post

The #PrincessMen return to Disneyworld’s PHM Weekend

 

It’s already been a year since our appearance as the #PrincessMen at the Disneyworld Princess Half Marathon weekend in Orlando. And while this year was much smaller than last year in terms of the size of our group, it was arguably a race we were looking forward to even more.

(For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my huge writeup from last year here: Princess Half 2015 )

Planning this year’s race was somewhat tricky in the sense that, well, Life happens. And what I mean by that is 50% of last year’s group wasn’t going to be attending. This was a huge disappointment for me because I knew how much the other runners were looking forward to our return. As I wrote last year, a lot of ladies out on the course found extra energy to continue running and paced with us for a portion of their race. And I knew they were looking forward to us coming back again.

…we even made Buzzfeed this year

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 12.25.33 PM

So Buzzfeed reached out to me several days after the race. We were featured in the Top 10 list of Best Costumes from the race. We came in at Number 1! How awesome is that! Thanks for the support everyone! We’ll be back to full-strength in our numbers next year!

…and on the topic of the smaller-group thing…

Half the group

This year we would be missing Charming, Mulan, Anna, and Beast. For various reasons they couldn’t make the race work with their schedules. Whether it was due to travel during that timeframe. Scheduling and simply not having time to train. Or in the case of Charming, running elsewhere in the race and not with us this year.

12628616_10103694501236918_2177463120019531651_o

So this was going to be the group.
Smaller, yes. But we were still going to have a great time.

Read More

post

The runDisney Princess Half as the #PrincessMen

20150222_075406

The impact we had on others during this race was an unexpected, flattering, and emotional surprise for all of us. What started as a silly joke to laugh at ourselves ended up encouraging others around us through our humor and energy.
It was never about getting a medal for our group. It was about the laughs. And I’m glad we were able to bring that to so many others.
The kind words from everyone, the many posts online of and about us, and the overwhelmingly positive response made our decision to continue this idea next year and beyond an easy one.

So I just recently returned from Orlando where I competed in the DisneyWorld Princess Half Marathon. I know a lot of people laughed when I said I would be doing a race that was such a short distance, and also a Disney race.
For those who don’t know me, I’ve never been big on the idea of “Pay to Run” (by myself). And the races I have started to compete in recently are 140 mile Ironman triathlons – I have three Iron races I’m doing later this year, actually.

The reason I’ve never been keen on paying to run is because I don’t feel like going and running a race by myself just to get a medal, and my newer hobby of triathlons is ridiculously expensive. But as an ex-cast-member the appeal of doing a Disney race with my old lifeguard buddies was still there.

Click the break to read more about our experience as #PrincessMen at runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon!

Read More

post

The Thesing Wedding – Clearwater, FL

JRX_5422

So, last month I was at the Thesing wedding – pronounced “Tess-ing”…
Did you guys know that we’ve all pronounced Aaron’s last wrong for ten years and he never bothered correcting us?! I’m completely serious. Aaron NEVER corrected us… ten years… TEN years, guys. Joe and I couldn’t believe it.
Seriously. We – as in “all of us from lifeguarding” – have pronounced it THES-ing… apparently the “H” is silent. Ha! Joe and I, in shock (TEN!!!) asked Aaron why he never said anything. Aaron laughed and said “Well, how often do you guys really use my last name… and it’s not like you don’t know who I am. So it didn’t matter”.

Just wait til my wedding, guys. You’ll find out that you’ve pronounced my name wrong all these years, too!

So a little back story for those of you who don’t know much about me and my past. I lived and worked in Florida briefly during college. While working as a lifeguard and lifeguard trainer for the Disneyworld Water Parks I made some of my closest and best friends that I still keep in touch with and visit to this day. The choice of going to Florida during 2003 was easily one of the most significant impacts on my entire life.

rbjrat

Above: Ryan, Me, and Aaron – somewhere on Disney property. I’m fairly sure it’s at Disney Quest. 

Anyway, because of that decision I have friends scattered all over the country. Most of them I still keep in touch with to this very day. And quite a few of them I’ve even done photography for.
But the coolest part, for me, is the amount of weddings of these great friends I’ve been able to attend. When Aaron proposed to Danielle and then invited me as part of a very small list of friends and family I knew I would have to figure out how to get out to Florida for what would be my second of three trips to Orlando in 2013. It didn’t take long for me to convince myself to just put the trip on my credit card and go have a great time with my friends out there. I’ve been to pretty much every wedding of all my Disney friends that have invited me (in Texas, Boston, Oregon, Calif., etc.).
I wasn’t about to miss Aaron’s.

While working as lifeguards in ’03 Aaron and I were carpool buddies for several months. It worked out well since Aaron had a car in Florida and I’m punctual and always wake up on time for work. So, I would knock on his door at 6:45 each morning, and he’d wake up grab his things, and we’d leave for work at 7:30 at Blizzard Beach. Haha! He’s also been a great host to me over the years when I would visit Florida on Spring Break or during various trips. I crashed with him at his place two or three times – including during my move to England for school when I stayed at his place for several days before leaving the US.

After seeing Danielle and Aaron in March when I was in town to photograph the American Le Mans season opener race I knew I had to solidify plans for the weekend of the wedding. Danielle gave me permission to bring Joe as my date since he’s another Disney friend of Aaron’s and I don’t have a girlfriend/wife to bring anyway, lol. The week that I went out to Orlando – and eventually Clearwater – for their wedding I spent most on my laptop working and doing email.
But regardless of how busy I was with email/calls on the weekdays leading up to the weekend, the actual ceremony and two days in Clearwater with Joe, Aaron, Danielle and their families was a blast.

I had permission from both Danielle and Aaron to take some photos during their wedding, too! Which to me, is great. I’m all for enjoying the ceremony, however photography is enjoyable for me. And, more importantly, I want my own photos of such an important event in my friends lives.

So I’ll stop rambling and reminiscing about Florida, Disney, and all my great memories with my friends there. Click past the break for over 150 photos from the Thesing wedding!

Read More

Rock on, Wingers! Well, a little, huh Sarah?

Rock on!
Haha! Sarah was told that she would have to love everything about Erik, including his love for KISS. She agreed.. a little.

Two weeks ago I was in St. Augustine, Florida to shoot the wedding of Sarah Fisher and Erik Winger. Sarah is actually an old friend that I’ve known a number of years. We met through mutual friends. I used to train lifeguards for the Disneyworld Water Parks in Florida, and she’s a performer for Disneyworld and Universal Studios. We’ve kept in touch over the years despite being across the country and she’s followed my work, too.

So, about a year ago when Erik proposed, Sarah contacted me to figure out what it was going to take to get me out to Florida to shoot for her.  This was a big deal for me too. It means so much to me when someone wants to fly me across the country to shoot – and I’ve been booked out of state quite a bit this year. Also, Sarah has been one of the first to comment on every wedding that I’ve shot and added to my Facebook page and point out that “you’re shooting my wedding in a few months!”

I arrived in Orlando a bit early and then traveled with Erik and Sarah to St. Augustine where the wedding would be. I know that Sarah mentioned she was concerned that Erik and I wouldn’t have a lot of time to get to know each other before the wedding the day. I personally feel it’s important that I have a chance to meet the bride and groom before the wedding day if possible so they can get to know me and I can get to know them. Erik and I ended up getting along great – to the point where our joking around and sarcasm was bugging Sarah. I’m pretty sure there was a moment or two she had to say “Hey you’re MY friend” when I was siding with Erik on something, haha. Love you both!

The entire weekend spent with them was great. Their ceremony was beautiful. And there was just so much love and adoration between the two of them that I was able to watch. Honestly, it was wonderful to see Sarah so incredibly happy after all the frustration that came with putting the wedding together.

As usual, I’ll caption a number of the shots below and save you guys from reading too much text here.

And yes, my signature shot I do with most of my clients in some form. We weren’t too sure about beach access for images, but I’ll touch on that a bit later.

Please, read on after the break! I have over 100 images to share with everyone. Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below, or contact me directly via email.

Read More

Another friend married, Theresa Payne.. er, Spoeneman!

Blue eyes is what pretty much anyone will say they remember when they meet Theresa. She has bright, bright blue eyes that everyone notices immediately. They were the focus of this photo… well, actually Theresa made her goofy expressions the main part of this image. But when I heard that she was engaged, among the first things I thought was “Perfect, I know exactly what bridal portrait I was to create with her”.
Cuz that’s what all creative photographers do, right? We use our gorgeous friends for creating beautiful photos, hahaha.

Theresa is a friend of mine from when I was a lifeguard and lifeguard trainer in Florida, at Disneyworld. We are part of a core group of friends, mostly lifeguards, that all spent a good portion of 2003 living and working together. Her wedding was a small reunion for some of us who hadn’t seen each other in years.

This posting will include a number of personal shots since these are my old friends. Typically I keep personal things off this blog, but this is different and I’m even in some of the group shots, too. Overall we had a great time hanging out in Downtown Portland and catching up on life. It was a crazy and hectic week – did I mention I flew to Portland for this wedding less than 24 hours after landing back in California from spending the week shooting in Michigan at the D’Orazio wedding? Yeah, didn’t sleep much at all.

Anyway, enjoy the photos. I’ll put more info in the captions!

Read More