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.

Buzz + Chong

In a very nice hotel room suite at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, a quiet little ceremony took place that was kind of a big deal. At least, I thought it was. I don’t know the whole story of these two, but at some point long in the past, Buzz and Chong went separate ways, only to be rejoined after all these years. Their families were there, their friends and of course, this photographer.

One thing I like to think about when I shoot events such as a wedding or this ceremony, are the stories behind them. As photographers, we are suddenly inserted into these stories without really knowing what’s come before or what may happen after. Sure, we definitely have friends that we end up shooting when we indeed know the history behind it all, but most of the time we’ll be shooting strangers and only get snippets of their stories from meetings and then the shoot.

I knew very little about what was happening here other than two people being re-married. Chong’s daughter Lindsey filled me in a bit, but there wasn’t a ton of time to get the whole scoop. But what I didn’t know I found out when it came time to say their vows. Chong was about to start hers and then the tears came and it took her a few minutes to be able to keep going.

This was a big deal.

I had a blast hanging with this family and meeting everyone. I’m awful with remembering names, especially with a group of people I’ve never met before, but they were incredibly friendly, warm and inviting. I’m just so happy for them all because I’m sure this was such a huge moment for the entire family.

Good luck to Buzz and Chong Monet. And yes…his name was Buzz Monet. He’s from France and is the last surviving Monet in America he said. I just couldn’t get over what an awesome name that was.

Finally, a quickie thank you to Gina Meola for referring this family to me. She’s an amazingly giving person and I appreciate the opportunity. And thank you Lindsey for inviting me to be a part of this.



Equipment Used:
Canon 5d Mark II
Canon 35mm 1.4
Canon 50mm 1.4
Speedlite 580EXII
Gary Fong Light Sphere

Baby Caleb and family

The most amazing thing about having kids is that you completely forget how small they used to be. This little guy is Caleb Joseph and at the time of the photos was only five days old. Soooo tiny. So absolutely cute and adorable as well. I’m just so used to my little girl who is going on three…it’s almost a shock when you see a newborn. And so much fun.

We love this family. They’ve been awesome friends to us over the years. I did a photoshoot for them back in May of 2010 and it’s just so cool to see how much the kids have grown.

Caleb joins his slightly older brother Logan, older sister Abby and parents Seth and Lisa. He supposedly sleeps through anything, except for the mean man with the giant camera a foot away from his face! But he was a great little subject and I had a ton of fun capturing not only him, but his brother and sister, and of course, his parents.

Thanks for letting me hang out for a bit and grab some shots! You guys are awesome!

Only suggestion is to toss away that Nikon that Abby is holding in one of the pictures and get her a real camera *grin*

Introducing Caleb Joseph

Caleb Joseph…born to some dear friends of ours over the weekend. The third of their clan, he’s just as cute as the rest of them.

Had a blast doing a little shoot with this baby boy and his family yesterday…enjoy the sneak peek, more to come!

Jessica and John

There is a beautiful story behind this photoshoot, one that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s not my story to tell though, but all you need to know is that these two kids have some amazing friends in their lives who care about them big time.

Jessica and John are brother & sister, graduating the same year, but definitely not twins. John had to “go and be an overachiever” Jessica said, so he skipped a grade and hence they got to do their senior portraits together on the same day. You can tell they are totally close anyways, so I don’t think they’d have it any other way.

On Monday evening we wandered around downtown Phoenix to various spots that I love, just hanging, posing and talking about goofy stuff. Mostly I took away from them that Captain America is a great film and I need to see it! Will do guys!

At the end of the shoot we grabbed the Mini Cooper they drove over in and snapped a couple of shots. Sadly they are selling the thing, so we wanted to grab some memories of it before it’s gone.

Thanks guys for braving the 108 degrees with me and for being a blast to hang out with!

Zona Communications

Vistancia is a community waaaay out on the northwest corner of Phoenix. Even from a central location like downtown Phoenix, this place is still 32 miles away.  My buddy Rick Young actually lives way out there, plus some members of my family. It’s beautiful, surrounded by mountains and desert. The photo above is of the main waterfall that marks entry into the neighborhood.

Zona Communications is a company that provides internet, phone and television to their customers out in Vistancia and northern Phoenix. I kind of wish they were down our way because their high-speed internet uses fiber optics technology, which is faster than a bandwidth-sharing cable connection and also requires NO modem. Wow. I want it.

Their marketing director Joe Harding needed some pictures of a few of their clients that run businesses out of their homes and then some random shots of the community. They want to highlight these Vistancia businesses on their website, which is a great idea!

So I packed a cooler, a tent, a sleeping bag and made the long drive out there. Okay, I’m totally kidding. But I did need my passport. Kidding again.

If you live out in this area, you might want to check out Zona Communications and also these great local businesses represented below.

First up on the shoot was Ron Fraser who does commercial printing with his company Client Focus Printing. He has a beautiful home on a golf course, so we shot in a few different spots.

Next was Eva Guibert, the CEO of Guibert Travel. We shot at a wonderful local park where you can play basketball for free indoors and swim outside in a beautiful pool. It really looks like an enjoyable place to live.  We even got her friend Jason to join in for a shot or two.

Next up was Sarica Cernohous, who is a rep for Not Just Printing. The main goal was a shot of her for the website, but her kids were super-cute and instantly posed for the camera. I had to include two shots of them, followed by Sarica.

From what I gathered, Sarica did some modeling some years back. When we went to get a shot on her living room couch, she sat right on the edge of the cushion with absolute perfect form. Made my job super-easy!

Joe wanted some shots on this desert trail that loops through the community. So we walked around by the waterfall you saw at the top of the page and snatched a couple of shots.

The Tasting Room is also a Zona client, so we snatched a quick photo of their storefront.

Thanks to Joe and Zona Communications for letting me take some photos for them and I look forward to working with you again in the future!

Candice and David

Showing up to shoot a wedding is interesting. You are worried about making sure you have all your equipment. All your gear. Batteries. Cards. Lenses. Flashes. Everything. Then you worry about getting the shots and what’s next on the agenda.

But in the middle of it…you realize that this day has nothing to do with you. It’s all about them.

All this kind of hit me on Sunday during Candice and David’s wedding. Three pictures below is a photo of Candice from behind right after they finished doing her hair. She was about to get up, but I had spotted this shot a few minutes before and so I asked her to sit back down just for a moment. Her mom was standing right by me, I think she saw what I was trying to get…and she started to cry.

I wasn’t expecting that at all. And it moved me big time. What an amazing thing to be able to record a day like this for a family. All I could do the rest of the day was think of my own daughter someday. And how I don’t know if I can get through that!

My buddy Rick Young, who helped me shoot Dee and Yulia’s wedding earlier this year, asked me to second shoot with him for Candice and David’s wedding on a beach in Malibu. We flew out on Sunday morning, shot the wedding, took a nice drive back to L.A. along the Pacific Coast Highway and then caught a plane back home that night. A long day. Sunburns. Hard work. But fulfilling work.

The images below are the ones I took, but Rick and I did a joint blog posting today for Candice and David, so please check out his point of view when you are done here!

I really loved this couple. They were so relaxed and fun. David was classified as a goofball by one of his friends, but he was hilarious. I had a ton of fun joking around with him as we walked around the beach and the hotel grounds getting shots of the newlyweds. He also was working hard to make sure this day went well, which included having to help setup 50 chairs on the beach and go find knives to cut the wedding cake when the time came.

Candice was absolutely beautiful and looked amazing. Such a happy smile on her face all day, it was amazing to see how calm she looked in the middle of such a crazy day. They were both such a treat to photograph.

A great family, awesome friends…and a beautiful setting. Not to mention lucking out with overcast, gray skies for a noon wedding! Thanks so much guys for inviting Rick and I to capture this day for you. Hope you have a great honeymoon and enjoy the images when you return!

(You can scroll down to look at all the images, or click on the one below  to pop up a little manual slideshow! Just click the next arrows to see all the photos)



Kayleigh, Jackson and Lyla

Before our recent family vacation to Memphis, I hadn’t met me new niece Kayleigh May except through other people’s pictures. One of my goals while out there was to get my sister-in-law/bro-in-law some great pictures of the kids and especially Kayleigh. Kayleigh’s big brother is named Jackson and of course, my daughter Lyla, their cousin, also wanted to be in some pictures.

Okay, WE wanted her in them. Parents, sheesh.

The first little shoot I did with Kayleigh was unplanned. We were at a playground late in the day with the kids and I saw this little grassy area out of the corner of my eye. Lush, green, little flowers popping up everywhere, the sunlight in an absolutely perfect spot…so I asked Jennifir to drop her daughter right in the middle of it all and let’s see what we could do. The picture above was taken in that field and there are others below.

The shoot we did right before leaving was out in the backyard of one of their neighbors, although technically it was hard to tell since there were no real fences anywhere. It was the middle of the day, which normally is awful light, but the clouds were thick and creating shadows, and there were some big trees around to help us even more.

One little note about all these shots: I exclusively used my 85mm 1.8 for the first time ever. I’ve always been comfortable with my 50mm 1.4 and tend to stick to that 90% of the time. But this entire trip I kind of stuck to the 85 and am just in love with it.

And I’m also in love with my little niece. She’s a stunning little baby, gorgeous eyes and the sweetest smile. You might notice the little beauty mark on her forehead…it’s supposed to fall off eventually, but I dunno why…I thought it added to her charm. I’ve probably never had a more perfect baby to shoot. She just sat there smiling, looking around, checking things out. She basically did all the work, I just snapped off some photos.




I like this one above.

This little grassy area was just so perfect.

Killer blue eyes right?

Loved this huge tree dwarfing my little girl.

Both Lyla and Jackson love, love, love to run.

This last picture below I’ve already posted in a few places, but in case you missed it! The kids were doing a lot of running on the golf course out back after the sun went down so I had them run up to the top of this little hill and hold hands for me. Nothing better than a silhouette shot against a cloudy sky. One of my favorite kinds of shots.