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The Lanza Wedding, New Jersey

 

The Lanza Wedding.

I just returned home to California from Joe and Erin’s wedding out in Jersey. At I have to say spending the last three weeks with these two was a blast. Yep. Three weeks.
So let elaborate a bit more on who I am for those who might just know me as “Joe’s California friend”. I’ve known Joe for 13 years. We did the Disney College Program together. Ironically, while we knew each other somewhat during that 9 months at Disney, we moved in different social circles. So we actually never hung out. It wasn’t until a few months after returning home, and re-connecting online as all us former-lifeguards did to keep in touch, that was when Joe and I realized how much we had in common.
He’s been a very dear friend of mine ever since.

And while many friendships since our days at Disney have changed, I would quickly point out that Joe and I have only become better friends over the years.
During my many trips back out to Florida I stayed with Joe over half of them. And on those trips spending most of the time sitting around talking was pretty much the norm.
Joe would joke with me that “Your room is always available” about his guest room in his apartment. And when him and Erin recently bought their house, one of the spare rooms they both refer to as “John’s room”. It’s funny, but also very sweet.

But what the most fun part of the entire Lanza wedding as a whole? In any aspect?

That’s easy. It’s having been part of Joe’s life, and now Joe-and-Erin’s-life, long enough to go from those college-years-conversations with Joe about “I don’t think I’ll get married, John” to “Things are pretty serious with Erin, man..” and eventually “I’m going to propose.”

That was very cool.

And I love Erin – she and Joe are great together. And to be part of their wedding weekend (and entire wedding month pretty much) was great. But before I get into all that, let’s have some fun and take a stroll down memory lane. Shall we?
I have the most extensive photo record of our circle of friends since ’03… so this’ll be fun to zip through real quick ;)

What do you say, you guys ready to scroll through tons of photos?
How about you, Joe?

FLA Jan 2006 191

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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

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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.

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

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The Thesing Wedding – Clearwater, FL

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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.

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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!

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12 Hours of Sebring 2013 – Le Mans

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I’ve been putting off and putting off posting up photos from my experience at The 12 Hours of Sebring this year.
Mostly because my photos were so screwed up that I simply didn’t (and still don’t) want to edit the majority of them… I’m guessing that many of you read my blog post titled: “My New, Damaged, Canon 1D-X. And Canon USA’s refusal to help” If not, click the link and you’ll immediately see why I haven’t edited much from that trip. And you read the whole thing it will be sure to piss you off at the lack of customer service I dealt with.

However, now that we’re approaching the THIRD Le Mans race of the 2013 season, I wanted to share my images from Florida before people simply didn’t care anymore… if they don’t already. Haha!

My original plan at Sebring was to freelance and attempt to sell my services to various teams at the race that weekend. But that hope was dashed as soon as it was clear my camera was damaged and all my photos would require serious editing.

I did do a bit of work for John Edwards Racing though. So, my focus was the M-Power BMW you see up top.

Go ahead and click the break for a large assortment of shots from Sebring. The majority will be dusk and night photos since those are the images I was able to edit quickly and without much editing because the damage to the sensor was not visible as wide-open apertures.

Enjoy!

I’m currently on my way to Atlanta for Formula Drift this weekend and not Monterey for Le Mans. So, this is very likely my only American Le Mans Series post of the year unfortunately.

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American Le Mans 12 Hours of Sebring w/ Falken Tire

I love Florida. I used to live there… years ago. And I don’t get back nearly as much as I would like to.
But last weekend I was back out in the Sunshine State for the 12 Hours of Sebring – the kickoff to the 2012 American Le Mans racing season. I was shooting for Falken Tire.

It’s been a month since I’ve posted a new blog. I’m so incredibly behind on updates, and I feel terrible about it. I know there are quite a few people out there who do read my blogs and are genuinely interested in my stories. Over the last month, in addition to shooting more Supercross for Falken, I have also worked with several models on different shoots as well as a full shoot with the Budweiser Girls in Orange County. I should probably create blogs with those photos for everyone, too.

But, anyway, I know thousands of people follow my work between Twitter and Facebook, and knew I was out in Sebring for a little race photography.

Ok. Let’s be real. It was a LOT of race photography. I was there to make sure that Falken had plenty of images from the race of their brand new 2012 Porsche on the track. I spent about four days with the Falken crew between traveling and shooting. I always enjoy the chances I have to work with their team. They’re amazing people. I was particularly interested in meeting their ALMS race team. I had been in loose contact with someone who handles their @FalkenALMS twitter feed. Whoever it was was someone that was very interactive – a trait you RARELY see from industry people. Turned out it was their PR Rep, Kelly. She’s awesome if you ever meet her.

I also got the chance to see two of their models again; Brittney and Melanie were both their to support the team this past weekend. I hadn’t had a chance to see Melanie since our shoot in Malibu several months ago – and this was the first opportunity I would have to get her to sign my poster. Haha! Brittney and I saw each other at Supercross. So now, after this trip, I have my poster complete! Silly things like getting signatures from models on pieces of my work mean a lot to me.

Most of my weekend was spent on foot though. I was walking around the track numerous times trying to get an idea of the corners and locations. I had never been to Sebring so I wasn’t familiar with the layout. The downside to all the walking was the 30+ pounds of gear I was carrying. On the one hand I could have left most of it in the rig at the paddocks. On the other hand I was out at two or three hours at a time and rather have all my stuff with me so I wouldn’t have to keep leaving the track.

I had an amazing time out at Sebring. I took a bit of video, too. I was hoping to do some behind the scenes type clips to show everyone what it’s like to see the race how I see it. However with all the gear I was already carrying it was too much to also try and get video and I didn’t come home with as many clips as I would have liked.

I shot over 2,500 photos over the weekend. I threw out 500 or so yesterday. And from the remaining I made a selection of about 60 to share with you guys below. So, click past the break… check out my weekend at the races.

Oh, and I promise I’ll get back on top of my blogs in the next week and have an update for you guys with other recent work of mine.

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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.

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HDR… took me about 10 minutes…

So I’m not really sure why I had trouble with HDR post processing before… But tonight I had some time to kill… Eh, who am I kidding, I’ve barely been sleeping. It’s currently 3:30am and I’m up working on photos still. Haha.
Anyway, last time around I had trouble correctly processing any images to become close to something that would even look somewhat HDR-ish…. Tonight though, it was a piece of cake.

This, over exagerated image, is Tampa. I shot this a year ago on a business trip I took while doing a bit of work for Nikon. I remember shooting it thinking “if I ever learn HDR, I bet it’d look pretty cool”. I’m going out on a limb and saying that I suceeded.

This photo I shot in San Francisco a while ago when I was wandering the streets with my g/f at the time. I was surprised at how clean this one turned out. Makes me almost want to sell my S2000 and buy a muscle car.

Speaking of S2000’s… here’s another shot from yesterday’s track day…

On a rainy track day… everyone becomes a drifter… whether you want to or not.

So, it’s closing in on 4am. I should really try and sleep, or something.
I may have some people lined up for the holiday shoots I was planning. Keep posted here to  see if I pull them off. I also have a fashion shoot coming up, and retro motorcycle shoot, a motorcycle stunting shoot, and who knows… maybe some HDR now, too.