BLOG: 2016 in Review

Wow, where does the time go! This is my first “Year in Review” since 2011. Why the long drought? Well, the biggest change was that we welcomed our firstborn, Odin, in December of 2012. Two years later, came his sister Teagan in December of 2014. Three short months later, we moved back to Virginia to be closer to family. Yeah, it’s been a little busy.

2016 was my first full year back on the East Coast and it was a really good year for my business. It did come with some sacrifice though. Now that I’m based in a small town, I have to travel a lot more than I did when I was based in Portland. Of the 35 shoots I did last year, only 4 were in Charlottesville and just 16 in Virginia. I’ve flown more miles for work in the last two years than I did in the last 5 years I lived in Portland. I’ve had shoots in Buffalo, New York City, The Hamptons, LA, Silicon Valley, DC, Ohio, Maryland, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, San Diego, and have been back to Portland, OR 3 times. I was on the road or flying for 57 days in 2016 with one shoot lasting almost two weeks.

I really have to thank my wonderful wife, Lauren, and our family in Virginia for their support and help with our young family during this time of transition. I feel very grateful to have them so that I can do something I love for a living and that it’s able to help support a family of 4 (7 if you count our three cats 🙂

On to the work. I have a lot of images to share and I’ll give a brief comment what each shoot was for. Coming soon will be a big update to my portfolios featuring work I’ve shot for Hunter Douglas, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Prometheus Real Estate Group, and many more. Thanks for visiting and looking forward to an even better 2017.

Country Living Cover Feature – I actually shot this in 2015, but it wasn’t published until January of 2016. A cover feature is a really nice way to start the year. Shot in Franklin, TN (near Nashville), I had a great time on this shoot because it was a beautiful home to photograph and, more importantly, the owners were so friendly. They had that true Southern Charm that just makes you feel like you’ve known them for years.

One of my trips back to Portland included doing a shoot of Jessica Helgerson’s new office space in downtown. It’s amazing open space and the front lobby is used a gallery. When I shot it, the installation I HAVE LOVE IN MY HEART AS A THIEF HAS RICHES by Mike Rathbun was truly something to behold.

On that same trip, I photographed a bathroom and kitchen remodel by Mosaic Design. Owner Erin Davis has a great eye for form working in harmony with function. These lovely spaces were styled by my good friend Bergren Rameson.

My last stop in Portland was to shoot some image library work for Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. This shoot featured was focused on energy efficient water heaters, so we did a lot of shots featuring models interacting with water at home. The shoot was superbly produced by Brooke Alley and skillfully art directed by Deena Tucker of CLEAResult. GO GREEN!

When I got back to Virginia, I photographed an amazing plantation home turned B&B called North Point Plantation The house was built in the 1740s and it’s the oldest home I’ve ever photographed. As a bonus, it’s the first shot I’ve ever taken with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Can’t believe it’s taken this long!

I then headed up to Arlington, VA to photography a totally green public elementary school designed by VMDO. Discovery Elementary is powered 100% by solar power and uses geo thermal for heating, and air exchange for cooling. It’s a powerful example of what can be done with public buildings. Read more about here on VMDO’s website. I definitely would have liked school more if I went to a place like this.

Here’s where the travel really kicks in. I first drove up to The Hamptons on Long Island to photograph the new home of Edgar Papazian (of the famous Eyebrow House) called Triangle House. Edgar is brilliant architect and it’s an honor to photograph for him.

After that, I headed up to Buffalo, NY for a 3 day shoot to create 2 ads and new look books for high end US furniture maker Gunlocke. The furniture is hand made in Upstate and is the utmost in high quality. We did have some challenges finding spaces to shoot 10 ft long tables. Luckily, the great crew in Buffalo helped me out tremendously. Special thanks to John Tacaks for being my producer. The shoot was art directed by the talented Karrie Rowe of Truth Collective and styled prop & wardrobe by Raina Kattelson.

Then it was then back to Portland to shoot for The Joinery. We shot for 10 setups for their 2016 catalog in their downtown Portland showroom. Styled by Bergren Rameson, she did amazing job making a retail space look like a home. I usually shoot predominantly natural light, but this shoot was all strobe lit. Very proud of how it came out.

I also was back in Portland to shoot three buildings for Hassalo on Eighth. Right before I moved away from Portland, I photographed a lifestyle campaign to promote these three new apartment buildings being built in the Lloyd district of Portland. This time, I was here to shoot the finished product and got some great architectural shots. Art Directed by Laurie Sykes of Lumin PDX.

Back to the East Coast, I headed up to Washington, DC to photograph the high luxury apartment building Arris for Forest City. A great shoot that featured a nice mix of architecture, fashion, and lifestyle. The two day shoot produced over 70 final images!

It’s now June and my first job in Charlottesville finally comes in with a golf travel story about Keswick Hall for DISTINCTION Magazine. I’ve been really hoping to shoot more hospitality and this was a great opportunity to capture some new work. Art directed by EJ Toudt, we had a blast bombing around in golf carts early in the morning shooting their Golf Pro hitting the links.

Staying in Virginia for a little bit, I photographed the newly remodeled home of Sherry + John Petersik of the well-known blog (and book) Young House Love for HGTV Magazine. The shoot just featured their kitchen, but what a great kitchen it was. We spent all day getting some really fantastic shots of this well designed space. Sherry and John are also super down to earth and fun to talk to. They have a great podcast and are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.

On the road again, this time to Ohio to shoot a column called “I Did It” for Better Homes & Gardens. I photographed blogger Bre Bertolini (BrePurposed) who took an old broken down dresser and elevated it to mid-century chic. Bre also has a great behind the scenes post on her blog if you want to see what it takes for the fairly straight forward shoot.

After that, I jetted out to LA to shoot a lifestyle image library for Forest City’s upcoming luxury apartment building called Axis. The building is still under construction, so we just had a pair of models we shot all over the streets of downtown LA. Part fashion, part editorial, and all run and gun. It was pretty exciting to just wing it and make some cool images for their website and marketing materials. I also shot a lot of urban vignettes that are closer to my personal work and they found some great uses for them.

My next shoot was thankfully back home. I photographed the Charlottesville office of Nelson Bryrd Woltz (a well-known landscape architecture firm) designed by Robert and Cecilia Nichols of Formwork Architecture. Robert and Cecilia are have been family friends for a long time and I have always respected their work. I’m very happy to be shooting for them nowadays.

My biggest trip of the year came in July when I headed out to Silicon Valley to shoot seven luxury apartments for Prometheus Real Estate Group. I had shot 3 properties for them in 2015 and they were so happy with the results, they had us back to shoot 7 more! This was a huge production. We had 4 models a day, wardrobe & prop stylists, hair & makeup stylists, a digital tech, a quintet of assistants, dogs, cats, kids, you name it. I could never of handled it all by myself and that’s why I work with the best producer in the world, Heather Smith of Smith & Union. 7 days of shooting, 2 days of scouting, and 2 days of travel and not a single hiccup. Amazing things can happen when you work with the best people.

The next shoot published, I actually shot in 2015 as well. This fall feature for Country Living was shoot down in Alabama. An amzing retreat cabin owned by the Koehler family is deep in the country and so sweetly rustic. The family keeps their horses there and uses the land for sport hunting. A very nice place to get away and relax. Amazingly styled by Raina Kattelson

Towards the end of the year, I shot three projects designed by VMDO at Liberty University. Liberty is currently undergoing a large expansion and I got to shoot their new Student Center, Basketball Practice Facility, and Science Building. On this project, VMDO did an excellent job of blending modern esthetics with the feel of traditional educational architecture.

My last big job of the year was at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City. Shooting an image library for the UBS, we used the WTC Hub as a background to create some very contrasty minimal lifestyle imagery. We had to jump through a lot of hoops to get permission to shoot here and I really owe a big thank you to my producer Heather Smith for making this happen. Styled by incredible Ashley Montague.

A very good year indeed. Not everything I shot was featured, but my business New Year’s Resolution is to blog more. Subscribe by clicking here and you’ll get my posts delivered as soon as the come.

Cheers and Happy New Year!