Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best Stuff You Didn't See in 2010

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Now that we've discussed all the cool stuff that happened in 2010 like grown-ups, I wanted to share with you all the other stuff you never saw in 2010. There are a lot of photographs that I took in the course of the year that I never had a chance to show you for various reasons. Some of them are portraits, but a lot of them are just of stuff I think is cool. Take the photo up top for instance. I took that sitting in traffic on I-85. I thought the sky was spectacular that day and I would have given anything not to spend that particular sunset sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, but that wasn't my fate on that day. So, I reached over and got my camera out and started playing around. Hmm.. what do you suppose the people in the other cars thought?

Often, I'll take my camera to one of Zac's soccer games. It's a great way to sharpen up my skills and timing. Those little fellers move pretty fast. Here's a couple that I just liked.

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Continuing the soccer theme, here's a pretty cool one from Zac's birthday portrait session.

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I spent a lot of time in Hazlehurst early last year when my grandmother was sick. I took a few photos there. Here's some of them.

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This is a pretty cool portrait of my brother.

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Here's a cool shot from my parent's farm.


Here's the same scene a week later when it snowed.

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Here's another snow shot.

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This is the grapevine at my grandfather's farm.

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Back in Atlanta, here's a cool detail shot from a senior portrait session.

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Here's another kind of portrait. This is Zac having a haircut in the kitchen. Check out those dirty little feet.

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Here's my nephew Zachery getting ready to have his first motorcycle ride. I loooooove the squished cheeks.

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Check out this awkward family portrait. Ha!

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What about this portrait?

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And this is a fantastic wedding shot... will somebody please help the poor man?

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Well, that about sums it all up. I'm looking forward to 2011. It's going to be a lot of fun. There are a lot of big changes in the works, so keep checking in. In the meantime, I hope you have had a fantastic year, and I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.

One last photo for the road!

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See ya next year!!

My Absolute Favorite Photo of 2010


So, if you are a nerd and were counting the photos in the last two posts, you would have noticed there were only 34 when I said I had chosen 35. Here is the last photo. I saved the best one for last.

I should probably tell you the story behind this photo. This is my grandmother. Her name was Evelyn. She passed away on February 27 this year. I took this photo on January 14. I didn't know it at the time, but this would be my last visit with her before her stroke. That makes this photo the most valuable photo I took in all of 2010. It wasn't even my idea to take it, either. Here's the blog post that tells the story behind this photo if you'd like to read it.

When I look at this photo, it reminds me of the incredible power of photography. I treasure this photo, and several others. We all have certain photos that have more meaning to us than others. Some of them are fuzzy snapshots, in fact, most of them probably are. The power of photography doesn't come from the technical ability of the camera operator, although it helps. The power of photography is in being in the right place at the right moment. If you know what you're doing with the camera once you've made it to the right place at the right moment, well, that's just icing. And that's what I try to do every time I pick up my camera. I try to be in the right place at the right time and then nail the shot. Because my goal is to make photos for people that they can look at later and be able to remember THAT moment as clearly as if it was just yesterday.

My Favorite Photos of 2010 - Part 2

Good morning Internet! I've had a solid six hours of sleep, so I feel bright and chipper. Well, I will as soon as the coffee gets here. But there's no time for tired. It's time to share with you the other half of my favorite photos from 2010.

Yesterday when I added up all the numbers, I thought to myself that 28,000 photos was kind of low. It seemed like I'd been working more than that. I just went and checked, and the number is close enough to correct, but what I forgot is that I didn't really start making photos until May of this year. So, in about 7 months I smashed that little button nearly 30,000 times. Actually, probably more than that, since the first thing I always do is throw out the hopelessly blurry shots. Hard drives can't take vitamins and grow bigger you know. (But whyyyyyyy?)

This first photo is a favorite because I just love the pods on the patio at the Hotel Indigo. The artsy fartsy part of me gets all excited about the lines and how they lead your eye through the image and how the contrast makes her image pop. But basically, it's just dang pretty.

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This photo is just electrically charged. It has pop and zing and some other comic book words too. Some of it might be because of me, but I'm pretty sure that it rocks mostly because of who I was taking photos of. If you take pictures of awesome, you will get awesome pictures. You can see more here.

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From Hannah's sweet sixteen photo session. I call this photo her vampire photo, cause she's all pale and dramatic and stuff. Kind of like Twilight, which is naturally, one of her favorite book/movies.

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These guys are fun. I'll show you the rest of their session soon. Don'tcha just love the old glider?

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Another sweet sixteen session from the summer. This is MJ. I dig the way the background colors make her skin look even more porcelain and flawless.

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See? I tell funny jokes during sessions.

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The camera makes people act in unusual ways. Sometimes people love it. Most people don't. The upside to people being uncomfortable when someone shoves a gigantic camera at them is that they look for other things to think about. I really like the way she's making eye contact with us while he is looking at her. Later on in the session, he got all comfy with the camera and made some more excellent photos, but this one is still one of my faves.

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Psst. Hey. Look over here.

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Usually, the best part of weddings is the kids. All us grown-ups know what's going on, but kids' reactions are fascinating because usually it's their first wedding. Sometimes they're scared. Other times they're amazed. Occasionally they're rotten. No matter what, it makes great photos.

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What's not to love about this photo? A guy with a mohawk in a totally B.A. jacket is taking photos of the ceremony with his iPhone. Sweet.

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Sometimes you just get lucky. Especially if you plan to. Walking back to the car, I saw this wall and hoped I could get this photo. Savannah is a walking city, so it only took a minute. Poor Kayla said she was a little embarrassed. I hope she forgives me now.

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See? Kids. Wedding photography magic.

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I love a good power portrait. And this is one of my favorites of the whole year because that's a real smile and those are a little hard to get.

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This photo cracks me up when I look at it. I love it when we can catch those little moments when people don't think you're making a photo and act like themselves for just a split second.

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Again with the getting lucky if you plan for it.

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This photo is just timeless. Yes. I said it.

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I think this photo is just everyone's favorite of the year. The only other thing that's cooler than kid photos at a wedding is grandparent photos.

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All righty, Internet. The great year of 2010 is nearly a wrap. There's just a few hours left. I've got two more blog posts to complete before the day/year is over, because I want to finish this year properly. Wish me luck.

Thanks for reading my blog!

What A Year! My Favorite Photos of 2010 - Part 1

Wow, 2010 flew by pretty fast. If I still wrote checks, I'd have just gotten then hang of writing 2010 about a month ago. A lot of stuff happened in 2010, but I'm not terribly sentimental about that junk. Google, FaceBook, and Amazon are taking over the world. Celebrities got in trouble for [gasp] being naughty. And, oh yeah, the sky is falling. But over here in Amanda-Land, pretty pictures of awesome people and places happened on a regular basis and everyone is happy and doing just fine, thank you very much. And that is what I'd like to share with you today.

Here are the 2010 stats: I took over 28,747 photos in 2010 (not counting the blurry ones that got deleted). I traveled 4,573 miles. I spent $6259.32 acquiring gear and other necessary materials. Over the course of the year, I did a lot of upgrading of my gear. I spent an enormous amount of time reading, learning, and practicing. I worked a bunch and was fortunate enough to have some great clients this year. There's definitely a major progression over the course of the year, both in terms of style and ability. I'd say the theme for 2010 has definitely been growth.

I've been working on this favorites list for a few days. Who knew it would be so hard? I thought I'd just run in and pick out a quick 20 photos and that would be no problem. On my first pass, I had nearly 100. So I went back through them all and got it down to less than 50. Then, I realized I'd made a mistake and had to start over (doh!). That got me down to 33. Then I asked Jessie to help me narrow it down. That got me to where I am now, with 35 photos to share with you. Yeah, she was kind of opposite help.

Here, in no particular order... are about half of my favorite photos of 2010. I'll post the rest tomorrow.

This first one is from Zac's birthday session. I like this one because I was on a mission to make a specific photo and I had a really limited amount of time to get the shot. After a couple of reschedules, we finally made it to the soccer field and had this shot nailed in 15 minutes, leaving a bunch of time to goof off. Not only that, but now he thinks I'm cool.

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This shot is just a perfect pooch portrait. I love super close ups of dogs.

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Oh yeah, some super sweet drooly baby goodness will always make the cut. You can get more of that here.

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I just love the light in this shot. She's just glowing. I always love a great shot that doesn't need a lot of processing (duhr), and this was practically perfect right out of the camera. Yes, she is just that gorgeous. You can see more from this bridal session here.

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This photo makes me giggle every time I look at it. I just love his expression.

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I'm not big on sunrise and sunset photos. I figure I'll just let all the other photographers get up all early and take care of that for me. But I dragged myself out of bed for this one, and with a 48oz. coffee in hand, I made it down to the marsh just in time to get this one. I like it because it's kind of off balance, like me.

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This is probably my favorite wedding photo of the year, which is saying a lot, since I've got over 11,000 of those to look at. But I really like how the groom is balancing his plate and glass in one hand so he can shake hands with the other.

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This one is from Delanie's birthday session. She had a hard time with the camera this year. It was hard to get her to chillax and be herself for a moment. But things came together the way they always do, and we got a moment of her being herself just as the light became perfect. Two shots later the perfect light was gone and she was hopping on one foot again.

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Don't you just love little bitty baby toes? I love a black and white photo, and this is an awesome detail shot that would not be nearly as fascinating in color. You can see the rest of the session here.

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This is Tonka. He is the coolest dog you will ever meet. He told me to tell you that.

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I took these photos a couple of weeks ago. I haven't even blogged them here yet. This is one of the first photos from the session. If I had known I had made such a great photo right away, we could have gone home 45 minutes sooner! On the other hand, if I'd done that, I wouldn't be able to show you the other cool photo from this session tomorrow, cause it was one of the last.

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Look deep into those eyes and try to say no. You can't. It's not possible. She knows it.

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I love how sweet this picture is. This is their first look, and these two were just adorable. I like this photo because you can't see either of their eyes, but you can see both of their smiles.

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Speaking of really sweet couples, check out this awesome couple. This photo is another one that makes me smile every time I see it. This is Kayla and Cody at their engagement session in Savannah. I really had fun with them. Cody didn't talk much. He reminded me of my Uncle Jake a little. Uncle Jake didn't talk much, but when he did say something, it was always something good.

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This photo is from an engagement session at the Square in Marietta. You'll see the rest of them tomorrow... lol. This is one of their favorite photos from the session, and mine too. It's just a sweet simple moment.. a piece of a moment really. And the light and colors are perfect.

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This is another engagement session. These two love the outdoors, so they blindfolded me and we went to their favorite secret waterfall to take this photo. No, I can't tell you where it is. I love the way the colors make this photo pop. You can see their session here and here.

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So, there you have it my lovely internet friend.. about half of my favorite photos of the year. I'd love to hear your thoughts on my choices. But don't get too panicked if you don't see your favorite one here. I've got the other half coming soon. And then a cool surprise after that. Oh, and another cool surprise as soon as I can figure out this geeky computer downloady stuff.

Thanks for reading my blog!