It's time to reflect, I suppose.
2016 was one hell of a ride...
Allie and I had a pretty good year, a great year actually, we got to travel quite a bit again, we grew our businesses, we grew together, we strengthened connections, we made new connections, and we bought a house... just in the knick of time to say it happened in 2016.
We had said last year that we wanted to buy a house and began looking and weren't coming up with anything worthwhile, until we found where we eventually landed. The last few months have been a trying time for both of us... we commited to this place no matter what, so we moved out of our apartment in Ocean City that we lived in for years and stayed in our (now neighbors) loving friends tiny free standing apartment for what we thought would be 2 weeks or so. We were mistaken about that time frame. Long story short, we lived out of backpacks, our cars, and the studio for about 3 months which was, to say the least, a pain in the ass. At the end of the day, (metaphorically speaking) it was all great though, I love that shit. The 'struggle' or whatever you want to call it. Yvon Chouinard once said something to the effect of "if you compromise the process, you're an asshole when you start out and you're an asshole when you get back". That quote really resonated with me for some reason, probably something to do with his brash whipper snapper mentality and the fact that it's true. I love to do things that are often kind of hard but there is a mental or physical gain from it. I like to climb, do yoga, snowboard, learn, work, and build. In all of that there is a 'process' for sure, or as my friend Travis likes to often say "chop wood, carry water".
I'm rambling, I should probably write more often to keep in check.
At any rate, we have a home, and it's already a 'home' not a house, which I'm not surpised in all honestly, both Allie and I don't really mess around when it comes to getting shit done quick haha (ie: opening multiple studios in about a week, on a whim going to Kenya/Alaska/London, etc.). So we have a roof over our head, and it will take time to get where it should be, but until then it's perfect as it is, and we're grateful.
I also decided that instead of twiddling my thumbs this year during the Winter months I'm going to take on more of a role at the studio (it won't only be during the Winter). I'll be helping with the managing team of all four studios, and with that will go back to Kenya in a few months to get my 200 hour cert for teaching with Paige Elenson. So I'm pretty excited about that, Paige is awesome, and it'll be amazing to see our Kenyan friends sooner than later. This comes back to that mental 'process', I'm not a huge 'share-er', so this is going to be an awakening and an opening I hope. Plus I'll be able to help out better with the studio opposed to just assisting classes and helping with brainstorming and execution of those ideas. So, it'll be good all around.
I guess I'll pause there, and think more later. 2017 is already full of excitement, fear, and hapiness.
The two photos are two times this year (while browsing my site) that really stand out to me that I have a like a visceral feeling of viewing them.
Allie and I had some serious jet lag after coming back from Kenya, and these early mornings in early February were just something else.
On a whim I went to see Girls Against Boys in Brooklyn with Dan and Keith, and it was ridiculous. For a few reasons: they were crazy good, and made me listen to all of their music again for about 2 weeks straight afterwards. And just the idea of going up to Brooklyn for the night to see a show, shoot photos, get good food, and hang with friends is just really awesome. I'm not sure why this night is so vivid in my mind, it's not the first time I've done something like this, but it just is... weird.
Until next time.
It's officially Summer.
One of the best parts about living down here is being able to witness the amazing sunsets every night on the beach with your friends and family. It only makes sense to have those moments captured. Get your family together for a casual photoshoot where you will receive both a selection of candids as well as traditional portraits along the beach with while the sunsets!
*The whole shoot will be available for preview and potential purchase.
Let us know when you are interested and we can schedule a time for the shoot!
Inside of my brain can get weird.
I've had a wild year.... I'm not exactly sure why I've been reflecting on this so much today, but I have been. I suppose it has to do with it was around this time last year I asked my wife to be my wife.
Marriage... huh? Who let me adult.
I still think back to when I was a boy climbing trees and coming home covered in dirt and sap to my parents asking me if I was out playing in my new shoes and responding with a not very convincing "no". Or to hanging out in the woods that we called our "base" because we were a bunch of "badasses" and had our own little "home-base" in the middle of our woods. Now my wife and I are talking about building our own base, aka a house, like adults do. With more and more of my friends having children of their own it's hard not to reflect on that "next step" in our lives. That thought... which is followed by some other childish and former thought. When do you finally feel like an "adult"? Something I keep asking myself. I feel like I've been through enough experiences to finally call myself one, and I do, but at the same time I'm giggling on the inside saying "what, no you're not!". It's strange is all. It's scary and amazing and fun all at the same time. I'm crazy fortunate to have married a super rad badass girl that loves me for everything I offer and don't offer. So at least I'm not alone with these crazy thoughts. We are on the same page, and are starting to start our life which is really awesome. We've already been all over the World and we don't plan to stop seeing and doing anytime soon.
That's my segue into this top photo.
Our first big trip together was to visit one of my best friends who was working in Alaska and go to Vancouver along the way. There is something about going to places like this... It's a feeling deep in your gut that's hard to properly describe when you get to experience such amazing places, you can't help but just have a goofy smile for no reason from just staring at nothing and everything. For us, we have only tried to top each trip that we've taken. When we went to Kenya, for a lack of better terms... it changed our lives. Our trip mantra was to be there with "love, leadership, and legacy" on the forefront of our mind. There was 6 of us that went in total, and I think I can speak for us all, but it's something that has stuck with us. We carry that mantra with us every where we go now.
Wedding season is starting back up again for me next month. With that I've been just trying to get my shit together. I'm really trying to figure out what I want to do with photography... and well much like this post, my brain and thinking is all over the place. In a perfect world I would work with numerous local (and not local) companies on helping them tell a story about their brand, the best way to use social media for a company in my opinion. It would be a fun, creative, and a challenging way to work with a company. It would be more than just photography. It would be helping local companies that do something great, but explaining that is not one of their strong attributes (It all comes back to love, leadership, and legacy). Along with that I would love to continue to shoot weddings, which is something that when I look back at weddings that I've shot just in this year, makes me enjoy shooting weddings even more. I look through photos and get excited about the opportunities that come with a new season of shooting and doing things better, differently, and more efficient. Love, leadership, legacy. I try my hardest to be honest, fair, and hell, just kind to people.
Okay, I think that's enough typing for one day.
Well, almost. This wedding is funny to me. I went into very nervous.... and it has some of my favorite images from any wedding I shot. I didn't know the couple... at all, I met them about an hour before this photo was taken actually. I was shooting it as a favor for a wedding planner friend of mine that knows the couple. There was an impending pseudo-hurricane on the way. I was nervous about the weather and shooting it alone.
It was a lesson learned.
The couple was awesome, the lighting was perfect and beautiful from the soon to be storm, and I got better at being my own assistant and being more efficient shooting on my own.
Stepping out of my comfort zone is something that I'm getting better at... and it's just funny that I have photographic proof of why to just go with the damn flow.
And, that, is it.
We are going to Africa in January and I plan to document the entire experience with the Grace and Glory Yoga team! In order to get there... we all have to raise money for the trip and to help the people in the organization. I want to do family Holiday portraits and put the money towards getting my butt to the other side of the World! With your help we can both get something awesome out of it. What do you get? Well, I happen to love taking pictures of people in their element, those are always the best images that last... that's what you want, something that will LAST! These are great for Holiday cards, or even just getting a new round of family photos (pets are definitely included!!)!
I don't think much more needs to be explained on that part, but if you are interested in what AYP is all about, check out this link: Africa Yoga Project for some more info. Also, if you are interested in joining us that link will tell you all of the info you need!
You can fill out the form below, and let me know when you wanted to try and set up the shoot... they should only take about an hour; quick and easy!
The Benne Wedding, June 19th 2015
Steve and Blair got married at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. On this particular day, it was a bit hot and humid out... with what seemed like an impending detrimental storm brewing. As everyone got ready there was a slight sense of nervousness that we were all about to be rained out. While driving from the hotel to the gardens... well, it rained, it rained hard. There was this magical moment though, the second that I pulled in the arboretum the rain stopped, and that was it. The clouds passed and got this great sunny ceremony and nice sky to follow. Everything worked out great in the end. We had a beautiful ceremony and party surrounded by this amazing and awesome gardens.
Definitely a great day for a wedding.
I've known Molly for a few years now from working together for Quiksilver and have kept in touch through social media since, so when I got an email from her and Greg in the Fall asking about shooting their wedding I was pretty excited. We shot some engagement photos on the beach pretty quickly after that conversation and had a rather interesting experience with some of the local beach goers... and from there I just knew... it was going to be a good wedding.
Going to the barbershop is the one time a guy can really "pamper" himself. Unlike our female counterparts, we don't get too much relaxing time when grooming ourselves.
I don't get a mani or a pedi... I quickly clip my nails or toenails over a trash can while balancing on one foot (yea I do that for my fingernails as well, weird, I know) just before running out the door. When I shave and then have to deal with the repercussions of cutting my face, I'm not a happy camper, so I just don't shave. I will say, giving myself a proper shave using a hot wash cloth and my badger fur brush is pretty great, but I'm doing it, so it's like if you went to the spa and they told you to do it all yourself... not quite the same.
at any rate, this is where the barbershop comes in.
We get to just... sit and relax.
We don't have to talk if we don't want to, or we can be as talkative as we please. The guys at the shop will surely keep you entertained.
It's your OG barbershop feel, you make fun of each other the whole time, talk about surfing, motorcycles and cars, riding dirt bikes, some random bit of the news, etc etc.
It's a good group of guys over there, I usually get my hair cut by Darren or Ryan, but I like to try out whoever's new there. I've known Ryan for a long time now, and it's funny how we've built such a better relationship just from the act of cutting hair. I think having owned my own business I'm drawn towards little shops that have it together; people working together with other organizations and hell, just being friendly.
I want to start a little project over there soon when I get a little free time, where I hang out there and shoot some photos. I have a few good ideas that you'll see when eventually. No spoilers here.
Engagement Photos in AC
About a week ago myself, Americo, and Dana braved the wind in AC and tackled the Absecon Lighthouse... we even got a card from our buddy Buddy, the Lightkeeper stating we climbed all 228 steps to the top. Quite the feat really... I was sore the next day.
At any rate, I was excited when I started snapping at the bottom and became aware of the amazing light found inside of here (go figure) and how good these two look together in photos. We reached the top to meet Buddy (The Keeper of the Light) he gave us a little run down on the place and let us get back to shooting... after which letting us know how incredibly windy it was just outside the door.
Guess what... he didn't lie.
It was all in good fun though.
I feel like when I take a couple through some intense weather it just brings us closer together and we end up with better photos anyway... That's just what I keep telling myself anyway.
We pressed on and walked towards the beach so I could get some distance and shoot with a long lens. Again we dealt with a bit of wind, but it was okay. Americo and Dana are all-stars and just laughed and got through it, perfect scenario really.
They are both super nice people and I'm pumped they chose me to be a part of their wedding and photograph it. I'm looking forward to it and getting to know them better... I'll stop rambling now.
Jon Henderson and his company Good Time Tricycle Productions always put on pretty rad events in the area... Beer Fest being one of them. This year I was able to get there for the one session where Lucero played. I thought it was super random that Lucero was playing this event, but was totally pumped about it; they are an alternative/country/punk-rock sounding band from Memphis Tennessee. I've been into them for awhile, so I was pretty excited to see they were playing.
Shooting in any kind of convention hall or huge place like this is often pretty tough because the lighting is rough. A little tweaking in Lightroom and they seem okay though. It's like the old saying "when life hands you lemons... throw them out and use Lightroom".
March 6th 2015
O'Death opened for MBD... I had never heard of these guys before, but they were pretty rad. For being a "folky" band, they brought it. Super high energy and a crazy fiddler!
I've seen Murder by Death so many times... and they never disappoint. Always sounding super clean and tight, and with new music it was just a plus. Early in the show the lead singer Adam Turla informed the crowd that for some reason, this was the largest crowd they had played for 1,500 people all packed into Union Transfer to hear them... pretty rad.
Diggin the Buddy Rich style MBD logo...