankness endeared me to them and I couldn't be more happy about it. Meeting them for lunch before the wedding I knew the big day would be extremely special, and it was. A relatively simple, reasonably intimate wedding with really just their close friends and family meant lots of hugs, smiles, and laughter. The wedding was at The Vineyard at Florence a nice drive North of Austin. A big thanks to my second shooter Jakobeit Photo and a huge congratulations Jana and Michael!
“I wish we could do what they do in Katroo. They sure know how to say ‘Happy Birthday to You!’
In Katroo, every year, on the day you were born they start the day right in the bright early morn when the Birthday Honk-Honker hikes high up Mt. Zorn and lets loose a big blast on the big Birthday Horn. And the voice of the horn calls out loud as it plays ‘Wake up! for today is your day of all days!’” -Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!
You never know where a potential client/friend opportunity may present itself. I met Jake while we were waiting to pick up our daughters from kindergarten and I noticed his St. Louis Cardinals hat. I had to say something because it was the first such hat I'd seen in Whitefish. I mentioned I was a photographer, and he mentioned his family had been looking to get some new family portraits done. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Living in a new state, in a new city, lends itself to some very definitive “firsts” for myself and my family. This year was I got to experience my first Whitefish Winter Carnival and several of its related events including the Skijoring competition a week prior, the penguin plunge—benefitting area Special Olympics athletes—which I hope to participate in next year, and the Winter Carnival Parade.
Having never grown up in a small town this sort of community event is reasonably foreign to me. It was really fun to see everyone really get into the event, have people you actually know be in the parade itself, and to run in to people you know from other activities in the course of your daily lives.
The Winter Carnival is loosely based around an area mythology involving nordic deities, yetis, and the encroachment of man on wilderness areas. Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards served as the guest of honor this year—the 70th anniversary of the carnival—with the theme of "fly like an eagle."
The holidays meant I got to spend a little time documenting my new nephew's growth as well as his first Christmas. He was a consummate professional handling multiple clothing changing with aplomb. This was the first of what I'm sure will be many photo sessions... probably for the rest of his life. :D
This family has been a big part of my life for approaching three decades, and it was a honor to finally document this famously—to me anyway—camera shy couple. The weather could've been a little less humid, and a little more sunny, and frankly a little cooler for early November, but that did nothing to deter this endeavor.
This isn't the first time I've had the pleasure of documenting the Lamb family, but it is the first time I've done so since they became a family of five! It was a pleasure to visit them at their new residence and seeing their continue to grow into young ladies and a young gentleman.
I once again had the opportunity to shoot the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas for my colleagues at Texas Highways magazine, and I wasn't going to miss it. For the most part Austin was once again blessed with tremendous weather for the most important parts of the weekend. And while I think there were issues with my credentials, thus not being able to also cover the Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder concerts, it was still a really great race on the track, which of course is really the whole point. Below is a smaller subset of images from the weekend, for the full gallery please visit the photo essay over at Texas Highways.
It isn't every day you get the opportunity to document an upcoming addition to your extended family. My sister- and brother-in-law are expecting a new addition, and while I've got a step-niece and an adopted nephew, this will be the first time I'm an uncle without any sort of qualifier. It also means my daughter will no longer be the youngest in the family, and she can't wait to boss around her younger cousin.
When I first pitched the idea of doing a photo essay of this years' Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the America for my colleagues at Texas Highways magazine, I didn't realize the World Endurance Championship wouldn't be returning to Austin in the foreseeable future. Which I won't lie is a bit of a bummer.
I also didn't realize that there wouldn't be any evening racing, and I'd really hoped to capture the track at night. Double whammy!
But capture the event I did, and I'm really glad I had the opportunity. It was a really neat experience, and its a shame that more people didn't attend. The amount of access to the cars, the teams, the drivers, and parts of the facility were truly amazing. And while having media credentials did allow me to shoot trackside which I couldn't have done otherwise, I didn't need it to get up close to the paddock area, the garages, anything really.
These are just a handful of the images, you can view the whole gallery over at Texas Highways.
Halfway through her honeymoon, Michelle decided she wanted to do a bridal portrait session. So I received an email from the other side of the world several days after her wedding to see if I was available to do something about this. "Of course!" I replied, so I joined Michelle and Blake who were only somewhat jet-lagged from their return trip at South Congress Hotel to take advantage of the venues wide variety of shooting locations.
One big plus to doing a bridal portrait session after the wedding is I get to share the photos with everyone right away since the groom has already seen the dress. It also means the groom gets to participate in the fun and act as pack animal by carrying the bride's things, helping with the train of the dress, guarding the door to the women's restroom because we just had to get pictures in front of the awesome tile walls, and of course assisting with getting candid, genuine smiles out of the bride. It was tons of fun, and it was great to spend another evening with Michelle and Blake.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping to cover The Shade Project's Down & Derby 2017 fundraiser at Ranch Austin. The Shade Project raises money for skin cancer awareness and prevention as well as shade structures at parks, schools, and other public spaces.
I'm always concerned with making sure my clients are happy. Doubly so when I'm taking photos for another photographer. Some friends recently welcomed a third member to their household, and while they're probably already buried in photos of the little one, its difficult to manage getting a true family photograph (this would also be why my own family basically has one each year, which is taken with Santa :). I was happy to oblige.
I'd previously been out to Circuit of the Americas to cover Formula 1 twice, but had never attended a MotoGP race. That all changed this year with the opportunity to cover the 2017 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas for Texas Highways magazine. It was a really great experience, with its own minor quirks and challenges shooting it that operated it from covering Formula 1 (beyond the obvious differences of course). For additional photos check out the full photo essay.
I had a couple of photos included in the March 2017 issue of Texas Highways magazine in the story "Vision and Volume" by Matt Joyce covering the Flatstock poster show that happens in conjunction with SXSW each year here in Austin, Texas. This was a particularly exciting milestone for me, because while I have had photo credits in the Texas Highways events calendar, the Texas State Travel Guide, and texashighways.com for web exclusive content this was my first photo credit in the actual magazine.
Last August—as you may have seen—my family and I took a long road trip up to Whitefish, Montana to spend about a week in the area and visit Glacier National Park. Well long story short, we couldn't help but fall in love with it. The people, the businesses, the weather, just about everything really. We loved it so much in fact, that we decided to seriously consider making the move up there! But there was one catch, my wife doesn't particularly care for the cold, and had never really experienced true Winter having grown up in Texas. And while I predominantly grew up in Texas, I originally hail from Illinois, and spent a couple of years going to college there. I love the cold far more than I do days above 100 degrees.
So what to do with this idea? We decided to spend a large chunk of January in Whitefish to see what it might be like to live there in the depths of Winter. And you know what? It was kind of awesome. Below are a handful of photos I took during our stay, as well as a hastily edited timelapse of the drive to Glacier National Park.
So what was our verdict regarding trying to make the move? Stay tuned!