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A sneak peek at the Nakamura family

From last night in Scottsdale. Amazing clouds. Awesome family.

More to come.

The Klein girls

So I heard through the grapevine that the Klein girls were getting on my case for posting sneak peeks of Tatum and Irelynn, but not Katy and Maddy! I knew that was going to happen and I also knew if I posted the Williamson shoot today, I had to get the Kleins’ out as well. Especially considering it all took place at the same place on the same night!

Sorry for the delay girls, but here you go!

This is another one of our most favorite families in the world. The parents decided to sit this one out (even though I still got a shot of Matt anyways!), so it was just the girls having a blast. You can so totally see the love these guys have for each other. It’s amazing to watch.

Well, check it out for yourself.

And thanks to the Kleins…you guys were my first ever photoshoot over two years ago and now it’s a fall tradition!

A couple of sneak peaks

Last Sunday I got together with two families that I’ve known for a long time now. A couple of short mini-sessions took place out in Chandler and I just had to post a few images.

The top photos are of a little bundle of adorable named Tatum and this is the third straight year I’ve had the pleasure of taking pictures of her and her family for Christmas. She’s a few weeks younger than my own daughter Lyla and they are what sub-three-year-olds would consider “best friends.” Now of course I think Lyla is the most beautiful thing on the planet…but Tatum is right up there. I mean, look at that face.

And you have to throw EV into that mix as well. We’ve been friends with her parents long before she was born, and now seeing her grow up right before our eyes is just amazing. She has piercing eyes and some fantastic redish hair.

I love both of these families and am eternally thankful to them for allowing me to capture these moments for them every year.

Stay tuned for more pics guys!

The Hughes

Okay, so I can’t lie…one of my favorite things in the world is a client who comes back for more pictures. This is basically my third fall season doing photoshoots for people and I met the Hughes clan last year. Denise, Peter, Parker and Ryker.  A great looking group. Last fall little Ryker was just learning to get into trouble with his newfound walking ability and this year he was jumping off curbs with ease. Amazing.

Was awesome to see them again and check out how much the boys had changed (and also not changed). Super family, it was a blast to hang out in downtown Chandler for an hour.

Thanks for looking me up again guys and for helping kick off a busy fall season for me! Hope to see you all again in 2012!

Sneak Peek – Ryker and Family

This little guy is Ryker. I expect it’s sometimes hard to be the littlest guy in the family.

Loved this dude…he gave me knuckles and included me in a round of family smooches. Photographed these guys last year and it was awesome to see how the kids have changed.

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)

Meet baby Nathan

This is Nathan Carlyle. Less than two weeks old.

Unbelievably. Cute. Baby.

More to come.

OneQuestion: Jesse Pafundi

We’ve arrived at Thursday and Jesse Pafundi for my OneQuestion guest blog series. Jesse is a kindred spirit to me and we’ve had tons of conversations about how we change as photographers. Both he and I have been on a similar journey since the beginning of the year (or around there). Realizing what we love, who we are and being comfortable with our own styles and passions. Jesse’s photography has changed so much this year and it’s been inspiring and beautiful to watch. Visit his newly updated website (and name), check out his Rome pictures (or anything really) and follow his work.

What do you have a passion to photograph? What would make you forego much-needed sleep

because you just can’t help but get out and take more pictures?

Follow Jesse Pafundi: Twitter | Website

We’re lucky. Every single day on this Earth we get to experience the brilliance of a rising and setting sun. It’s an amazing thing to witness and can stop us in our tracks. It’s the one universal thing that cause people to slow down and appreciate the beauty around them.

When Mike asked me his “One Question,” I didn’t hesitate for a second in my mind. I’ve sacrificed hours of sleep dedicated to sunrise chasing. Missed out on dinner’s because the sun was setting at exactly 7:09 pm. I’m extremely fortunate to live only 10 minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. When I’m sitting in my backyard and gorgeous clouds roll in, I know it’s on. I toss my bag in the car and head south on Ocean Parkway. Can you smell the salt water?

A few weeks ago, during one of my softball games at Jones Beach, the sun began to set. The light was just outrageous and the photographer inside me became restless. I knew whipping out my iPhone would be a risky venture because at softball games, there is a certain manliness you have to uphold. I decided the risk was well worth the reward and stepped up to the top bleacher. I composed, adjusted settings, and snapped a frame. Within minutes the heckles began to pour in but I could not care less. I froze that light for an eternity and it’s at the top of this post to prove it. Joke’s on them.

Here’s to the golden hour.

OneQuestion: Gina Meola

Gina Meola Photography

The OneQuestion guest series continues today with one of my favorite photographers in the Phoenix area, Gina Meola. The first time we were introduced was at one of our First Friday events down at New City Studio. She hugged me instead of shaking my hand. I was surprised because no one has ever really hugged me the second they met me, but that’s Gina. She’s a hugger. Her smile and laugh are infectious. And she’s passionate about what she does. I am so blessed to have her guest blog for me this week. And stay tuned, I believe she’s presenting a lot more of her work at an upcoming First Friday gallery related to her answer below! Thank you so much Gina!

What do you have a passion to photograph? What would make you forego much-needed sleep

because you just can’t help but get out and take more pictures?

Follow Gina Meola: Twitter | Website

My husband and I are international wedding photographers. People pay us to travel. We shoot incredible couples in expensive gowns and high end venues on sunny beaches and fabulous cities… What a dream. I truly cherish the relationships with our clients who allow us to enter their love story and live out our passions.

But what keeps me up at night, at least without coffee or bloodshot eyes, are not designer shoes and gourmet cakes. They are faces and stories of people worlds away.

My first serious interaction with photography happened while living in Thailand with an AIDS relief organization. I had traveled extensively prior, but never had I lived next to slums surrounded by the poverty-stricken orphaned and dying. My heart was ravaged and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I started building friendships with, and photographing the people I worked with. They were sick, and hurting, and afraid – but they were beautiful.

It wasn’t long before I began sharing these stories and images, and people from around the world were walking through this journey with me.

When an image not only evokes emotion, but inspires action, you’ve done a service. You are using your gifts to defend and care for those who cannot do it themselves. This became a fundamental value of our business when we decided it (the business) was a means, or vehicle to something much greater than ourselves. How that will play out over the next few years is in God’s hands 🙂

Thanks, Mike!! XOXO