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Matt & Alyssa’s engagement in Cave Creek

Matt and Alyssa live in a beautiful home up in Cave Creek, so we did their engagement photos there and ended up checking out Spur Cross for sunset. Such a rad time with coffee, relaxing and jumping dogs!

Welcome to the world baby Nathan

I’ve photographed a handful of newborn babies now and I always, always have fun. But this little dude was something extra special.

Nathan was born just under two weeks ago to a mom who was young and not in a great position to care for her baby. She arrived at the hospital in labor and decided to place him for adoption.

Some of you may know my wife and I have also been in the process of trying to adopt ever since this summer. In going through the classes to become certified for adoption, we met some absolutely amazing people. We had a class every Tuesday for seven-weeks and thus we got to know everyone pretty well. Once the class was over, we’d still get together for dinners and other things.

One of the couples in that class were Ben and Alisha. And they were the ones who got the phone call that this little baby needed a home.

Can you imagine going about your Thursday, not expecting much other than the ordinary routine, and then the phone rings, someone says we have a baby for you TODAY…and we need to you to make a drive down to Tucson. Today.

One day no baby, the next day…baby.

I know myself, my wife and the rest of our little group from those adoption classes are overjoyed and thrilled that Ben and Alisha became Nathan’s parents. And there was absolutely no way I wasn’t going to make my way over there to photograph this baby. I had a blast hanging with them on Monday morning, meeting grandma, but also just checking out this amazing, beautiful little man. He was so calm, so quiet…so peaceful.

Until he pooped of course, then all hey broke loose *grin*

Oh, and I can’t forget meeting Moose and Otto. Two very cute dogs…Moose had eyes that could guilt you into doing anything for him.

Congrats again Alisha and Ben…so happy for you guys and thanks for letting me take a few pictures of baby Nathan!

(You can scroll down through the photos, or click on the one below to start a manual slideshow with a nice, black background)

Yukon Jack

Our good friends Bryan and Jill came over last night to play some Settlers with us and we made sure they brought along their new dog, Yukon Jack.

Ok, that was kind of a joke just for them…his real name (or new name) is Skyler. They adopted him from a group that rescues dogs from the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation. The shelter named him Yukon Jack just to help keep track of the 30+dogs they have, but our friends wanted to change it.

It’s a tough life for the dogs that live out there…a lot more “wild” that us suburban people are used to seeing. Survival of the fittest for some of the younger ones.

Skyler is really a puppy, only 4 1/2 months old and cute as can be. He’s an amazing mix between Lab and a Husky. I mean…how can you get better than this? His body looks like a Lab, but his tail and eyes are all Husky. The eyes are truly amazing too…dark middles surrounded by blue-white. They pierce you.

I wanted to get a few shots of this guy for them since it’s their first “child” in essence and it was so much fun to see them fuss over him last night like new parents. We love these guys and now we are smitten with Skylar.

I shot this manual in our low-lit kitchen with the 85mm 1.8. ISO 2000, f/1.8, 1/60th of a second. It came out a bit overexposed, but I kind of like it anyways.

Moving foward

Today is kind of a huge deal for me. A big deal. The next chapter of my life is unfolding in a few different ways and I’m excited about what it all means.

First off…for those that don’t know, I do have a day job that pays the bills while I see about growing this photography business. Everyone has to start somewhere, and me being almost 36 with a wife and kid…doesn’t allow for taking a whole lot of chances financially. I did that when I was younger, so now I’m trying to build a strong foundation before I even think about it. And who knows…maybe it will always end up being a weekend gig…but I’m okay with seeing where it goes. It’s been a blast so far.

The reason I  bring up the job is today is my last day at the company I’ve been with for over seven years. For lots of reasons it’s time to move on. I’m joining a firm that is international and will essentially be doing the same thing I am now. Having been one place for as long as I have…you get used to the perks that come with seniority like that. So going to someplace else…being the new guy again…is going to be a change.

And yesterday I finally received the new camera…a 5D Mark II. Yes, of course, it’s an awesome toy, a photographer’s dream to have. But honestly…if I was just chasing storms and shooting landscapes, I could have been just fine with the ol’ XSi for awhile. This tool is something I felt I needed in order to move forward with the portrait/event/wedding photography side of things. One simple reason is some upcoming events I have that take place after dark, in low light situations. I need a camera that can deal with that and not need a flash all the time to do it.

The photo above was taken last night with the new camera. 50mm 1.4, f/1.4, 1/40, ISO2000. A tiny, tiny bit of noise reduction, some sharpening on export and it’s just a sample to me of the kind of shots I will be able to get in situations like a dimly lit living room.

Today is a day of change and a day of moving forward. I’m excited about the new job and new opportunities it presents…and at the same time am thrilled to see where the world of photography is taking me and the doors that are opening.

Photoshoot: The Hillis Family {gilbert family photographer}

The Hillis family have pictures taken every year around their 8-year old Isaac’s birthday, just in time for Christmas and the holidays.  I was lucky enough to get to shoot them this time around in a quick little meetup in downtown Gilbert. For those families on a budget or looking for some simple group shots of the family for X-Mas cards, I’m doing short, 30-minute sessions for $75. If interested, let me know via the contact form on the Portraits page!

Amazingly, we still squeezed in a decent amount of poses and even a wardrobe change into half-an-hour. A beautiful family with a cutie little dog named Luigi who only pays attention to you if you whistle loud or yell “Birdies!” I think I sounded like a broken record at the end trying to get that fluffy ball of fur to look at me!

Had a lot of fun you guys, thanks for allowing me into your lives for this wee bit of time!