I've decided to split my "Best of" into two this year - people and places. These are really two entirely different types of photography, so its near impossible to evaluate them as a whole.
About two years ago, I made an effort to spend more time on my people photography. I realised that its photographs of people that I'm personally most drawn to. I have a large photo book collection and its almost entirely comprised of street and portrait photographers - Elliott Erwitt, Dan Winters, Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz, etc. Capturing something of another human being that goes beyond a mere snapshot is really hard, but its also an opportunity to create something that can never again be replicated. Its much, much harder than capturing a landscape in a nice light. I definitely would not claim to be a good portraitist by any means, but as time goes on, I think am improving, and that's really all anyone can ask for.
Here are my favourite people pictures from 2017
This was the second time I tried a studio maternity shoot. I was delighted with the results, but I had two amazing parents to be (and good friends) to work with. This is a rare example of a shot which worked out exactly as I had previsualized, though I had to do a bit of photoshop work on the dress trail.
I made this photo during a workshop with the great Elena Shumilova, here in California. It was an amazing two days. To get this shot, I had to wade into the stream in my bare feet - it was cold and rocky! The girl seemed to barely notice we were there and she made this pose for literally two seconds - I have no idea what she was doing. I was the only one in the workshop to capture it.
My second maternity shoot of the year was an outdoor shoot in a local park. This couple are always wonderful to work with, and have tons of ideas for the photos, which made it a super collaborative experience. We made quite a few shots I was happy with, but I think this is my favorite. I really like the connection between the two parents to be here.
This was taken with studio lighting in our back yard. I love my daughters pose here. It captures her personality nicely.
I made this shot of my son while on vacation in Mexico. This wasn't really posed - though I had an idea in advance of what I wanted to capture.
MOM & DAD
When my parents came to visit this year I wanted to make sure that I took time to bring them into the studio for some shots. I'm really glad I did - now that I've moved jobs, I no longer have access to this wonderful facility. They were great subjects, and we got a lot of nice shots. The reason they are laughing here is because I had to have my mom stand on an apple crate to be roughly level with my dad - and it was the first time I ever realised she was so much shorter than him!
Another one from the Elena Shumilova workshop. This was actually totally unplanned. The boy was sitting on the bench, away from the photographers (sitting out this particular location) when one sharp eyed shooter spotted him and asked him to rest against the bench.
This girls parents asked me to take some shots for her 10th birthday. We went to a redwood grove close by in Los Altos. It was a great location and she was a wonderful model. Once again, serendipity contributed to the shot. We were walking by a party which was wrapping up and someone gave these balloons to the girl. I love how the colors of the balloons complimented the colors of her dress.
Its difficult to believe this photo was made under a year ago. Our boy looks so much older now. I'm really happy that I've captured so much of his childhood through photography.
Another photo of my daughter. This might be my favorite portrait I've ever made.