2015 has been an amazing year for me, I'm not trying to boast but the individuals who know me personally know it started rough but where I'm currently at is on top of the world. When you think you're at rock bottom things get better and in order to see the light you have to remove the clouds even if it includes people who you thought were supposed to be in your "happy ending." This year has been the type of year I will forever reflect on, I've further found myself, and continually dedicate myself to my talents rather than sulk about the irrelevant troubles in my past. My art has displayed that, I won't point out the details but my instagram had 240 photos removed but if you pay attention you can see where I stopped worrying and started loving. When the camera is in my hand everything else stops, I have one objective and it's to document until the battery dies and the card fills.
In moving back to Des Moines I got back in the loop with the crew at the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. Zach, Brennan, and Dan are three individuals I would take a bullet for as they completely understand me and were present when I was at my worst. We've been doing a lot of things lately many of which I don't have permission to discuss but as always tornado chasing was a thrill and I finally witnessed one with my own eyes in August while in southeastern Nebraska. The image was used to confirm tornado touchdown by the national weather service and was also shared by storm chaser Reed Timmer. I've never done cocaine but finally witnessing a tornado and documenting it has easily been the most surreal experience in my life. The tornado dropped after sunset so with the A7 and a tripod I achieved some long exposures to actually capture it in a still. Sure it would be nice to have had an A7s2 but that's on the wishlist for next year. I've taken on numerous roles in regards to social media for the group and it's overwhelming yet simultaneously rewarding. Be sure to like the Facebook page and visit www.iowachase.com
On October 2nd I made the trek to the North Shore of Minnesota for the first time in years with Brennan Jontz. A photo adventure weekend we planned on a whim, I took a day off from my job so we could leave Thursday night. We left the Des Moines metro at 11pm with Duluth as our destination. Brennan got us to the Iowa / Minnesota border and then we swapped seats as I channeled my former private investigator overnight driving skills to ensure we were in Duluth photographing the sunrise by 6am. We arrived at a rest stop overlook of the city around 5:15 with some time to spare we grabbed the tripods and cameras with the intentions of shooting the city in its peaceful state. After one still I noticed something off about my image, I removed the lens to check the rear element and everything seemed fine. I put the lens back on and attempted to take another image, some unwelcome messaged flashed on the LCD screen telling me to restart my camera. I was flustered and shocked, my trusty A7 had become a brick. I drove 6 hours to find out I'm on a photography trip without the camera I've become so familiar with over the past two years. I figured surely I have the VG20 in my camera bag so all hope isn't lost. In our hastily rush to get out of town the VG20 was left behind in my vehicle back in Iowa. So without any clue on what to do I did what any intelligent person would do. I reached out to an individual who came through when it counted. Jimmy Ton a representative for Sony answered my message within minutes and within 3 hours I had received news that a loaner A7 would be overnighted by a Sony representative stationed in Minneapolis. It was a relief, in the 24 hours of being without a camera I accompanied Brennan and shot on my recently upgraded cell phone, the LG G4. It is the first camera to offer complete manual camera controls and shoots 16 megapixel stills and allows for images to be saved as raw files. With an aperture of 1.8 it was truly tested as we explored the North Shore. We made the trek to further north and camped on the side of what I would call a mountain, however Brennan had just returned from climbing 14,000 foot mountains so for the sake of my story we will call it a large hill that required us to climb 1.5 miles to get to the top which included all of the gear and a tent. The results were sleeping under the stars with the Northern Lights over our tent. Sure it was near freezing, however the Northern Lights were amazing and the scenery with nothing but water and trees accented it perfectly.
2015 has hands down been the best year yet in regards to various locations throughout Minnesota and Iowa for weddings. I've seen multiple parts of both states as well as met some pretty amazing couples. I had the opportunity to second shoot for my only friend that lives in Boston, the great Andrew San. We converse when we have downtown and he was in a pickle and managed to allow me to meet two more incredible couples this year. I'll cover further into details about the weddings in another post for the sake of this diatribe.
As the year comes to a close im thankful for so many clients, friends, family, and cameras. Things are in the greatest forward motion of my life and I can proudly state I've never been happier. I will dive into details on the new pricing structures, my new vehicle, the never-ending wishlist and what's around the corner! Multiple boudoir events will be announced soon as well as a few collaborations with local talent.
If you made it this far congratulations you're either a stalker or a genuine supporter and either way I'm going to say thanks.