Meet the Machallisters…

If it rains on your wedding day… have some fun with it!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of shooting Will and Nicole’s wedding in San Jose, Calif. A completely different contrast to the week prior that I spent in Michigan with the Gerhardt-DeLand wedding.
Will and Nicole were actually in town from Colorado – leaving the snow for what turned out to be a rainy, El Nino, weekend in the Bay Area. The first thing I thought of doing with the bride and groom? Galoshes and an umbrella… and figured we’d throw the Maid of Honor and Best Man in there for good measure.

Nicole and Will were both open to any ideas when it came to dealing with the weather. The ceremony was indoors, so we didn’t have that to worry about. We were even able to do a first-look outdoors before the rain started really coming down. The photo above was actually shot during the rain… you can tell by the wet bricks and small puddles forming. Nicole got a bit of mud on her dress prior to the ceremony, but didn’t mind at all since she had fun with the photos – I love brides that are in such great spirits with everything.

The whole weekend that I spent with the families was great. I was welcomed in as one of the family, and ended up spending the entire rehearsal evening, and all day during the wedding festivities with them. I have many, many, photos below that I wish to share with all of you. So, I won’t say much more here but instead comment on a few of the shots ahead.

Check back middle of next week for another update on some other things I’ve been shooting, too!

The morning started out like so many wedding mornings… breakfast, mimosas, and cell phones.. haha!

Nicole… starting her primping.

Achilles was so GQ right then and didn’t even know it…

We did a first-look that way we could knock out the family and wedding party portraits before the wedding. It worked out really well since there ended up being no time to do photos after the ceremony.

Will, lookin good.

Nicole seemed worried about getting her photo taken. I think she looked quite beautiful.

If you look really close, my sister and her fiance are center on these place cards, haha.

Sometimes you gotta drag the guy down the aisle…Paige is gettin her practice in early.

This was incredibly touching. Will had to turn around to get through his vows because looking at his bride at the same time was too much to handle.

Achilles was hanging out with me… front and center, lol!

Paige was definitely one of my favorite subjects that night.

I love shooting the first dance. Always beautiful…

See! See!! Could she have made it any easier to take overly cutesy photos of her?

Honestly, this shot probably better represents Will and Nicole’s personalities and mood that night! They were so much fun!

The cake was awesome. They had two flavors… I had both.

Michelle dived… Seriously, that’s why she’s on the floor…

Well.Will was supposed to pull off the garter.. but..
And look at Michelle (left side) laughing in the background!

Cutest Father-Daughter moment. Ever.

One last slow dance of the evening…

Again, I had a great time with Will, Nicole and both their families over the weekend. I can’t wait to finish more of their photos and see what all I was able to capture for them.
Hopefully you guys made it through all of these. Check back soon for more updates. Or follow my fan page on Facebook, too!

The Gerhardt’s Michigan Winter Wedding

Snow.
That was the first thing I thought of when I was asked by Tara about shooting her January wedding in Michigan. Well, it was probably a mix of “Damn, that’s going to be cold” and “there’s going to be a lot of snow on the ground”.
Tara is Todd’s older sister – my friend who flew me to Michigan last summer to photograph his wedding. Tara and Matt loved my work on Todd and Jessica’s wedding so much, that they contacted me about a month after Todd’s wedding and booked me for theirs.

So, I prepped myself for a cold Michigan winter wedding. I was trying to think of as many different ideas to do with the snow as I could. But, unfortunately a sudden change in the weather melted most of the snow before the wedding. However we were able to do a few winter-y shots. And honestly, having this shot above works perfectly to say “snowy wedding”.

I had another fun weekend with the DeLand family – and the Gerhardt’s were tons of fun as well. It felt like going to see my own family members the way that I was welcomed back and everyone excited that I was there. Matt’s family had heard a lot about me and were all very interested to see how I would handle his wedding images.

I’m very happy with how everything turned out. It was cold (for me), I’m not going to lie. It’s been three years since I’ve been through a Michigan winter – and it was a warm 34 degrees while I was there, too! I’m going to share quite a few images below… so be ready for a very large update.

I leave home again tomorrow, this time to the Bay Area to shoot Nicole and Will’s wedding in Santa Clara. So I’m currently prepping for another trip, packing, and gettin my gear ready… and I’ve only been home 24 hours. Check back in another week for an update on their wedding!

Even the rehearsal dinner was beautifully laid out.

I try not to over use black and white in wedding photos. But moments like this seem to look better unsaturated.

The first kiss… Such an important shot, and the priest almost made me stand to the side during the ceremony “and just redo the shots afterward”. It took a few minutes of talking to convince him to let me kneel front-and-center like I always do. Shot actually looks pretty good for not being allowed to use flash, too.

This was a shot that Matt and Tara already had in mind and asked me about. I was shocked because I just had talked about this same shot with good friend, and incredible wedding photographer, David Esquire a few days before I left for Michigan.

The standard dip shot I do with a lot of my clients. It was under 30 degrees out while we shot these. Matt and Tara did great with braving the cold weather for shots.

First dance as husband and wife. Tara looked so happy.

The Daddy-Daughter dance.. both Tara and her father got a bit emotional at the end.

And speaking of dancing… that’s Grandma Gerhardt gettin down to Cha-Cha slide…

After 57 years of marriage, you still see so much love in Grandma Gerhardt’s eyes when she looks at her husband.

I think I may have confused Tara when I asked her for her rings. But she was pretty happy with the results when I gave them back.

Matt barelyyyy stopped dancing the whole night.

One last dance of the night, and a last kiss on the dance floor before the party ended.

Tara, Me, and Matt

Todd, Me, and Jessica – can’t believe it’s been six months since their wedding already

The end of the night, walking back to the hotel after making a short appearance at the after-party when everyone went to the bar to keep the party going.

Todd, Kent, and me the next day.
Kent was mine and Todd’s Photojournalism professor at Central Michigan University. I’ve been lucky enough to see Kent a few times since moving home to California and even had the pleasure of speaking in one of his classes during one of my trips.

Thanks for reading this far if you made it through the whole post! More images will be on my blog and portfolio later. Now, time to keep packing for my trip to the Bay Area tomorrow!

Peace!

Kickin’ it with Sean Logan

One thing that I love about being a photographer is that I meet some truly amazing people – more often than not, they’re also extremely talented.

I met Sean last month while shooting with Crazy Mike. Sean’s a pro BMXer, stunt rider, etc. Last time we shot I was actually there with a few other photographers/videographers while Sean was filming another project. However yesterday was simply another day at the jumps that Sean called me up and invited me to.

I’m actually pretty happy with most of the images. A huge cloud cover blew in on my drive to the jumps – which killed the lighting and made things pretty bland until sunset. But after sundown things became pretty colorful… for about twenty minutes, haha!

Also jumping that day was Eric Hough. Eric’s great, he always throws tricks really hard to play for my camera – and I always down for that.

Shooting with these guys is fun, they’re really chill and fun to BS with during the shoot. I look forward to working with them more and putting together some more shoots and really mix things up.
As bummed as I was by not having a bright sunny afternoon to shoot, I’m very happy with how the dusk/night images turned out since I’ve been wanting shots like this for my portfolio for quite a while.

This week ahead of me is going to be pretty busy. I’ll be back up in LA/Hollywood tomorrow, shooting with my good friend David Esquire on Tuesday, and then flying out to Michigan on Thursday to shoot Tara and Matt’s wedding this weekend!
I need to put together some more projects for February since I’m pretty booked up the rest of this month. I have some new ideas that I’m working on…

Here’s a few more shots from yesterday for you to enjoy..
Check back later this week for another update; and definitely look for an update this weekend, too!


Eric, in the middle of throwing a full 360.


Danny.

Sean threw a backflip unexpectedly… I was bummed only because I hadn’t framed my shot to include the jump… so I lost quite a bit of effect by him simply floating mid air… next time though… next time..

Crazy Mike and Lyla Dee

Happy New Year to everyone!
Today I want to share more images from my photoshoot with Crazy Mike of WePlayCrazy.com and Lyla Dee, a singer and model here in LA.

When collaborating with Crazy Mike on ideas for this shoot we discussed a few different concepts. I hadn’t spoke with Lyla prior to shooting, so Mike and I just went in knowing that it would work and we’d rock the shoot regardless of a few hurdles.

Now when it came to start, things definitely got hotter.
This entire shoot had a very gritty, rough, edgy and sexy feel. I really wanted this come through in the images with use of very moody and (at times) very harsh light. Both Mike and Lyla were incredible models to work with and I look forward to shooting with either of them again in the future.

For now, I’ll let you guys enjoy the images and see what you think.
Most of these images will be in my portfolio later today, also.

I have a busy rest of January ahead of me. I’m leaving in a week for Michigan, and then to the Bay Area for weddings. Check back soon as I’ll probably squeeze in another model shoot, too.

Lyla has been one of my favorite models I’ve worked with so far. Her amazing attitude and stunning look made for incredible photos. This is probably one of my favorite beach photos in the last six months.

I’m really looking forward to putting together more shoots with Crazy Mike this year.

A year in review; 2009 – an open letter.

Two thousand and nine.
An incredible year to wrap an incredible decade.

I sit here, in the dark, in the glow of my computer screens. Fans from my computer tower are whirring away. I just shut down my brand new medium-format Epson – a Christmas gift to myself. Itunes is quietly playing music in the background. Around my feet are stacks of papers, calendars/flight information, pieces of camera gear, etc.
This my home, my office, my life.

When I try and reflect back on 2009, I’m at a loss of where to start talking since so much has happened. My life was uncertain when this year began. All I knew is that I would somehow stay here in Socal, I would continue to do photography and at some point, someone, would offer be a break.
I had a huge network of friends and family backing me, but, things were beginning to look as though I may need to return to the Bay Area. When February started I was thinking that I might have to leave Socal. But when February ended I was a full-time staff photographer for K&N Engineering, Inc.

I spent my Spring and Summer handling all photography for K&N Engineering and AEM Intakes. So, go pick up a copy of QUAD, Truckin’, Bagger, Import Tuner, Modified, D Sport, or 15+ other magazines and look for an ad by either of those companies… 9/10 times, those photos were shot by me.

I have been published this way in more magazines than I can count. My photography is used across both websites. My images are also in use by many of the racers and race teams that the two companies sponsor. In a matter of just a few months I had already given up trying to keep track of where all my work can be seen.
I used to try and keep clips of everything when I still worked in journalism/news… not anymore though, way too hard.

Also this year my photography has been featured many projects and press releases by my good friend, singer Jesse Hart. Professional BMXer and singer Rick Thorne has used my photography on many occasions for his band The Good Guys in Black.
Singer/songwriter and musician Derek Jameson has featured my photography on his newest CD cover and web media for his music. But the biggest publication work I shot this summer was Derek’s feature in Unzipped magazine. Our five image feature was in the July issue – this was a huge deal for us both.

My summer was a flash of desert races, long hot days at the track, equally long days in a dark studio, and lots of flying. I was humbled this year by how many friends booked me to shoot their weddings. Many of these weddings were hundreds or thousands of miles from me. To be selected to shoot such an important day and flown cross country to do it, was a huge compliment. My wedding photography has come so far since last year – and I was really able to start adding my own style to it, too.

I managed two major trips this year – more than I expected I’d be able to take, haha. My cruise with friends to Mexico was wonderful simply because I was disconnected from the world for three days. For three whole wonderful days I didn’t have cell service, email, texting… anything. I loved every minute of it.
I also was able to take a trip to South Korea. I spent two weeks traveling with my friend Colleen, who I hadn’t seen since college in Michigan. It was great to have her host me and show me around many sites and cities.

My fall and winter has been filled with many smaller projects and individual shoots for models and actors.
The next big release you’ll see of my work… is the 2010 K&N Calendar. You’ve seen teaser images from me the last few months, and I’ll be able to finally debut the final product shortly.

A year of ups and downs.
I still had instances this year that left me a bit blindsided or confused. But each time I’ve come out stronger and clearer of where I was supposed to go. There was less pain in my life this year. There was much less drama. A simple decision to no longer deal with those types of people this year meant that I wasted much less emotion on people or events that may otherwise have affected me more.

This year, 2010, brings with it many new opportunities. My work has gone many new directions and I’m excited to see how the next few months pan out. I will be flying many places for work, including multiple trips to Michigan, Florida, and the Bay Area.

A few shoutouts and Thank You’s to some of the major people who affected my life this year: Monica, Mom, Dad, TJ & Cassandra, Phil & Bryan, Beau, Lauren, Lisa, Stephanie & Adam, Tina H., my Topdown family, Jesse Hart, Rick Thorne, Derek Jameson, Sabrina B., Adam S., Nick O., Chris McEniry, Anthony and Promax Motorsport, K&N Engineering, AEM Intakes, Hart & Huntington, Weller Racing, BME Racing, all the other race teams I worked with, Jose/King, Asura, Todd & Jessica, Craig & Lisa, Kyle and Tiffanye, Arsie, Ahn & Krishan, Kamal, Colleen, Rosa, Ryan & Jenna, and many more of you I’m forgetting to list.

And a big Thank you to all my readers, fans and clients.
Without your support I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

Let’s make 2010 even better than 2009, shall we?