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Scott, Karen, Ryan and Megan

Back many years ago, we attended Hope Covenant Church for a bit of time. We made some friends there, connected with people on Facebook, etc. Fast-forward to this past fall and a family that we knew there wanted some family portraits done, so we visited downtown Gilbert and got some shots. Then a second Hope family, a group of musicians, hit me up as well.

Well, Scott, Karen, Ryan and Megan make the third family from that church to come out and do a shoot with me. I’m so totally grateful for all of these people and the way they’ve passed my name around to each other and recommended me to their friends. It means a lot and I always get excited to photograph the awesome people from Hope.

Scott is a worship pastor at the church, so we wanted to get some shots with him and his two guitars (one of them a beautifully old Gibson handed down to him from his grandfather), not to mention all the normal family photos. Ryan loves basketball so we got a few there and Megan enjoys her hats and volleyball.

A totally fun family and we had a great time rushing around a few of my favorite places in downtown Phoenix.

 

I LOVE this last one:

The Texidor family

I’ve known this family for a long time. In fact, Josie, her sister, my wife and I all used to work at the same movie theater back around…ohh…1993-95 or some such. Lots of good times at that place. Here’s a shout out to the no-longer-there AMC Lakes 6. You were the best job I ever had and may ever have.

Dave is the guy who pretty  much tossed me out the door to go ask Jina’s father for her hand in marriage. If it wasn’t for him…who knows how long it would have taken me to get the guts up to go do that.

Fast-forward to today and Dave and Josie are married with three amazing kids. We haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with them lately, so it was nice to meet up with them and take some pictures.

Thanks so much guys for letting me do this for you!

And also props to Alex Evjen from AVE Styles for picking out the wardrobe for these guys…they looked amazing!

 

Hepfinger and family

(Note: You can click on any picture to bring up a lightbox and then flip through all the photos in this blog post!)

Sona’s parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this past weekend and it was a huge party, with lots of friends and family coming in town. Suresh, Sona’s father, said he was making around 4-5 more trips to the airport that weekend to pick up people coming into town.

Sona, along with hubby Charlie (who looks an awful lot like that guy from that movie The Town) and daughter Amea, wanted to celebrate the event by getting some family portraits done. Her sister and brother-in-law Mike joined in on the fun.

Poor Mike had just flown in on a red-eye from Chicago and went STRAIGHT to the photoshoot after scarfing down some french toast. Luckily he slept a bit on the plane, but I think he was pretty tired.

We hit the jackpot with the conditions on Friday. The shoot had to be done in the late morning, and 10:3o isn’t the ideal time to do portraits out in the sun, but as luck would have it, the clouds moved in and we had overcast conditions the entire time.

Timing is everything. Even if I have no control over it!

Congrats to the happy couple for being married 40 years! You guys were all a pleasure to work with and it was awesome getting to hang out for a bit.

The Dunnigan family

My wife and Liz have been friends for what seems like an eternity and they met long before a husband or kids were in the picture…at least for Liz.

Jina and I have literally been married FOR-EVER. (don’t you hate people who have no clue how to use the word ‘literally’?)

ANYWAYS…this beautiful group of four were only six weeks ago a family of three. Thus of course they needed some updated photos and I was only too thrilled to be able to help them out.

Little Cara is much like our little girl Lyla. Free-spirit…adventurous…never stopping, always moving, ever exploring. Which is kind of my favorite type of shooting…following these little ones around and capturing them in action. Baby Connor had never been outside before and it was fun to shoot him looking around at the sky and trees for the first time.

Sweet boy, happy little girl…and an awesome little family. So happy for you guys and thank you for letting me take some pictures of you all!

Sneak peek: Cara

Processing photos from a session I had yesterday afternoon with Cara, her baby brother and parents (of course!), and just had to post this one right away.

19-month old Cara was absolutely adorable in her little pink jackets and blue jeans…and while she is sitting all cute-like in this photo, it was one of the rare moments that she wasn’t moving! The girl is just like our daughter Lyla in the way she constantly wants to explore her world…and you can’t do that sitting down. Well, unless there is awesome dirt, rocks and bugs to check out, but even then….they’d rather be walking or running.

I love following around kids like this when they “do what they do”…and then trying my hardest to capture some candid moments.

Early in the shoot, I showed Cara some of the pictures I had just taken of her…and she got all giggly and smiley and even let out a laugh. I tried not to take it personally.

Everyone’s a critic right? (I’m kidding)

More to come.

The Ross Family

I plowed through more of the Ross photos last night, mostly because it was sheer joy to process them. Complete and total fun. I think I may have to pigeonhole myself as a downtown Phoenix, urban portrait photographer and that’s all I do. I just love, love, love the backdrops, the train tracks, the bricks, the grunge, the chain link fences, the broken windows, the dirty pavement…all of it.

Oh, and the Ross family of course *grin*

Now, I’m only kidding, I will and do love shooting in a variety of locations, but I hope more people ask to do shoots downtown…there is something amazing about walking and photographing in the midst of the city. On top of it…there is an almost endless supply of locations.

These photos of the Ross band…are some of my favorite ever. They were simply amazing to work with. At the end of the shoot, both David and Heather had extremely kind words about my website and the way it presents both me and my work. That has really stuck with me since then and I appreciate you guys so much for taking the time to let me know what you thought.

For Erin and Alex..the last two pictures are for you guys…I put a little bit of extra time into them.

Thanks so much you guys…truly was a moving experience for me and I hope you enjoy the moments we captured.

The Hughes Family

Sunday night I was among 27,000 other photographers doing shoots in downtown Gilbert. Literally had to watch your step lest you bump into a dude with an 85mm 1.2 and umbrella. There were some guys carrying around an antique sofa everywhere they went! The train tracks we used in this shoot also had 3-4 other groups using them in various spots. A train could have come by and eliminated a lot of competition for some people!

I met up with Denise, Peter and their two sons Parker and little man Ryker. Let’s talk about those two boys for a second. Cute as can be. Parker smiled on command. It was easy as pie. Ryker’s little faux hawk was awesome. But that kid…wow, I knew our little girl Lyla was crazy with her running and being unable to just stand there looking cute…but Ryker. He’s just turned one, he rolled over for the first time at three weeks and his mobility is incredible.

Needless to say, we did a lot of chasing Ryker around, which sometimes that makes things hard when you want to get a nice group shot, but you know what? I love it when kids do their own thing. I love trying to catch them running, walking, looking at the world around them. Because that’s the kind of photography I enjoy…those candid moments.

Had a blast shooting this good-looking group and just enjoyed being outdoors in downtown Gilbert on a gorgeous night.

Thanks guys for letting me hang out with you all for a bit!

First Look: Wright and Carhart family

Carrie works with me at my “day job” and said she wanted some family pictures taken in December. She has three kids, all high school and older, and also boyfriend Todd. From there, Todd’s two daughters wanted into the fray, plus their kids and their great-granddad Bob. What started out small became a two-hour, 13-person extravaganza and it was a blast!

Remembering all the names was crazy difficult for a guy like me who absolutely sucks at it. Shane, Carrie, Todd, Brandi, Mandy, Danica, Collin, Caylen, Bob, Angela, Shawn, Jason and others. I feel bad if I missed any names, but I only got most of those because I am friends with a few on Facebook now *grin*

Crazy moments…I made Mandy, Collin and Caylen sit on some grass against a wall for a picture, only to discover Mandy found a nasty pile of ants that decided to bite her about 10-20 times!  First true photoshoot mishap!

And then Brandi is in the Honor Guard and had to show up, shoot photos for just about 10-15 minutes, and run off. She changed from uniform to civilian clothes right there in the open by the Scottsdale Public Library, with her family shielding her from the rest of the world. It was hilarious.

(BTW, silly me asked her to salute…I knew I was lame right when I said it)

Even though it was two hours, it felt fast and I hope I got everything I needed to. I think we did get some nice memories out of it. One of my favorites is the last picture…with Bob and his great-granddaughter Danica.

Thanks so much guys for letting me do this…you were so laid back and fun, made it all that much easier!

Another First Friday is this weekend!

Monday night I visited Neighborhood Ministries in downtown Phoenix to shoot some photos of kids for the Day Twelve Gallery and this coming First Friday event. I wish I could remember the girl’s name in the photo above, but it was long and I’m bad with them anyways. However, when I asked her name…I remember it sounding beautiful. Just like her. A foster child attending this weekly Neighborhood Ministries event…who knows what her life is like? Is it hard? Has she been shuffled around a lot? Separated from siblings? Or have things been good for her?

I don’t know any of the answers, but I do know her smile and enthusiasm were catching. I took about five photos of her while standing in this classroom filled with kids. She demanded the camera…I have a feeling she’s going places.

But right now, these kids need some help. This Friday’s event at Day Twelve will feature photos of children from all over, including a few from Neighborhood Ministries and also some recent images from Haiti by Charith Norvelle. The goal of the evening is to provide for these local foster kids and everyone is encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to their cause.

I urge you all to stop by on Friday night from 6-10pm, drop off a toy and see some amazing art. You can read more about it with this month’s flier.

First Look: The Kruckenberg family {phoenix family photographer}

I’m writing this entry about 5 hours after the photoshoot I did tonight with the Kruckenberg family. I recently purchased a new laptop to help speed up the processing time for things just like tonight. And I have to say…the comparison between my old laptop and the new one is like a 1930’s Ford Pickup to the Starship Enterprise going Warp 10. Sorry to drop some nerdiness on you, but I’m going nuts over this thing. Needless to say, the ease at which I busted out these photos was mind-numbing.

The Kruckenbergs are great friends of ours. Brian is the guy who is starting Day Twelve in downtown Phoenix (and we’re a part of it too), the church that put on the big First Friday event I was part of last month and is continuing to use their space as a gallery. They like to get photos done every year and I was excited they asked me to do their 2010 edition. Because, honestly, when you are working with a good-looking family like the Krucks…they make your photos look better 🙂

We decided to do the shoot downtown because of the way their lives (and ours) are suddenly entangled in the urban Phoenix environment. I love it down there…and Sunday was chilly, windy and absolutely beautiful.

Thanks so much guys for letting me do this for you!