January 2nd, 2012:
Holy Crap. Where the hell did that year go?!?!
Felicia and I have been non-stop shooting, editing, and traveling for the last eight months, and then, all the sudden I am sitting having a beer on New Years Eve (4 minutes until midnight) and I realized 2011 was over. I looked at my wife and said, “This one was one of my best years yet, but lets make 2012 even better.” She smiled, gave me a midnight kiss and repeated a line from our wedding vows about making my dreams as important as her own. Who could ask for more.
Now it’s Monday afternoon on the second day of the year and we are caught up with all our work. There’s no editing to do and we have no shoots for the next 46 hours, so I thought I’d take a moment to recap our year with some of my favorite photographs that we create. I say “we” because although our company has my name on it, these photographs are a mixture of both Felicia and I pushing the shutter, and a combined sense of aesthetic and style that Felicia and I have been growing into together. Sometimes I’ll be fixated on a shot, but know something could be slightly better and Felicia will nudge me a foot to the right and the image will become magical. Danny (of Erin + Danny) said it best: “I don’t know how anyone could do your job alone.”
I don’t know either, Danny. Felicia and I continually challenge each other to be better, creating more than the sum of our parts.
We started off the year with a drive up the coast to photograph Adela and Brett in Santa Barbara.
Jenn and Dave had a winter wedding in January at 7 Degrees, complete with a sparkler send off.
Jo and Red stood REALLY still during twilight in L.A. for me to catch moving traffic.
We met Natalie and Justin for the first time in February, shot their wedding in the summer and now they are quickly becoming our personal friends.
Iris and Mike took us with them for a wonderful day at Disneyland, where Felicia was even awarded “Guest of the Day”
Parker and Denna snuck on the roof of the Standard Hotel and played it chill for the better part of 45 minutes until we got asked to leave by security. Lame.
Aniad and Justin had a beautifully rustic backyard wedding on the Ranch where Justin grew up.
With last minute rescheduling, Christine and Scott ended up having a perfect engagement session at Olvera Street and Union Station. It may have rained a little bit, but who cares.
Clark Otis celebrated his first birthday with a photo session with his two adorable parents.
We took a day off to take Madalyn out on the open seas for what she declared was “The best day of my life!”
Felicia and I managed to sneak in a 3 week trip to Singapore to visit the family, and I was able to take 5 day to head to Borneo to photograph Orangutans and fly off a fast moving moped.
Upon getting home from South East Asia, we dropped full speed into wedding season. Jo and Red kicked off the start of our busy times, and were followed with a wedding almost every weekend.
We found the kindness of strangers makes for some of the best photo locations, shooting in various backyards around Pasadena and Los Angeles.
John and Andrea won us over with their easy charm, perfect So. Cal sunset and margaritas.
Daniel, one of my two best men in my wedding, tied the knot with Scherrie I and couldn’t be more happy for the two of them. We just spent New Year’s Eve with these two, and my only complaint is they now live so far away we don’t get to see them often enough.
Felicia, who spends way too much time online, got to meet Creature-Gorgous and Mr. Delicious and do a mini photo session for the family in a colorful D.C. alley.
Danny + Erin squeezed their photoshoot in, between jetting in and out of Los Angeles, and Felicia was instantly smitten with Erin. They still hold the record for longest client meeting ever (although after 45 minutes business was done and we spent the next 2 hours chatting and being friends).
Iris and Mike got married on the hottest day of the year, and even though I might have been pouring sweat and looking disheveled, they both pulled off looking suave without any effort.
“Think… Hot Mess!” was my direction to Amber for the picture below, she gave me this one piercing gaze before she burst into laughter.
Jon + Maria told me dirty jokes for inspiration while we used Pasadena as an epic background for their engagement shoot.
So bubbly and energetic, Felicia and I were running to keep up with Alisa and Jon at there engagement shoot at Crystal Cove. I believe at one point this ex-gymnast was cartwheeling down the walkway.
Michael and Genna have been to the O.C. fair together every year for the past decade, so it was completely natural for us to tag along and shoot their engagement session there!
Waaaaaayyyyy back in the day I was a bartender, and from time to time Pete would come in and have a drink. We lost touch, I went off to travel, found my wife, and somewhere along the lines he found Cindy. Through a series of mutual friends he found me once more and we headed out to Ojai, avoiding rattlesnakes and capturing the fading pink skies.
Swords in San Diego? Definitely makes for a wonderful wedding day.
In between all the busy-ness, we tried to find time for family, young and old.
Although Amber, Felicia and I made fun of Sean, we know he’s not really a vampire from Twilight. (Maybe).
Heather and Ian might be extremely beautiful people, but they’re still down-to-earth and just a little bit goofy.
Pete and Cindy in my favorite vineyard photo I have ever taken.
Super smiles during this mini session of Danielle and M. while we visited Napa.
A rare Sunday off means indulging my wife’s penchant for “treasures”.
Natalie and Justin were married in September in Altadena. After the bachelor party the night before the wedding, Justin may actually be sleeping in the picture below.
One of my favorite pictures of the year. The tattoo and ring say it all for Amber and Sean.
A random late night photoshoot for Mr O in our living room. It means so much to Felicia and I when friends brave the trans-Pacific flight just to visit us. Thank you.
A small Norwegian child holding a pumpkin. Horrible caption, awesome kid.
Chrissy and John caught the last few glimpses of light at El Matador State Beach. We can’t wait for their Kyoto Grand wedding next summer!
I learned about Macro fun and I also learned I will be spending $1K to add this lens to our kit very soon.
Eileen and Trinidad are close friends with Cassandra and Javier, so I expect they will be bringing the party and getting grandmas to do tequila shots at their wedding next summer as well (just like Cass and Javier did!)
Erin and Danny brought classic charm to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and gave us extra long to shoot wedding pictures all across Los Angeles. Epic epicness. Thank you, guys!
Michael and Genna were out last wedding of 2011 and we couldn’t have asked for more. Beautiful weather, beautiful people and the photography gods agreeing with me. Totally win.
Justin and Christa brought their Hollywood style glamour to Venice and Franklin Canyon. Another wedding we can’t wait to shoot next year.
We shot a winter’s day Maternity session for Jessica and Nathan, catching that early evening light and the glow of an expectant mother. Stunning.
More babies? Felicia and I photographed the birth of Lily Grant. A emotional and unforgettable experience.
And finally for my muse, Felicia, who is ever encouraging and ever challenging me…. We hit the two year mark without missing a beat, had some photos done, and both learned and grew so much – personally and professionally. This year was exponentially better than the last and if it keeps getting better I can’t wait for our lives together to keep moving forward.
I love you.