Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Well....the time has finally come! Tomorrow we leave for Australia for the next 2 weeks. I will be in Sydney for 5 days shooting the wedding with Cameron my video guy and then enjoying some sights with my family. We then go to Cairns to visit the Barrier Reef, Daintree rainforest, Aboriginal villages, and more!
The thing we're most concerned about are the quarantines that are happening in airports across the world. From what I understand if you are showing any signs of sickness at all they are holding you in quarantine in the airport and won't let you go until they've ruled out the Swine Flu. As you know little boys can almost always have something going on with them that ISN'T swine flu....so hopefully we'll make it into Sydney without any incidents. I'll be updating the blog with pics from Australia every day if possible...so keep checking back!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
This is a music video I put together from a collection of video taken on my D90 of our Triple "G" dance crew throwing down the moves (also known as my boys dancing). The video in here is taken from footage shot by me, Kara, and one of my camera guys Chris Cahoon. I thought we needed some good natured fun so I hope this video brings some laughter to your day...I know it did to mine. Enjoy the Triple "G" crew in their video premiere!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Click to see the video
For Easter we got all three boys Ipods...and this morning Michael came and asked me to put some new songs on his Ipod...and so we sat down in front of my computer and started looking for songs.....
The first song we found was "Remember When" by Alan Jackson and the minute it started to play I knew I was in trouble. The song always makes me think about how much I love my wife and kids...and I'm a softie.....
Tears started coming to my eyes and the boys started wondering why I was crying. They've seen me get emotional when I've thought of my Dad that's passed and wondered if I was thinking about "Grandpa Joe". I explained to them that sometimes you cry a little because of what you love...and that they're happy tears. I explained I was thinking about Mommy and the three of them.
Within 30 seconds I felt tears on my arm where JJ was laying. I asked him what was wrong as I pulled him up to me and he said. "My love you so much Daddy." Immediately Michael burst into tears and started saying, "My love Mommy." Kevin looked around and didn't know what to do. I told him it was okay to cry, but also okay not to cry...he went away for about 15 seconds and when he returned he said, "Look, I got a tear," as a tear wiped down his cheek. We shared a group hug and then watched the video and I explained to them that the most wonderful thing in life is your family....and that sometimes you love them so much that the love has to come out of you...and when it does, it's a tear.
Whoever you love...please let them know....there truly is nothing greater in this world than loving and being loved......
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Check out the video of my shoot in the abandoned house in North Carolina! The video contains the first walk through I did of the house when I discovered it, footage of me working with and shooting the bride, and 9 shots from the shoot that I love. I hope you enjoy...this was one of my all time favorite shoots and I have to thank Christine again for making it possible. Thanks Christine...you did great!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
When I was in North Carolina I had the opportunity to do a shoot with one of my brides who will be getting married in August, Christine Holcombe. I found an abandoned house that had been vacant for at least 25 years...and with when we went inside the house we found newspapers, checks, magazines and other items that were 60-100 years old. It was truly an amazing place...and we took some video of the shoot to share later.
The house had so many great places to shoot and was better than any Hollywood set we could have created. To make it better the weather outside was just amazing with all the flowers in bloom. It had rained for several days before the shoot...so the sky had amazing clouds as you can see in this shot. I can't thank Christine enough for helping me with the shoot. I hope you enjoy!
Friday, April 17, 2009
I return from North Carolina and headed off to a day at Disneyland with the family yesterday in the late afternoon. You always see on TV and sometimes on the side of the road people fighting with road rage and getting into it. I never thought I'd be part of an incident but yesterday...I was.
We pulled out of our neighborhood street onto a two lane road that goes downhill. We turned into traffic with plenty of time to get into the lane. A Saab convertible was rolling down the hill very fast....when I turned into the lane I compensated for his distance from us but couldn't account for his speeding. Both lanes were open and I stayed in the right lane. The Saab came up on us pretty quick...but by the time he was behind us we were going 45 mph...the speed limit.
The Saab then started tailgating us and swerving violently behind us on purpose. He then pulled into the left lane and started screaming and flipping us off, all the while honking his horn. I had Kara and the boys in the family minivan, and Kara waved to the guy hoping he would realize we didn't mean anything...no bad feelings.
The Saab then pulled in front of us and started "German Braking" the practice of slamming on your brakes trying make the person behind you crash or have to veer quickly to the left or right. I just slowed down at his pace of braking...and then this guy stopped his car dead in front of us. He then proceeded to start to get out of his car. Kara then quickly looked at me and said, "You aren't going to get out are you?" I replied, "Are you kidding? Do you think I'm going to fight some idiot throwing a temper tantrum with my family in the car?"
As Mr. TT (Temper Tantrum) a man in his mid 40's, approached us I put our van in reverse and started to back up....Mr. TT started following us on foot. As soon as I head enough room between him and his car to avoid hitting both I put the minivan in forward and hit the gas. At this point he was at my window screaming violently...and as soon as he realized that I wasn't going to engage him he punched the window as hard as he could. As we sped away he kicked the car leaving a significant mark on the side that we found later when we inspected the car at a gas station. As we drove away I saw Mr. TT screaming in the middle of the road flipping us off and yelling.
A few thoughts on the experience: I would be humiliated to attack a family and a car full of children just because I had no control over my anger. I doubt he will feel that kind of emotion...but he wasn't a man, he was a child. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not bashful, and given the need I would have no problem defending myself or my family. But this wasn't defense, it was sheer lunacy. The best way to defend you and yourself is by taking the most expedient way to ensure your safety....99% of the time using your fists or other weapons isn't the way to ensure your safety...in fact, it's the best way to ensure your danger.
Road rage is a clear sign that you have no control over your emotions, and you are just choosing to unleash your fury on a stranger. Keep yourself safe and don't become a news item...stay in your car and leave the situation..never make it worse. We live in a very nice neighborhood, and Mr. TT drove a very nice car...so road rage isn't about how much money you have or where you live....in my opinion it just means you still haven't finished that last leg of puberty. Have a great weekend.
Note: This is not a picture of Mr. TT, just stock footage...but he did kind of look like this...maybe it's the same guy!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I love finding old stuff....I just returned from a trip to North Carolina and found this great abandoned gas station just outside of Charlotte. I just love history and when I shoot old buildings like this it always makes me wonder what this looked like when it was first built...what cars came through, what products they sold, what the street looked like, etc.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Our final stop on our trip to Colorado and back was the Lanier family farm. The picture below is of the first home my Grandpa Lanier built on the farm when he homesteaded the farm 90 years ago. The way the story is told...as small as this little house was, my Grandpa (Robert) and his brother would actually invite a few people over with a fiddle and have a dance.
Looking at this dilapidated shack I can't believe how much times have changed just since my Grandpa homesteaded the farm so many years ago. I still remember spending summers at the farm in Pleasant View and as we would play in the fields we would find parts of pots from the Indians that once inhabited the land hundreds of years ago. Now that my Dad has passed it is always awesome to go back and visit...this is the place he grew up, and was a place he truly loved. I will now be taking my boys to the farm for summers so they can start to build some of the same memories that I have. Nothing is better than feeling a part of your family....
Monday, April 13, 2009
After we left Zion's Canyon we started our drive to Colorado. The drive is quite long and that can take a toll on a family with three 5-year old boys. We have a goal that every time we pull over we find something fun to do if possible. While driving we saw this huge rock just to the side of the road. We took our van...did some off-roading and drove to the rock. The boys unbuckled themselves and RAN to the rock. This shot wasn't set up...they just ran because they needed to get their energy out.
We stayed there for about an hour....longer than a normal break but it was so much fun that we just couldn't cut it short. The boys threw rocks, and the coolest thing was the rock was so big that as the boys ran up to it yelling all the way...a huge echo came back. It was pretty surprising given the fact that the area was so wide open...but that's how big the rock was. The boys must have spent 10 minutes just busting up laughing from all the crazy things they said and listened for the echo back. It's moments like these that make being a Dad the best thing in the world.....
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I had a lot of fun on this shoot because it was an unconventional shoot. The bride and groom were very free and up for anything....and any idea I put forward was met with, "Yeah...we'll do that!" I have found the most successful way to have a great shoot is to use the challenging parts of the surroundings as tools to enhance the shoot.
The wind was blowing so hard that I put the groom in front of the tree to block the wind on him a little bit...and then put the bride out there where her dress and veil could blow with reckless abandon. I always tell my clients that in order to have a great shoot they must trust me and do whatever I ask...and that's when we can get shots like this. I hope you enjoy!
Friday, April 10, 2009
I took this shot in Zion's Canyon of Jake and Libby. You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to climb to this location....there really is a huge drop off to the right of the bride and groom...and you have to walk around some parts on a make shift wooden bridge because there is no trail. It was crazy to shoot there but worth it! More shots to come soon.....
Thursday, April 9, 2009
While in Utah we did a shoot in Zion's Canyon. If you haven't been to Zion's Canyon you should go....it's amazing. In many ways it's better than the Grand Canyon because there is so much to do...and with Zion's Canyon there is so much to explore and discover. We had an amazing shoot, and my boys were in heaven. We did the shoot with Jake and Libby who are getting married next month....and they did a great job. The wind started blowing so hard when we were taking these shots that I told the bride to fight the wind...which lead to the shot below. More shots to come later!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
During our road trip we had to take a driving break to release some energy. We stopped off at a place called Lone Rock at Lake Powell. During summer season this place is packed with smimmers, boats, and people...but during our trip we almost had the place to ourselves. I decided to try and teach the boys how to skip rocks...like my Dad taught me so many years ago.
As enthralled as I was with skipping rocks, the boys were just so happy to be able to throw rocks without getting in trouble that they tried to skip the rocks....but eventually just reverted back to throwing rocks...and boy did they throw. It was great...and a beautiful place to stop and enjoy some great family time together.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Global cooling? We are on a road trip passing through the states of California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. Yesterday there was a fresh batch of snow dropped just north of St. George Utah. The boys asked to play and how could we say, "No?" They didn't care about coats, how cold it was, or anything....they just wanted to play. It was awesome and a wonderful start to the trip....more cool pics to come later...
Friday, April 3, 2009
Once in a while a night comes along where everything goes right...and it truly becomes a night to never forget. We spent the day as a family going throughout the city on several appointments and ended up in downtown LA at 7pm. Tired from the travels and needing food we ordered room service and it was fantastic. They brought it up to our suite...and we had so much room it was just perfect.
We then spent the night watching movies until the kids fell asleep and then Kara and I finally got some time to unwind. I snapped a few shots quickly to chronicle the night....and the first shot of the freeway was taken from our suite that had windows over 80% of the room. The boys were mesmerized by the views and just sat by the windows watching everything. They got a big kick out of watching a cop give a motorist a ticket....they kept saying, "Ooooh, he got busted." It was great to be at the hotel, together as a family...and a great start to the weekend! Have a great Friday.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Now that we've launched the new website....we are launching new Galleries that should be done in about two weeks. We probably should have done the galleries before the website....but hey...sometimes it just works out like that. I'm heading up to Utah to do a shoot with a bride and groom that should be a lot of fun. I'll make sure to post pics when I have them....Happy April Fools to everyone!