My Best Friend got Married…

My oldest and best friend TJ got married last weekend.
I don’t do many personal posts here, however this is something that definitely deserves a post regardless.

I have known TJ for 15 years, and we’ve got ourselves in and out of trouble during that time. But, Sunday, I saw TJ happier than I have ever seen him the entire time that we’ve known one another. After five years, he married Cassandra on the beach during one of the most fun ceremonies I’ve ever been to.
I was one of TJ’s best men – along with Evan. I promised TJ I wouldn’t take many photos… but it’s also a given that I’m going to shoot the biggest day of his life either way. I managed to come home with 1,000 photos from the weekend we spent at the beach house in Santa Cruz. Honestly, one great shot of their first dance like the one above and a few shots of me and the guys like you’ll see below is all I wanted to come home with.

It’s going to take me a while to get through them and tone everything. But it’s already a lot of fun looking at everything that other people shot on my camera while I was doing other things.

Me, Evan, TJ, and JD.
I met Evan and JD a year after TJ, we’ve all been friends for years. It’s crazy to look at a photo like this and realize how much older we are now.

I highly recommend getting a photo booth for your wedding. Seriously had wayyy too much fun with this thing. And in addition to the photo above this one, this is probably my favorite shot of us four in the last couple years.

Yes, I danced down the aisle… Katrina and I broke it down.

And people cheered when I tangoed with Evan shortly after. TJ is laughing in the background.

Even I was told many times how gorgeous their cake and choice of cake topper was. I can’t take credit for either though, haha. But it was delicious. I agree with that 100%.

The evening ended after a lot of dancing, drinks, TONS of photos, video, laughing, and great times with family and friends. I can only hope that when I get married one day it will be half as fun as TJ and Cassandra made theirs.

Another fun shot from this weekend was the sausage run.. no joke. We actually went to pick up food from a famous butcher shop for our BBQ the night before the wedding. Me, TJ, Mike, and Dale (who you can’t see) headed out to get food and then a ton of drinks from Costco. Even this trip was full of laughing and joking.

Last, is a group shot of Evan, TJ, and me.
This is after the BBQ we had at the beach house, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is lit up in the background. Evan and I are wearing dog tags that were our groomsmen gifts for the wedding that TJ and Cassandra had custom engraved for us.

I had a really amazing week back in the Bay Area. And for the first time in over a year since I moved, I was sad to leave again.
TJ and Cassandra had a really beautiful wedding, an amazing reception, and an incredible weekend full of family and friends. Like I said, I’ve never seen TJ or Cassandra so happy.

Evan and I are taking bets on which of the guys gets married next… haha.

Lucas Oil Off Road Racer Portrait Series

Chad Leising – Rockstar Energy, Hart & Huntington

Shortly after this shot Chad did three interviews about the race series from the Rockstar Energy pool they set up. It was hilarious.

I’ve spent many weekends this summer shooting the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series each time they’ve come through the various tracks here on the west coast. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of the drivers, teams, and team managers/owners. I’ve also met some really incredible photographers, too.
Well I decided that at the last LOORRS event I was at that I would start an ongoing photo essay. I would do very simple track-side portraits of the various drivers I knew and was meeting. I wanted to use harsh light, higher contrast, and just try and give a feel for what the series was like in the high temperature desert.
Between running from pit to pit, finding the drivers between their races, and shooting the races myself… I wasn’t able to complete nearly as many portraits as I hoped. But, there is always the opportunity at future races.

Enjoy the series. And please leave me some feedback or shoot me and email with your thoughts.

Josh Merrell – Liquid Graphics, Hart & Huntington

Josh was a really nice guy – and his wife was watching and laughing as I posed him for this shot. Although his bodyguard didn’t seem to like that I was touching him as I adjusted his shoulders… whoops… my bad.

Andrew Comrie-Picard – NOS Energy, K&N Engineering

Andrew came out to race off road trucks – he’s a rally racer… and you can sure as hell bet that not only did he take podium (3rd) but he also kicked some ass doing it by coming all the way up from the back of the pack.

Ricky James – S2, K&N Engineering

Ricky was incredible to watch race. After an injury from racing motocross left him disabled he now races off road truck. His precision driving is extremely apparent from my spot right there on the track. And taking 1st place finishes in this first races out that weekend he proved that he’s someone who will be around a while.

Rodrigo Ampudia – Papas & Beer

Rodrigo was one of the funniest guys on the track to talk with – probably because he’s a young guy out there on the track too. His team is great, and I have some awesome shots of Rodrigo pushing his truck to the limits on the track.

Corry Weller – Weller Racing

I met Corry shooting ATV/Quadcross… and then found out she races UTV and Superlite trucks at LOORRS. I’m fairly sure that I couldn’t do half the stuff she does on her ATV though out of fear I’d break my neck.

Bradley Morris – BME Motorsports, K&N Engineering

Bradley and his entire family and team are truly amazing people. I almost always hang out with these guys at the races and they always make sure I’m surviving in the heat/weather. Bradley races trophy kart right now – which has got to be the coolest thing to brag about at school, I swear.

Robby Melton – BME Motorsports

Robby is on the same team at Bradley, and a pretty good racer himself. I watched Robby snap a wheel completely off his kart and keep racing until the kart couldn’t handle the turns on three wheels and he had no choice but to stop. In my next life, sign me up to be a little badass like Robby, too.

Jimmy Stephensen

Jimmy and his team were great people, too. I didn’t get to spend much time chatting with them unfortunately.

Leroy Loerwald

I had actually met Leroy at the race prior to this particular weekend. Leroy had actually flipped his truck, multiple times, toward the beginning of the weekend. He broke his arm in the process. But, he was back and healed by this time out.

Malcolm Pointon

Malcolm actually races buggy, not the trucks that most of the other drivers I met race. I also had taken some really great shots of him a month before meeting him at a different race. If you skim through my portfolio you’ll find one of Malcolm hitting a jump in his buggy.

Todd Cuffaro – Rockstar Energy, Metal Mulisha

I had the hardest time tracking down Todd and Brian Deegan. However, right at sunset I was able to get a few minutes of Todd’s time for a quick shot. Brian, however, didn’t have time before his race unfortunately.

Carey Hart – Rockstar Energy, Hart & Huntington

The question I always get asked is if Carey is a nice guy – yes, he’s an incredibly cool guy. Carey was able to make time for me, as he said he would, in between a million other pre-race things he was running around trying to do. This shot makes him look pretty gruff, too; he’s really not this rugged looking in person… but I guess it adds to the effect.

So, that’s pretty much it. I’m hoping to continue to add to the series as time goes on. We’ll see how it all goes. I may do some more tweaking to the colors a bit before uploading to my portfolio. But for now, this is how the whole set will look.

And again, feedback is always welcome.

New Tearsheets section added!

Last night I built a new section in my portfolio for tearsheets.

My work has been used in many K&N Filter ads and AEM Intakes ads that you can find in 20+ magazines in 10+ types of sports/etc.
The image above is an ad you can find in ATV Insider. It features racer and friend, Corry Weller of Weller Racing in Chandler, Arizona. I met Corry at the Quadcross AMA kickoff event in Glen Helen, Calif. This image is actually from that race. I have since had the pleasure of seeing and photographing her at many off road races here in Socal since then.

You will also see many images/ads created for drifting featuring Vaughn Gittin Jr., Rhys Millin, and Tanner Foust. Also images from Motocross, other ATV events, and Off Road Racing.
Actually, the first thing you will see are tearsheets from the musical artist Derek Jameson’s magazine feature that I shot. This was printed in Unzipped a few months ago. You may have caught my blog about it…
I’m also working on tracking down tearsheets from my work that has appeared in BMX Magazine and Rebel Ink.

So, if you have time, check it out here, or click the image above.

Rooftop shoot at sunset – and lots of other editing…

Last night I photographed Nanaz on the rooftop of a garage in Riverside, Calif.
I actually bumped into her while shopping for clothing with Jenny for a previous shoot that I did, you may have read that blog.

Anyway, we’ve been in touch since and planned out a fairly simple shoot, at sunset, to take advantage of the sky and clouds. While the location wasn’t incredibly amazing one way or another, we were able to make a number of shots work. I’ll also be shooting a follow up high-key shoot with Nanaz of headshot-style images… she has incredibly beautiful brown eyes. And none of the photos we shot last night do them justice.

I would have loved to do these in Downtown LA… but, maybe next time.

Here’s one last one. This was just a quick shot before I adjusted any of my settings after moving indoors, into a parking garage. The really low-light effect worked out pretty well though. It gives the image a creepy feel.

Another thing that I’ve spent most of the last week on is catching on my racing edits.

I have images from many different races from multiple types of sports that I’ve been too busy to edit and upload the last three months. I know, it sounds crazy to be that far behind, however when you spend the summer handling the major race accounts that I did, you fall behind on your personal website really quickly.

This image was made during the XDL Sportbike Freestyle competition last month at Irwindale Speedway. I have images ready from this event, and also Flat Track racing at the Perris Speedway that are ready to be uploaded. I also have Motocross and Supermoto ready to go up as well.

This shot is of Darryl Atkins practicing for the X-Games. I have a few shots of him that will be going up, as well as I quick track-side portrait for the racer series I started.

I’m still working on Drag Racing, and also Off Road Racing from the Lucas Oil Series. Hopefully those will be prepped and ready for upload this next week. I’m sorry to those of you who are waiting for this larger update to my portfolio – I didn’t realize just how much work I had in store for me with everything.

I’m keepin’ at it though.
Shouldn’t be long…

MASSIVE Wedding portfolio update! 57 Images!

Break it down!
I think this shot of Kyle from his wedding four weeks ago in Texas pretty much sums up how I feel about getting this most recent update online and available for all of you to view.
This afternoon I uploaded a total of 57 new images to the Weddings section of my portfolio. There are images from four different occasions: The DuBose Wedding, the Knudson Wedding, the D’Orazio Engagement, and the DeLand Wedding… in order of most recent first. The image of Kyle above, is him showing everyone his version of Thriller… I have the entire series of Kyle breaking it down – and it’s hilarious. Maybe I’ll share it in my next blog post. I’m sure many of you read my previous post and saw the portrait I did for Kyle and Tiffanye, right?

Among other shots I selected this image of Tiffanye during the Daddy-Daughter dance. Typically I focus on the father during this moment in the reception. However I love the expression on Tiffanye’s face – she just looks so happy. And the lighting, color, everything else seemed to work in this moment.

And this last image from the DuBose wedding is one of my ultimate favorites from the entire reception. This moment between Kyle and his younger brother is just so pure between the way these two interact and joke. It was very easy to see how happy Ryan was for Kyle that whole day – and I feel I was able to capture that right here.

The Knudson wedding was the second wedding I shot during back-to-back weekends in Michigan while keeping my very busy schedule here in California.
Lisa told me many times on the phone that she “just wanted someone to take pictures during the event” and that “she wasn’t really too worried about it”. I told her that she would probably change her mindset at some point. While I don’t know if she did or not, I wanted to give Craig and Lisa photos that were truly spectacular.
I always say weddings are easy because it’s so simple to photograph two people who truly love each other. And if you read my previous blog post you’ll see how easy it was create great images of these two.

The marina that the Knudson’s chose for the reception was beautiful. After doing portraits, and some fun shots, on the docks/shoreline I found myself in this room with some really great lighting and color to work with. Nearly all the photos on the dance floor were full of purples, violets, and blue due to the color changing ceiling lights. This is their first dance as husband and wife. Please go view this in high resolution since this blog won’t do my shots justice.

Earlier I mentioned that the Daddy-Daughter dance is my favorite dance to shoot. THIS photo of Lisa and her father is EXACTLY why. The amount of emotion in Mr. Favazza’s face as his dances with his little girl says everything. I can’t imagine the feeling of knowing that your baby is all grown up and married; and I can only imagine what it will be like when I’m watching my sister and father share this same moment. Lisa actually told me this evening that this photo makes her tear up when she looks at it. I really feel as though this is one of my best images that weekend.

And the wedding that kicked off my month of madness and traveling all over the U.S. shooting… was Todd’s.
Todd is a former classmate, photographer, and friend from college. And as I’ve said in the blog entry about his wedding weekend, it meant a lot to be flown cross country for his wedding. We had a great time that weekend, too.
This shot above was when we were shooting at the shore, and the guys said “Hey, how ’bout we pick him up…” and they did.. They actually held him there for a while – but I of course ended up liking the very first shot.

Lighting at dusk was a bit tricky, and I appreciated Todd’s full trust and faith in me that I’d manage just fine. This moment during their first dance as husband and wife worked out perfectly. Todd leaned in a kissed Jessica right as they spun toward me. One of so many great moments between this coupleĀ  that I was able to capture on my weekend with their families.

And to end on a fun photo, here’s a shot of Jessica sitting down for the garter belt removal – on the knees of men that were told to kneel for her. Hahaha. Todd then had to crawl up to his new bride and remove the garter; the whole process was hilarious. And I’m pretty sure Jessica enjoyed every moment of it.

I didn’t realize just how crazy the four weeks of weddings and travel would be – I even shot off road racing in the middle of everything. I had such a great time being able to share is moment in the lives of old friends scattered around the country. I’ve received such amazing compliments from everyone as well. Jessica told me her and Todd spent 2 1/2 hours going through their images after receiving them. Lisa and Craig told me they spent a couple hours going through their shots laughing and reliving all the moments from their wedding. And I can’t wait to hear from Kyle and Tiffanye when they receive their discs of photos in the mail.

It took me a bit longer than I anticipated to edit everything. From these wedding, and Mike’s engagement shoot, I took nearly 4,500 images. And a few hundred of those got affected by a small hair that found it’s way in my camera while shooting in a salon – what a pain! But, over all, I’m VERY happy with everything.

Next up I have nearly three months of racing photos to edit. I haven’t done a racing update to my portfolio since the Long Beach Grand Prix – and I’ve photographed tons of events from probably 5 different sports (at least) in that amount of time.
Check back soon for a major racing update. And coming soon I’ll have the racer portrait series online that I started last month.

Good night all!

And Enjoy!

(link to the Weddings section: here)