2013

It's been a weird year. Great, but weird. I haven't been so great at keeping the blog updated (new year's resolution, maybe?), but a lot has happened. It may have been the most adventurous year to date, which makes me eager to see what's in store for the 2014.  I know you're supposed to write an end of the year post before the end of the year, but I'd rather think of this as a beginning of the year post instead. Here's a look at some of my favorite moments from 2013 and some hopes for 2014.  .

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1. January ended up being a very productive and fruitful time for me, but the first favorite memory of the year, was the February day I spent a Pilsen cathedral with The Giving Tree Band during a shoot for this video. The setting was amazingly beautiful and the music was haunting. I'll forever treasure that memory. This was also the day that my beloved FT-b bit the dust. The shutter jammed and after having a friend take it apart, it was decidedly dead of old age and irreparable.

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2.  The opportunity to go to and shoot SXSW last April was by far one of the year's best experiences. I have a lot of love for Texas and to be able to spend a week footing around Austin, listening to some of the best music in the country with camera in hand.... well, what gets better than that? I had another FT-b that I used during this week, which ended up having it's own mechanical issues and though it functioned, I learned that it's not reliable enough to keep in the rotation. I have almost a dozen other 35mm cameras but the FT-b is my favorite model so it was disappointing to so suddenly have two dysfunctional Canons in my possession. Luckily, a friend had a spare that he was willing to part with, so I wasn't without one for long.  (More SXSW photos here)

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3. What I didn't know in April was that just a few short months later, I'd be taking photos at four midwest stops for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. About three years ago, I spontaneously had decided to buy a ticket to see the headlining ESMZ at the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival and because of that decision, my entire life changed, so having this opportunity in June and July was extremely meaningful for me. (More Edward Sharpe photos here & here)

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4. Carolina Chocolate Drops at ROMP 2013. Though I didn't have a proper photo pass, I was able to sweet-talk my way into the photo pit during the headlining CCD set at ROMP in Owensboro, Kentucky this past summer.  Best performance I have ever witnessed and their lively on stage demeanor was a blast to capture on film.

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5. Summer in the city... I decided to give up the apartment I had resided in for the past five years to spend some time with family in California. With the countdown on, I made it a point to take in as much of the city and all that I loved of it before my time was up. This was certainly a rekindled love affair and left me wandering the streets in exploration shooting everything in sight just in the good ole days, when I first arrived. 

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6.  It's probably no secret that I love everything about the outdoors. So when I was given the opportunity to tag along with the Giving Tree Band to document their time at a recording studio on a remote island in the north Wisconsin woods, only accessible by boat, I made sure to free up my schedule. Not only did I feel as though I was able to truly capture the experience as it unfolded and in the way I had envisioned, the environment could not have been more ideal.  (More recording photos here)

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7.  Remember when I mentioned that I couldn't have imagined the Edward Sharpe opportunity coming along? Well, I couldn't have imagined in July that by October, I would be in LA shooting the first Edward Sharpe Big Top Festival. It was an amazing, vivid, rich experience. The festival was very carefully cultivated and the entire environment mirrored what one would imagine an old time roadside circus would entail. Having the opportunity to photograph this was something I certainly feel was once in a lifetime and something I will never forget. (Big Top photos here)

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8. Two weeks after the magic of the Big Top, I boarded a plane for Hawaii. What can be said of Hawaii? Nothing can quite capture its mystical qualities nor the terrifyingly and beautiful realization of its isolation. I've never experienced anything like it. I had a camera in hand constantly, but felt as though not a single image could quite capture the experience--the mountain sides that seemed so majestic and prehistoric in the fog appeared as simple foothills on a gray day in my photographs. I walked away with cultural images that I loved but scenic scenes that could have used some work. Developing landscapes and intimate documentation of the places I get the opportunity to visit is certainly a goal for 2014. (A few more Hawaii photos here)

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I've got a lot planned for 2014, but things almost never go as planned. I'm certain that there are adventures ahead yet, though, and as always, my camera will be in tow. I do hope to be more consistent about updating the blog here, to more thoroughly trust my instinct, to only take advice that is relevant, and to be more firm in my own vision.

 

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Happy New Year.

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