December 11, 2012

The last of the leaves


I love watching my wedding clients start their own families. I photographed Eric and Caroline’s wedding in 2008 I think and we do an annual family portrait and it has been fun watching kids grow up.

Last year Savannah and Daniel came up for a photo shoot with their son. You may remember their wedding I posted which took place in Chicago in 2009. Great friends!

I think I have always enjoyed wedding because at the heart it is really about family and the beginning of a new family.


December 9, 2012

A Star in the Night

A Star in the Night

A couple of years ago a friend of mine, Clint Andersen, made a discovery. He found an obscure little short movie that was filmed in 1945 and ended up winning an academy award for best short. Clint found this short added to a movie titled, “A Connecticut Christmas” which was only so so. It was in the special features section. So he sent me a copy and told me just to watch the special features. I love that era, I love the lighting, the acting, and the simplicity.  If you have 20 minutes this would be a great one to show your kids. Let me know what you think.

November 29, 2012

Pie Time


Thanksgiving was at my house this year for the first time ever. It is hard to think that I can remember my parents being my age and doing the same thing. I like being a host. I think two years in Italy changed the way I host forever. Italians don’t hold back, they love to feed you and make you comfortable. Both the men and the women look after your well being and that was evident in the 45 pounds I gained while I was there. So, I like people to be taken care of when they come to my home. For this reason we have a tradition of making pies. Typically on Thanksgiving Eve we get together and make as many as 14 pies. Pecan, Chocolate, banana cream, coconut cream, apple (my favorite: tip use granny smith apples) pumpkin, pumpkin chiffon, and others that are more forgettable. My kids have come to love this tradition and it warranted a video so here is some of our pie making in action.

November 26, 2012

Aniko and Fam


I did some senior portraits with Aniko a couple years ago. Her and her mom are super fun. Great family! I got to meet them all  recently and their new dog on their family session a week or so ago.

It is photo sessions like these that make me feel like I might be getting closer to feeling like I am ready for a dog. My two year old loves puppies until she gets near them. I would love to see here get comfortable with a little puppy. We have looked at Chugs (pug/Chihuahua mix). Cute buggars. It’s the poop in the yard that is holding me and my wife back. I don’t want to have to go clean up land mines every time we have people over or anyone wants to play in the yard. This is the logic behind small dogs. If anyone has any ideas about how to resolve this dilemma please let me know.

November 9, 2012

The Les Miserables Challenge-Read the Book get a free portrait session


Several years ago I saw my friend Brad Hansen who I hadn’t seen in a while. He and I were really close in high school.  I don’t remember how it happened but he told me he had just finished Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I had always wanted to read that book but it seemed so daunting. Intrigued, I asked him how he liked it and he said it was one of the most incredible books ever written. He followed it up by saying that our friend Travis Cushing had recommended he read the entire unabridged version, the 1200 page one. He did. I made a promise to Brad that I would read the unabridged version (sorry, not in French for you purists) and I began quietly plucking away at it soon after. I found an old copy on my parent’s book shelf that had exactly 1222 pages, no notes, no prologue, just the book. I finished it and reported to Brad in a text that I had finished it. There was so much more going through my mind than just saying I had finished the book. The truth is I found myself welling up with tears for weeks after finishing the book. I was too embarrassed to call Brad because I thought I would break down. I often tell my wife that I wish I had the guts to cry in front of people. I admire people who do it genuinely. As I read the last pages I was in bed and Melanie was in the other room. I began to cry and she walked in so I left and went in another room. She soon came in there and we leap frogged four or five times until I finally said, “Will you quit coming in here so I can just cry?”

I have challenged people to read it for one simple reason. You will not be the same after and I do not believe you will have the same life changing experience reading an abridged version because when I talk with people who have read it they are missing vital parts of the story. The play is awesome as well but it is a supplement. Many have complained that there are too many tangents in the original. This is true so expect it. The tangents are important and always (almost) come back around to finally hit you between the eyes with a build up and a pay off. I think they are necessary. So many things are watered down today but somethings are not meant to be watered down. Reading the abridged version is like going to Italy and eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (I do love Kraft shells and cheese but you know what I mean).

So, I challenge you to read the entire 1200 page UNABRIDGED VERSION. I promise that when you watch the new movie coming out, which looks AMAZING, your experience will be a hundred times amplified.

I will throw in an incentive.

For the FIRST 5 people who finish it I will give you a free one hour family or individual portrait session with the images on a disc. I can cover a lot of ground in an hour.

I realize this may take a while so I will give you until 2014 for the offer to be valid.

October 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Vera!!!


The terrible twos are one of the biggest lies parents are told and perpetuate. My wife and I decided long ago that we would not perpetuate that myth in our home. We have never had a terrible two year old.Take a look at that face!

Happy Birthday Vera!!

Taken with my big ol’ Mamiya film camera at Tony Grove this summer.