Two weekends ago, I met Krista and Sam at Denver’s Union Station for a quick engagement photo session. As soon as we met they let me know they didn’t really want anything super posed or cheesy. I told them, no problem, and that I’d just document them talking and hanging out in various spots. So, what you see below, is them. All them. They are adorable together. We had such a good time walking around Union Station chatting and taking photos. They even danced on the train platform! Later that night I also photographed them at a local swing dance as well. I can not wait for their August wedding!
I had the great privilege of not only photographing Robin and Faye’s wedding in June but surprising them as well! Yes, they had no idea I was going to be there or photographing their wedding. It was a huge surprise that my parents and I had planned for months.
These two wonderful women have been part of my life since I was young. They have been part of my extended family, rooting me on and encouraging me through the years. They were finally able to get married this year in Florida, their home state.
They decided to rent a gorgeous riverside house for the week and hold their ceremony on the back patio overlooking the river. Their casual Florida wedding was filled with laughter, happiness, and tears of joy, as family and friends gathered to celebrate their marriage. Stones customized with their initials that they had everyone hold during the ceremony and then toss into the river with a wish, birds flying overhead, and stunning sunsets were just some of small pieces that made up their incredible day.
Meet Aaron and Laurel, two of my best friends. I’ve known them since I moved to Albuquerque almost eight years ago. They have been together even longer than that and are finally getting married! Wahoo! Together they make up such a strong team that nothing, not even cancer, stands a chance at weakening their relationship.
They are both vintage aficionados so naturally a vintage engagement session was right up their alley. We decided that the train depot in Santa Fe was the place to start. It was a FREEZING cold Saturday in late February but you can’t tell from the photos. They were troopers and really didn’t let the cold bother them. We did make sure to bundle them up in between shots. Luckily (for us) the Santa Fe Southern Railway service is currently suspended (perhaps because it’s winter?), which meant the beautiful teal train that can be ridden for tours and events, was parked in place and not going anywhere. It made the perfect spot for their photos. We were very lucky. Laurel even brought along a vintage suitcase as a prop! We really hadn’t planned everything so down to the detail, but everything fell into place better than we could have imagined.
During the shoot we all needed a break from the cold and wind and wandered into the Sanbusco mall nearby. There I spied a local bookstore with piles of books. Laurel is a constantly hungry book worm, so I knew this would be a great spot for some photos. With the store’s permission we did a few quick photos in there too. Thank you op.cit. books! We made a few more stops around the area after we had thoroughly defrosted, including outside the Jean Cocteau Cinema and an art gallery with a beautiful blue LOVE art piece out front. Our final stop was to Kakawa Chocolate House for some hot chocolate to warm up. It was a great afternoon with some very dear friends.
Congrats again to you two and can’t wait for your big day! Love you both so much! ♥
Disclaimer: This is a post that is at least a year overdue.
The last camera to have the privilege of me hauling it around everywhere I went was my Canon 5DmkII, with my 50mm attached when I wasn’t on assignment. This all changed almost two years ago. My co-worker and staff photojournalist at the Albuquerque Journal Roberto Rosales had purchased the Fuji X-Pro1, I borrowed it and then couldn’t get it out of my mind.
It was like the first time I held my medium format Yashica 635 and knew that camera was going to be attached to me for a long time. However, with that love affair I was dealing with film. Which I love. But didn’t have the time and energy to keep up with the developing and scanning. I still have undeveloped rolls from it in my desk, more on that another time. But that camera went with me everywhere at the time. I hauled it around on many of my assignments for the paper and snapped one frame every once in a while. It was magical. It made me stop, plan, and focus.
This Fuji was in that playing field. The realm of “magical” cameras. I don’t believe a camera can make you a better photographer, oh no, but sometimes when you hold a camera you realize it has the potential to be a bigger part of your life than just a small piece of (often expensive) equipment. I jumped in and bought the Fuji X-E1 with a 35mm lens, right before hitting the road for the summer in 2013. I also packed my Canon 5DmkII, not yet convinced I would be completely devoted to using the Fuji. I used my Canon twice on that road trip. Once for long night exposures and once because I needed a wide angle lens. Other than that, the Canon was buried way in the back of the car under camp equipment and my new Fuji was glued to my hand.
Maybe it was just the thrill of a new camera you say? Almost two years later I’ve since upgraded to the Fuji X-E2 and added two other Fujifilm x-mount lenses to my bag. It’s still glued to my hand. Sure there are some small limitations and I do occasionally still drag out my Canon 5DmkII, but my Fuji is always with me. The color profiles, the size, the un-intruding nature of it, the built-in wifi, and the quality of the images SOOC are all amazing. I could gush more, but there are more technical reviews for that. When I shoot an assignment or an event with both my Fuji X-E2 and my Canon 5DmkII, the Fuji wins every time in my book. The Canon has been retired to the huge camera backpack I leave at home. I only use my Canon for shooting dance events, and even in that case I’m starting to use it less and less and trying to rely solely on the Fuji. The Fuji’s auto-focus system has improved leaps and bounds in the past two years, but for fast action it’s still not quite perfect. I hear word the Fuji X-T1 can keep up in fast action situations, so I have high hopes for future software and camera upgrades.
Updated 4/15/15 : I realize I completely forgot to mention one of my other top reasons for loving Fujifilm. The amount of firmware updates for the cameras and lens are astonishing. Unlike Canon and Nikon, both which I’ve shot with extensively, Fuji releases updates more often with great new features and bug fixes. So even if you’ve had your camera for over a year and they are releasing a new camera with new features, often (not always) those features will be available to your older camera as well through a firmware update!
For last summer’s travels I only used my Fuji X-E2 and I couldn’t have been happier. I drove out to California with my fiancé and then had many short weekend trips to California to visit him throughout the summer. When traveling so much, the Fuji didn’t weigh me down. And I didn’t feel limited. By then I had added the 18mm to my bag and could get the wide angle shots that I had wanted my Canon for the year before. Not that I really needed the 18mm by the way, one can always walk backwards to get a wider shot, unless there’s a cliff behind you.
The camera doesn’t make or break photography for me, as I’m sure another camera will come along and makes me just as happy. Practically speaking, it has also helped me eliminate the back pain I was having from carrying my DSLRs everywhere, so there’s that too. In the end, a camera is a tool and this tool is a great match for me.
Photos from summer 2014 travels.
During Feb. 26-28, 2015 Albuquerque received the most significant amount of snow since 2006. My main concern throughout the two nights of snow was to make sure our photo staff at the Albuquerque Journal did a great job covering the storm in photos. So my days were filled with planning and anticipating what was going to happen across the city that needed to be documented. The only times I got a chance to take some photos myself were at night right before crawling into bed. Both Thursday night and Friday night, my fiancé and myself ventured out into the cold falling snow. We hiked from our house down to Central Avenue. Both times were really just excursions for myself to snap some photos. I grew up in Florida, so to some degree snow still excites me even though I’ve experienced it many times by now. And I love night time landscape or cityscape photography. Things just look different at night and I love that. Anyway, here are some photos from our excursions on both nights as the snow was still falling. I shot them with my Fuji X-E2 that I really wish was weather sealed. I may have to grab the X-T1 next, as my Fuji has become my camera of choice and I obviously don’t fear shooting in extreme weather conditions…
For this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta I soared above the event with KOAT, covering the fiesta from the sky. I’ve done this now three separate years and each year is just as exciting. It might sound glamorous but each year it means getting up around 3:30 am to get some breakfast and get to the airport in time to catch my ride. That’s pretty darn early, but so worth it.
Our photo staff at the Albuquerque Journal covers every single day of the nine day event each year. Our staff photographers are out on the ground each morning, inside and outside of the park, photographing the balloons as they blanket our city. Everyone has their favorite spots to view the balloons from after covering the fiesta for years. It’s always interesting to see how everyone sees the fiesta through their lens, as each photographer documents it differently each year. To see more photos from the entire photo staff at the Albuquerque Journal check out our gallery: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2014.
Summer is monsoon season in New Mexico. I grew up in Florida so I have to admit, I thought monsoon season was a bit overrated when I moved here seven years ago. After living with daily Florida storms that would last a few hours during the summer, quickly followed by hurricane season, monsoon season was basically, “we get 15 minutes of rain during the summer in New Mexico.”
Over the years though I have come to appreciate monsoon season. The storms that roll through are so brief and yet the building clouds, the swirling sky, the moisture, and the sunsets left behind are all so memorable and refreshing.
We photograph the rain, the storms, the (occasional) damage, every year. This year is no different. It was another day in a week of anticipated daily rain and we needed an A1-worthy rain photo to go with a story. Problem was, it had yet to rain that day so the only art we had was going to be old for the next day’s print. Right around deadline (right before sunset) the sky started to darken but the only staff photographer who was working at that time had an assignment that he couldn’t leave. So I grabbed my camera and ran out the door in search of a rainy photo. I normally only work the desk now so it’s rare I get to do any dashing-out-the-door in search of a photo.
I went to an overlook of the city downtown that I had found another day during a storm. The rain wasn’t spectacular, there was no lightning, and the clouds were just a solid layer of gray. Of course. I waited it out and just when I was about to give up hope because the rain was stopping and the deadline was inching so very close, I turned around and there was a double rainbow over the city. Click. Run around the area looking for the best composition. Click. Click. And then it faded away.