December 31, 2017

Favorite Images of the Year 2017 Edition

Every year, I go back and review my images from the previous 12 months and try to pick out my personal favorites of the year. It’s a difficult process to narrow to the top 10, and this year was no exception. I then go through those 10 and try to pick my absolute favorite from the year – which was very difficult for me this year.

So in no particular order (except, of course, my favorite at the end)…

My Grandson’s Second Birthday
Born on Valentine’s Day means we’re going to have themed birthday pictures every year and this year, my daughter found him this little suit. He came out looking like a little Valentino.

Headshots – Colton
A very large portion of my clients are actors needing headshots. Picking a favorite headshot from the year is a challenge onto itself, but this year a favorite client – Colton – stood out from the rest. This guy is so amazingly talented, I can’t even describe… and the camera loves him.

Parachute Dress
This was created as an experiment with a Parachute as a dress. We had the entire day planned out well in advance and when the day arrived, we had no wind and no good skies. So my friend Jan assisted by flipping the end of the dress around to simulate wind and using my Corel PaintShop Pro tools, I was able to turn what could have been a very dull image into one that reached my Top 10 for the year.

Red Headed Beauty
My favorite boudoir image of the year happened when this lovely young woman came in to do some images for her husband to be. A stunning one piece, engaging eyes, red hair (a personal favorite of mine), and the amazing talents of my makeup team created this image that I can hardly get out of my head.

Classic Catwoman
I taught a class on how I do my Hero images in Austin at the end of the summer and the model I was provided had this awesome Classic Catwoman cosplay. She was posed on a stool and the rest was created with PaintShop Pro magic. (There is a detailed description of the process, including starting images here.)

Cosplayers feature strongly in my studio clients and Kristin has graced my Top 10 many years running. She told me on this image she wanted to fly… she just didn’t know how high I was going to take her lovely Starfire.

I also met an amazing new client this year – one of the professional mermaids at Scarborough Faire. We’ve shot several times together this year, but my favorite of her was this underwater art piece we created of her at a friend’s pool. This image is also for sale in my art store.

This car belongs to a long time friend of mine – from my early days as a professional photographer. Like me, she is also a haunter – working for years with her husband Shey at Zombie Manor. We lost Shey to a heart attack several years ago and this car was one of his favorite things. It already had an awesome paint job and after his passing, the likeness of his character was added to the rear liftgate as a tribute to him. When I wanted to start offering Light Painting through the studio, she jumped at the chance to have an image made… and I love it so much that it made this Top 10.

Beautiful Monsters – The Bride
This is the image that kicked off my Beautiful Monsters project – that turned into a series – and then a Kickstarter campaign – and now going to be a 60+ page book released next year. I could go on and on about it, but just click the link and read about the project over there.

A Magical Wedding
I first met Mike in early 1986. We had been introduced by a mutual friend – with all of us having mutual interests of things like computers and Dungeons & Dragons. I was just starting college and he was probably my first friend as an adult. He had two daughters at the time (the third was almost a year away). The oldest was just past two and retrieved Pepsis from the fridge for Daddy. The younger was just barely crawling. Mike and another friend took over a computer chat system called RMAC shortly after that – and I would meet my wife on that system in April of 1987. When we married in 1989, Mike was my first choice for Best Man. Our group of friends stuck together for quite sometime, even after RMAC was gone. His three girls and our two kids spent a lot of time together growing up… holidays, D&D sessions, summer BBQs, winter BBQs (Mike loved to “burn things”)… and became very much a group of siblings in all ways but blood.

We lost Mike to cancer in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2008.

I “Facebook adopted” those three girls a couple years later, all of them adults now… watched the oldest and youngest get married and start families, with Mike’s surviving brother walking them down the aisle. The middle of those three girls, Gloria, has called me Dad for years… a title that I cherish deeply in the memory of my friend. Earlier this month, along with Mike’s brother, I walked her down the aisle to marry the love of her life.

I love this girl (and her sisters) to pieces. This was an amazing night.

I posed the two of them separately for this piece, neither of them knowing exactly what I was going to do. I put it together and printed it as a large movie poster that hung above their wedding cake during their Harry Potter themed wedding. It also was my stand out favorite image of the year.

Love to both Gloria and Terry in their adventure ahead.