2011 Year in Review

Throughout 2011 I’ve had a mixture of amazing moments and sad ones. The lowest of the lows was when one of my grandmothers passed away in the spring of 2011 and I drove to New Jersey for her funeral. It was the hardest on my sister and my mother because of their distance and closeness respectively. And yet one of the biggest successes this year, and one I know my grandmother would have been proud to hear about, was a six month internship with Zuma Press starting after the New Year. My grandmother always encouraged me that as one door closes another one most certainly opens.

In 2011 I’ve also been able to find a great community of refugees from Burma in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I will continue documenting their lives along with the community in Southern California during 2012. They have shown me what it is to be more humble, what it means to care for someone openly and empathically, plus their spirit and understanding has been amazing. I am grateful for their acceptance of my presence into their day-to-day lives, their festivals, road trips, and homes. This is why nearly half of the images in this review of 2011 are from the refugee community from Burma.

There are big plans for 2012 that will hopefully allow me to continue to work on personal projects, give back to the photo community, and build more lifelong relationships well into the future.

I wanted to thank a list of people, but it would be obnoxiously long. You know who you are. Everyone one of you I am grateful for on this journey.

Grand Canyon

Week One – Herald

Bobby Rainey - WKU Football - Jerry Englehart Jr./ZUMAPRESS.com

Bobby Rainey is the star running back for Western Kentucky University with 340 rushing attempts in the 2010 season along with being the third in the nation for rushing yards with an average of 137.4 yards per game.

Scouting out the locations at the Houchens Industries L.T. Smith Stadium¬†was the key to this photoshoot with Rainey. I was told I would have 10 minutes with Rainey and I had to make a portrait that represented the title “The Golden Ticket”. All I could think about when I heard this was Willie Wonka and jokingly asking Rainey to plank the 50 yard line after an incident at WKU, but I digress. This shoot was a simple enough concept yet the noontime light I was asked to shoot in was the piece of the scouting that was most crucial. I arrived a half hour before the shoot with a variety of lens from a 28mm to a 300mm and a Canon 580EX strobe. I also knew the format that the photo would run and i used my iPhone with a 6×6 camera app as a quick “polariod” substitution to test the framing. All-in-all Rainey was very copperative, knew how to hold the ball with the logo facing out, and immediatly understood the idea I had in mind.

For the second photograph I choose to shoot him in the new team jerseys along the team sideline with the 70-200m and the 580EX to fill in the harsh shadows from the backlight. Yes, shoot into the light.

Bobby Rainey - WKU Football - Jerry Englehart Jr./ZUMAPRESS.com
Other highlights of my week was a M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan concert with Love and Theft headling and Philip 7 performing before them, the Lady Toppers Volleyball team playing at the  Belmont Invitational in Nashville, and a feature photo of Seth Tooley practicing color guard routines he created himself:

Phlip 7

WKU Volleyball

Seth Tooley - color guard routine