Last fall I was invited to speak at the Disney Animation Studios. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve spoken in many different places at this point, but mostly it’s been camera clubs and festivals. I did travel to Sweden in November 2016 to talk at a gallery opening for their national landscape photography association and that was fairly incredible to say the least!
But this was Disney. The Animation Studios make all the films my kids love. Films I love. And they asked me to come show my time-lapses of storms to them? Mind. Blown.
I can’t talk much about the why. But suffice it to say, they wanted to hear my story, see my work and ask questions about it. And it was one of the most extraordinary times of my life. The bonus of it all was the fact that we had planned a Disneyland trip anyways for around Christmas, so we just doubled-up on this trip and did it all at once. And brought Jina’s parents along for the ride.
To make things even better, my host Ross Blocher offered to give us a tour of the studios and even the backstage lots across the street. It was amazing. Walking the halls of this place knowing that films like Tangled, Frozen, Wreck it Ralph and Moana (to name a few) were thought-up, created and brought to life all inside these walls. The art on all the walls was mesmerizing. I wanted to buy some right there and hang them in the kids’ room.
The entire day was so memorable I don’t know where to begin. But I was so incredibly honored to be there and I’ll never forget it.
The next day we journeyed to California Adventures in the rain and it was such a blast. Here are some pictures from the trip!
This past year took me all over. A road trip to Utah and Colorado for our annual Lost//Discovered adventure. Weddings in Montana, Buffalo and Las Vegas. Engagement sessions in California, Sedona, Tucson, the Mogollon Rim, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Storm chasing in the spring across nine different states while driving 25,000+ miles. Seeing a dozen or so tornadoes, including the first time capturing one in 8K. Then chasing storms and haboobs all over Arizona this summer with a couple film crews.
I also won an Emmy in October, which I need to write about at some point on this blog. I photographed 31 weddings, 41 family/engagement sessions, ran a tornado tour and a monsoon workshop. I put about 50,000 new miles on the 4Runner.
There is no way around it: 2016 was everything I hoped it would be. Thrilling, exciting, daunting, fulfilling and yes, completely exhausting. The end of the year has been great for me to take a break, reflect and refresh. Going over these images has been therapeutic. When you see your entire year laid out like it is below…well for me, it’s emotional. You see all the work you did, the smiles, the laughs, the love, the tough times, the storms, my kids, the moments and the celebrations.
Hope you enjoy this look back! This was hard to narrow down and painful to leave things out. But I tried to keep it “tight” as much as possible haha. It begins on New Year’s Eve just a 1/4 from my house at a blast of a wedding and ends with a treasured photo of my three kids with our amazing nanny Emma who will soon be leaving us for school full-time.
I included the three films I made as well!
Karen got stung by a bee twice to start this session as you can see in the photo below as she was noticing some shenanigans going on behind her! But you’d never have known it. Maureen and Karen were such a blast to hang with back in November! They brought me a delicious beer and we explored Picacho Peak. The light and clouds were amazing to end the day.
See you guys in March!
Exhausted this morning. Since the 21st of October, I’ve had only one day off from either weddings or photoshoots. This Sunday is my only other day off until I leave on the 17th to speak at a photography conference in Sweden on a whirlwind trip so I can be back on the 22nd for Lyla’s birthday.
Yesterday was a day trip to California to do a six-mile, round trip hike up Rocky Peak Trail to this gorgeous overlook of Simi Valley. What a great time hanging with Cori and Matt…thanks to those two for taking me on this adventure. Although my body is totally wrecked this morning haha!
And I’m not complaining. I friggin’ love what I do. I honestly can’t believe I get to do this stuff. Blessed. Tired, but blessed.