Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dan and Maggie

Some people dread Bridal Expos. To those individuals, the idea of having to pitch both yourself and your work to a prospective client can be extremely frightening, especially if sales and personal interaction is not something you enjoy. 

I love it... and not because of the sales side either. Sure, knowing that you were able to 'Wow' a client with your work when compared to so many other talented individuals is great, but for me, it's about getting to meet new people and learning a little bit about their personality and their story.

During Sunday's Bridal Expo, while looking through one of my albums, a prospective bride looked up at me and asked, "What is it about photography that makes you so passionate?" Pausing for a second, I thought about the many couples who I've been so fortunate to work with, the stories they've told, and the love I've been able to witness through my viewfinder.

"It's the emotion," I answered.

I love it when a couple looks adoringly into each others' eyes or when she can't stop smiling at his smile. When he leans in and whispers that she's the most beautiful girl he's ever laid eyes on. Maybe it's how she's never felt safer than when she's wrapped up in his arms. Or perhaps its how time stands still when he kisses her and that nothing else in the world around them seems to matter. 

This is pure love - and for me to witness it, capture it and convey it into a story is what drives my passion. 

Dan and Maggie.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Night Lights - Mike and Mar

If you're in Omaha during the winter, it's impossible to miss the beautiful light decorations in Midtown. I really wanted to use these lights for a photoshoot, so I was extremely grateful that my good friends Mike and Marissa agreed to do a little modeling for me in our nippy 30-degree weather.

When doing any type of shoot, it always helps to have a good relationship with your subjects. Not everyone has the luxury of being surf buds (Meatballs! - JS reference) or having gone on a multiple double dates like we have. Nonetheless, with every couple or subject I work with, I really try to get to know them on a personal level so that their comfort will ultimately bring out their true personalities for the best possible shot. There are a lot of photographers who would rather their subjects shut up and just pose - and inversely - there are a lot of clients who would rather their photographer would just take pictures and be done with it. If that's you, sorry...

I'm not your guy.

But, if you're the type of person who wants to have laugh, look and feel amazing, and get coffee years after your wedding date has passed just to talk story and catch up - give me a call - you'll get so much more than just pictures.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One Foot in the Sand

(Above) Morning Stroll - Although I've probably shot thousands of pictures over the past four years here at Sandys, none of them captivate me quite as much as this one does.

Over this Christmas break, I've reflected over the idea that I probably won't be home again for a very long time. Being a typical college student, I've always been spoiled with the idea of being able to come back home after finals and spending time with family and friends. Summer and Winter vacation have always been times designated for surfing, lounging around on the beach, and living for the moment. My lifestyle (or life choice, as my parents prefer to call it), has been enjoying nature and everything that comes with it.

As with any monumental step forward, things must be sacrificed to move towards a greater or higher goal. At 22, I've reached a rung in my life ladder that requires me to let go of the things I have dearly held on to - Temporarily.

It is never possible for one to completely separate heart from home, just as it is not possible to take out every fine grain of sand from your ear after a good beat down in the shore break.

Knowing that this might be my last time home in awhile, I focused my energies towards certain images that really represent home as I remember it and the people who have made it special.

- Waialua -

This view came by accident when my mom and I accidentally drove down the wrong road in our attempt to find the sunflower fields. Everyone has sunflower fields on Facebook, but not many people have seen a view like this. Although it had been raining for the whole week, it was a gift from God that I was able to capture this shot.

- Makapu'u -

Had it not been for Natalie Fujii, I probably wouldn't have recreated this shot. Natalie had asked for this picture in print, and to my surprise, the original panorama had been corrupted! Although I had to wait all break to find a clear day to recreate this shot, it was totally worth it. The sets at Maks were coming in a 6-8 Hawaiian this day (12-16ft faces), so scaling the cliff above the lookout seemed like a much safer alternative.

 - The Morning Crew - 

Although many are missing from this picture (Uncle Harv, Siate, Arlo, Stanford, Chucky, Rex and Mike, RIP Uncle Lance and Uncle Otto), I felt the need to take a picture of our morning crew. Throughout the years, many laughs, stories, and waves have been shared and they have taught me everything from how to re-set my line after throwing a spin on the wave to strategies for approaching the New York Times crossword puzzle. Those sunny mornings that all of us were together were truly moments to live for.

(Above) - Uncle Greg and Uncle Roy (aka 'Hot Dog') taking their morning stroll.

- Ohana -

As Stitch said, 'Ohana means Family...' and undeniably, I've been blessed with a great extended family. (Above) Uncle Clay and I have been great friends going back to when I was a scrawny body-boarder in 7th grade, just starting to test the waters on the East side. On those hot, sunny afternoons after the beach, I would slurp icees at Doe Fang's (now HOPA) and listen to Uncle's stories and lessons. Jumping forward almost ten years, Uncle Clay now runs the best shave ice store on the whole island with the most delicious natural, delicious flavors imaginable (the guava is sooooo ono!). But no matter how busy he gets, he still takes the time to greet every customer at the door. Pure Aloha runs deep.

We may not be related by blood, which is good, because she often refers to me as her 'boyfriend'. Obaachan (Grandmother in Japanese), is one of the most special people that I've been blessed with throughout my lifetime. She is the most charismatic and energetic 95-year olds, and she won't hesitate to tell you that although she has three speeding tickets, she'd really like to borrow your car. Our sushi-dates and hamburger outings have always made my days.

Although leaving home is never easy, it's nice to know that I was able to take a small piece of it with me for my travels. Photography is my way of sharing, documenting and reliving - story-telling, as some prefer.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Little Devil at Home

Although this is photography blog, I wanted to introduce everyone to my new baby sister. As many of you have heard, this past year we suffered the loss of my brother Indiana 'Indy' Jones. He was as loyal as any and had the ability to make anyone smile with his infectious smile or his happy nature. To cope for Indy's loss, my parents decided to add a new member to the family - Lexie, a Pomeranian/Shiba-inu mix.

As with Indy, when we were not at home, we like to keep the dogs pent up in the bathroom to guard against unsupervised terror throughout our house. However, Lexie is a crazy puppy and hates being locked up. Here's what I woke up to the other night...

As much as I want to scold her, she's absolutely adorable. She'll look right at you with those big brown eyes and completely melt your heart as she cuddles in your lap. UGH! Time to go clean up the bathroom...

R.I.P Indy, you will forever be in our hearts.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Aly and Emmett

When dealing with the time constraints of a wedding day, it's very rare that I have the opportunity to take the bride and groom out for a nice portrait session. One thing I love about post-wedding sessions is getting the opportunity to experiment with different effects and techniques while not having to worry about how much time is left before the cake-cutting or the first dance.

For this weekend's shoot, I really wanted to do a bridal shoot at this location I had recently done some senior portraits at. The beautiful cement columns really add a great architectural element that I wanted to utilize for these pictures. The couple, Aly and Emmett Winters, had been married earlier this year, but I thought that they would be perfect for the look I was going for.