Monday, January 2, 2012

It's a New Year! Time for a Flashback

Normally my first blog of the year is Imaging USA, which is in New Orleans this year!  I can't wait.  But I just noticed a blog by a photographer I know, Kenneth Rodriguez, who posted his 15 favorite images of his from 2011.  "What a great idea!" I thought.  "I'm totally stealing it!"  So here I am, making elena-dee's Eleven Best Images from 2011 (in no real order).  I hope you guys agree!!

First off, my little cousins Brian and Mikayla!  Their dad, my cousin Paul, asked me to do family portraits for them over the summer.  We did a lot of traditional portraits of the family but I also got some super cute shots of the B and Mik just playing around.  They're such great kids and I absolutely love them.

Rowan.  I've known her family pretty much my entire life and so got to take some fun photos of her with cupcakes.  She was psyched because she got to eat some of them.  I wish I remembered what her dad said to get this look!

Melody.  Crazy little model/musician, her shoot was SO FUN!  She had great ideas and awesome outfits/props.  I adored the lighting in this shot, and her angles.  Girl knows how to pose!

I didn't shoot as many live shows as I usually do this year, but of them, Livan's set at the Hard Rock Cafe definitely stood out.  Maybe because it this was the first time I used my new 85mm f1.4 lens, maybe because we talked to him for awhile and he had a lot of really interesting things to say.  Or it could also be because this is a freaking sweet picture.

A couple years ago, when Resistance 13 started up, I did their promo shots out I don't even know where.  Ohio, I think?  It was awesome and we got some really sweet pictures.  They've gone through a line-up change since so new photos were needed!  Once again we got a lot of great shots but this is definitely my personal favorite.

 A couple years ago, when I started doing senior pictures, a girl named Janelle had me take hers.  This year, her cousin Abbie wanted me to do hers as well.  She mentioned an abandoned train station that I had actually always wanted to shoot at and never had.  I love Abbie's style and at the station she managed to look straight out of the 1940s.

I do a lot of senior pictures and they're always fun and interesting and I get such great kids.  Allie's shoot was really special to me though - her aunt Whitney and I were best friends for about a decade before Whit died in a car crash three years ago.  When I was asked to do Allie's photos, I was thrilled.  It was like seeing part of a long lost family.  All the sad stuff aside, this is one of my favorite senior shots of the year.  She has her letterman jacket, nice background, great smile....  I love senior pictures!

Rick has been coming to my family's bowling alley as long as I remember, so when he and Lisa asked me to photograph their wedding, I was thrilled!  Weddings are a lot of work but the results tend to be beautiful.  They got married at Shakespeare's, this amazing restaurant/golf course/castle.  Yes, it's a castle with enormous (and heavy!) front doors.  I love all the photos from Rick and Lisa's wedding.

I had only planned on putting one wedding photo in this list because I don't shoot too many.  Then I remembered this insanely adorable shot from Jason and Danielle's winter wedding last February.  It's just too cute, you can't help but smile!

After the romance of the couple photos, we need a romantic location!  I went with my boyfriend's family to Niagara Falls in September (and actually again just a couple days ago for New Years!) and got a few photos.  The boats, the birds, the mist, I love it all!!

OF COURSE this is at the top.  It's my adorable little cat Trigger Happy Jack, cuddling with my bearded dragon, Kitten.  We very nearly were in Professional Photographer Magazine for this image and I was amazed at how good the vertical version of this photo did.  2000+ views and over 250 votes!!  Other photographers were emailing me saying they hoped I would win and people were posting the link to the magazine cover contest all over Facebook....  It was kind of crazy but so awesome.  Thank you to everyone who voted!!!  I'm so grateful for all your support.

Looking through this list one last time, I realize a couple things.  First off, I'm super indecisive.  I knew this already, but you have no idea how many photos were on this list and then weren't and then were again and I love so many it's hard to choose!!  I also realized that I absolutely LOVE my manual focus lenses.  The 50mm f2prime?  Yeah, that's definitely my favorite.  Pretty sure the new 85mm f1.4 is going to get a lot of use in 2012 too.  It's going to be a good year - I have a new job lined up photographing newborns that I'll be starting in a couple weeks and am going to try to build my senior and wedding business up more.  I'm feeling optimistic!!

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