Posts

Rebecca & Matt’s wedding at Brannigan Park

The middle of a pasture. Nowhere to go. And the heavens opened up right when the ceremony started. Rain poured down but Rebecca was all smiles. Everyone was all smiles. Laughter and pure joy erupted as Rebecca walked down the aisle to marry Matt. It didn’t matter that everyone was soaked (aside from those lucky ones with umbrellas), people were enjoying the experience.

Thanks to Rebecca and Matt for trusting me with their day and for letting me capture a ceremony in pouring rain!

Wedding Coordinator/Planner // Ashley Omelianowich
Invitations // Hazel and Violet
Wedding Dress Shop // Bridal Boutique of Arizona
Flowers // From the field
Favors / Gifts // Homemade
Ceremony Officiant // Joaquin Rios
Ceremony Music // Andrew Hamby
Cake // Bashas’
Lighting / Decor // Verve Events and Rentals
Reception Music // SoulPower
Caterer // My Pita Wrap Mediterranean Grill

Kim & West’s Wedding at Hart Prairie in Flagstaff

A wedding in a meadow west of Flagstaff. What could be better. Loved hanging with Kim and West on this day, not to mention working with NoBox Films and my pal Laura Opfel. Be sure to check out NoBox’s wedding trailer before for this one at the end of this blog.

KimWest-Final-0007

KimWest-Final-0010_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0018

KimWest-Final-0016_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0045

KimWest-Final-0055

KimWest-Final-0056

KimWest-Final-0070_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0083

KimWest-Final-0104

KimWest-Final-0024

KimWest-Final-0031

KimWest-Final-0041

KimWest-Final-0100

KimWest-Final-0120

KimWest-Final-0122_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0126

KimWest-Final-0128_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0133

KimWest-Final-0140

KimWest-Final-0144

KimWest-Final-0186_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0301

KimWest-Final-0203

KimWest-Final-0194_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0216

KimWest-Final-0174_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0221

KimWest-Final-0227

KimWest-Final-0234

KimWest-Final-0244

KimWest-Final-0252

KimWest-Final-0253_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0258

KimWest-Final-0273

KimWest-Final-0032_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0325

KimWest-Final-0328

KimWest-Final-0333

KimWest-Final-0339

KimWest-Final-0364

KimWest-Final-0367

KimWest-Final-0369

KimWest-Final-0371_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0394

KimWest-Final-0395

KimWest-Final-0405

KimWest-Final-0408

KimWest-Final-0409

KimWest-Final-0419

KimWest-Final-0421

KimWest-Final-0422

KimWest-Final-0426_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0436

KimWest-Final-0151_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0152

KimWest-Final-0154

KimWest-Final-0161_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0165

KimWest-Final-0317_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0457

KimWest-Final-0460_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0468

KimWest-Final-0303_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0477

KimWest-Final-0480_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0490

KimWest-Final-0500_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0498

KimWest-Final-0504_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0506

KimWest-Final-0511

KimWest-Final-0470_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0514

KimWest-Final-0521

KimWest-Final-0523

KimWest-Final-0529

KimWest-Final-0530

KimWest-Final-0451_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0531

KimWest-Final-0532

KimWest-Final-0533

KimWest-Final-0554

KimWest-Final-0560_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0557

KimWest-Final-0561_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0569

KimWest-Final-0574

KimWest-Final-0578

KimWest-Final-0579

KimWest-Final-0594

KimWest-Final-0597

KimWest-Final-0603_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0610

KimWest-Final-0612

KimWest-Final-0615

KimWest-Final-0635

KimWest-Final-0650_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0661

KimWest-Final-0663

KimWest-Final-0665

KimWest-Final-0671

KimWest-Final-0680

KimWest-Final-0684

KimWest-Final-0688

KimWest-Final-0702

KimWest-Final-0713

KimWest-Final-0737_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0745

KimWest-Final-0746

KimWest-Final-0747

KimWest-Final-0757

KimWest-Final-0760_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0763

KimWest-Final-0781

KimWest-Final-0784

KimWest-Final-0789

KimWest-Final-0796

KimWest-Final-0798

KimWest-Final-0802_STOMP

KimWest-Final-0805

KimWest-Final-0815

KimWest-Final-0825

KimWest-Final-0826

KimWest-Final-0829

KimWest-Final-0833

KimWest-Final-0838

KimWest-Final-0839

KimWest-Final-0842

Kim+West Wedding Trailer from NoBox Films on Vimeo.

Monsoon II

Blu-Ray discs available here.
Song by Kerry Muzzy: “Palladio Rebuilt” find it on iTunes (please consider supporting Kerry by purchasing the single or an album!)
Follow me: twitter.com/mikeolbinski / facebook.com/mikeolbinskiphotography / instagram.com/mikeolbinski


I’ve been chasing the monsoon in Arizona for about 6-7 years now. This summer was different though. Back in late July, I was wondering why it felt like I was out chasing more than ever before. And then I remembered. I had a job last summer. This year I didn’t. I went full-time photography in November of 2014 and haven’t looked back.

I was free to roam and had virtually no limitations.  I even had multiple chases where I never actually wend to bed, but instead chased all night. I took the kids to New Mexico at one point early in the season.

Last year I counted roughly 31 total days that I chased a storm during the monsoon. This summer: 48. Yikes.

17,000 miles driven, which was about 3,000 more than last year. Perhaps the biggest difference this year was shooting nearly 60,000 more time-lapse frames than I did in 2014. 105,000 total. And what sticks out to me even more than any of the other numbers above, is that only 55,000 of those 105,000 frames made it into Monsoon II.

What that means is I was able to stuff this new film with only of the best of the best. We missed out on some of the huge dust storms like I’ve captured in years past, but overall, I think this represents some of the best weather I’ve ever photographed in Arizona. There are stunning shelf clouds, gorgeous rain shafts, lots of blowing dust, tons of lightning, and even multiple mini-supercells/mesocyclones. The brief meso over Cottonwood at the 3:38 mark is one of my all-time favorites.

I can’t talk much more about the film without addressing the music real quick. The song is called Palladio (Rebuilt) and it’s once again by the amazing Kerry Muzzey who donated it to me for Monsoon II. He also let me use another song of his for my previous film, The Chase and I’m beyond grateful for his generosity. I mean, how do you thank someone enough for that? Click here to find the song on iTunes and please support his work! I’ve said it a million times…the music is at least 50% of these movies I make. Kerry’s art helps bring my films to life. Thank you my friend!

A few other words of thanks. My good friend and plains chase buddy, Andy Hoeland…always helps with forecasting and things he sees that I might miss. Mike Leuthold…his forecasting models at UofA have been hugely beneficial and it’s been fun to get to know him better this summer! Jeff Beamish in Tucson for helping me out when I’m down there! All the National Weather Service offices here in Arizona, especially Phoenix…thanks for all the hard work you do, even though it’s not always appreciated. You get bashed when you are wrong, and don’t get enough credit when you are right.  And to my buddy Jay Worlsey…he helped me loop a 6:15 song into an 8:30 song. Thanks for showing me the way my friend!

Above everyone else though…my wife Jina. I thank her every time I make a film because without her this would be impossible. Now she’s working part-time, so  when she comes home and I’m gone, and she has the kids to take care of as well…unless they happen to be with me that day. And this summer I was gone even more and she took it all in stride. There is nothing like having someone behind you, pulling for you, supporting you and being your biggest fan. Thank you Jina!

When I’m out there capturing footage for these films, I’m constantly thinking about the story I want to tell. For example, I wanted a lot of erupting, towering cumulus at the beginning to launch into the meatier clips. I started laying out the film back in mid-August. Certain clips I already knew would be in certain places in relation to the ups and downs of the song itself. As the season wore on, I gathered more and more clips and began to lay out the entire film. I’d remove clips when I got something better. There was exhausting editing, re-editing, looping music, reluctantly dropping clips that didn’t work or were unfixable and watching it over, and over and over, to make sure I was telling the story I wanted to tell.

At one point, about halfway through…I was telling Jina that I have a lot of great stuff, but still haven’t shot the final scene yet. I had no idea what it would be, but I knew I didn’t have it. And then that very night (or maybe the next day)…I was out west of Tonopah and I knew on the way home that the monsoon had finally delivered my ending.

That is what is so amazing about doing this. You hit the road with zero idea about what you’re going to see over the course of a summer. You might imagine scenarios or have ideas, but they get blown out of the water by reality. And that’s what I love about it.

My hope is that you can see and feel that love in this film. The beauty of the monsoon in Arizona. This is where I’m from and this is home.

 

 

One | Roxanne, Josh & Bowser | Engagement

Nothing cuter than a couple and their little Yorky in the middle of the snowy aspens up north of Flagstaff. Wedding is in December, can’t wait!

2013_RoxanneJosh_9895

One | Rachel + Nick | Flagstaff

Not sure how you could ask for a betting ending to an engagement shoot. Thanks to Rachel and Nick for being up for a little bit o’ hiking to get to this spot.

A weekend in Flagstaff

We rarely do last-minute stuff like this, but last Thursday I suggested we drive up to Flagstaff on Friday afternoon and show Lyla the snow. One night quickly turned into the two and became a much needed weekend getaway for all of us.

We ate good food, played in the snow and even stumbled across the Flagstaff Christmas parade on Saturday night, which was a ton of fun, especially for Lyla who couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards. Being sub-32 out and beanie-less, we all bought snow hats at the only store we could find. Lyla was in love with her oversized green one and mine actually had ear flaps and tassels. Yikes.

Kept me warm though.

All in all, a spectacularly fun weekend away.

So we snapped some photos of the weekend…I took most as usual, but Jina got behind the 5D a few times and I’m thankful for that. Sure most of us who are photographers know that we rarely make appearances in pictures from vacations.

Hope you enjoy a little look into our little trip to Flagstaff.

Jina took this one below! Love it!

It was waaaay too cold to build a big snowman, not to mention the snow wasn’t sticky, so this was the best we could do. Lyla made us take him back to the hotel in that cup. Had a lot of explaining to do about the whole melting thing.