The Johnson family

When you are lucky enough to photograph the same families every year, it’s kind of fun to see how things change. Like with the Johnson family here. Last year baby Aly was a bundle of joy and sat there for an eternity letting me take pictures. And little Nick wanted nothing to do with me.

This year, the opposite. Nick was a superstar model. He pretty  much wanted to be in every picture. Aly? Well, she had her own agenda.

I do love this family though. As I mentioned in the Nakamura post this week, Dave and Meribeth used to work at AMC Theaters, along with me and my wife, back years before kids were even an idea to us. I never actually worked alongside them, but my wife did and I remember meeting them at some point.

Amazing to still be in touch well over a decade later.

And an amazing family too. Beautiful kids. Good people.

Thank you guys!

April, Mark, Greer and Merton

This shoot was a special one, for a couple of reasons, but mostly for how it ended.

Sometimes things don’t always work out how you imagined. The goal was to get a photo of little man Greer with the elderly statesmen of the house, Merton…a fantastic dog of 13 years. And other photos of course.  Hopefully a nice Christmas card would be made with a boy and his dog. I had ideas of the perfect pose, exactly what I wanted. So did mom and dad.

But for whatever reason, poor Greer wasn’t feeling too great right before the shoot. Mom thought he must be coming down with an ear infection. Ugh, poor kid.

So it ended up being a bit rough for him to have this goofy photographer with a massive camera right in his face. The shot we wanted proved elusive.  But it all led up to a beautiful moment at the end of the shoot that is kind of what being a parent is all about.

About two-thirds down in the photos below, April, Mark and Greer are standing together in the path and you can kind of see the little guy is crying. He’s just done. In fact, right after those pictures, he walked past me, tears in his eyes, stops, turns to me and says “Buh-bye” and keeps walking. So funny this kid. We get it. The shoot is over.

So dad picks him up and takes him over to the trees in this grove and just loves on the little guy. Helps him pick some pistachios. I just hide away and snap some photos. Then mom joins them and a bunch of smiles and happiness takes place.

It was beautiful to watch. And that’s a lot of the fun of photographing families like this…when you can capture that love they have for each other. It’s not always so easy.

Thanks so much guys for allowing me to hang with you a bit. And thanks to Greer for being such a champ. Hope you guys have an amazing holiday season!


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!

The Williamsons

Over 10 years ago, my wife and I bought our very first house as a married couple. Shortly after the best neighbors ever moved in next door. We became great friends…Scott and I sent in an audition tape to The Amazing Race, we all played Settlers of Catan usually 1-2 times a week and we won a softball championship together. Yeah, it was a co-ed D-league, but we were proud.

Now here we are…Chad is a grown up 16-year-old about to head to college early…and Scott and Deb have this beautiful daughter EV who is four already. This past Sunday we visited The Groves in Chandler for a short little mini session to grab some photos of the fam. Scott and Deb actually had their engagement photos taken there many years earlier, so it was fun for them to return.

Thanks so much guys for inviting me back to take some holiday photos for you again.

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!

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.