Favorite Photos of 2011

It’s that time of year when everyone takes a look back at their year, what was good and bad about it, and shares some of their favorite photos, so I figured why not join the fray, too.

I think this is actually a good exercise for any photographer, because it’s very easy to get lost in what you are doing here and now and when you take a bigger view of your work over a year, it’s easier to see how you’ve grown and changed, and what you need to work on next.  One thing I learned while going through my images from this year (over 6300 of them) is that I need to be WAY more consistent in my workflow.  Granted, I did make some big changes through the year in how I rate and cull through photos from a shoot, but still – it should be easier to see my favorites than having to scroll through ALL of them!  Rather than making this post too long, I’m going to post a separate one with my goals for 2012.  I’ve already thought about them and have a pretty good idea of what they will be (and I clearly just added one), but I’ll keep those thoughts separate from these.

The biggest thing that happened for me this year was a change in my goals – I decided that I wanted to start earning some money from my hobby, and approach it in that manner rather than just shooting for the heck of it.  One of the things I had never really done was try to be a portrait photographer – sure, I took pictures of my kids, but I’d never worked at trying to capture relative strangers in a way that would portray them in a special way.  I learned a LOT about doing that this year, and I know I still have a long way to go, but I’ve really been surprised to find out how much I enjoy taking pictures of people – I’d always thought of myself as a landscape photographer.

Anyway, on to my favorite photos of 2011 (with some discussion of each and why they made the list).

This is a portrait of my girls that I took early in the year.  I started doing studio work this year, and they were very helpful in agreeing to pose on almost any occasion, humoring me probably way too often.  But this one practice shot in particular I love because it encapsulates their personalities and shows how much fun they have together.

This is a shot I did of my son outside near my house. He graduated this year and is now in college (more on that later) but this picture is a great shot of him and I really like the way the trees frame him and the whites work together.

At Easter, we went to visit family in Brooklyn and I took my first walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.  I love bridges, and I could easily have spent all day walking the bridge and taking shots from different angles.  The cabling makes for endless possibilities for abstract photos, but I liked this one a lot because of it’s simplicity and the great varied sky behind it.

At the end of 2010, my sister had a baby, Henry, so I got a lot of chances to take pictures of him throughout 2011.  This was one of my favorites because of the timing of getting their dog Lola giving Henry a big ol’ sloppy kiss.  He loved it, and loves Lola!

This photo was taken during a photo expedition to the Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, PA led by Dan’s Camera (a great family-owned business, BTW).  The amazing thing about this factory is all the handwork.  I believe there are only two robots in the whole place, everything else is made lovingly by hand.  This photo is an excellent representation of the care that goes into making each guitar.

My very good friend Kayt Sukel wrote a book this year called Dirty Minds, which will be released on January 3rd of 2012.  It’s already getting a lot of advance press, so I’m very hopeful that the book will do great and that she will get all the accolades she deserves.  Kayt asked me to do her author headshot for the book cover, so we met in New York in May and did some “studio” shots in her hotel room. My headshot of her has already been used in a number of publications, including Elle, and I’m really excited to see the actual book cover with my attribution on the picture! You can order her book from Amazon here.

These two shots are from a trip I took to Italy with my daughter.  We visited Rome, Pisa (we are on top of the Leaning Tower on the right), and Venice (to the left…duh), and we had a fantastic time.  She’s a lot of fun and we laughed the whole way through the trip, even when our plane had to turn around and we got stuck in an airport hotel for an extra day.

Our trip to Italy was preceded by my older son’s graduation from high school.  As the oldest, it was an emotional occasion, as was the day we dropped him off at college, so two of my favorite pictures from 2011 commemorate those occasions:

As I mentioned earlier, I got a number of chances to photograph my nephew Henry, and this was my favorite shot of him:

One of my favorite photo shoots of the year was getting to photograph the daughter of a friend of mine and her fiancee for their engagement photos.  They both love the outdoors, so I took them to one of my favorite parks to shoot the photos. I had a shot of them on railroad tracks in my mind, and they were easy-going enough to play along, and I was happy with the results – more importantly, so were they!  I would have loved to have the fall foliage in greater bloom, but you can only control so many things!

Another shoot that I was very pleased with was for a girl on my daughter’s school soccer team, who asked me to do her senior portraits.  She and her mother were great, and they loved the pictures, including this one:

Finally, my favorite photo from this year. It’s a portrait of my son, taken when he had to go to a fashion show his sisters were in.  He clearly didn’t want to be there, but was a tremendous sport about it and didn’t complain.  He even dressed up (a bit) and also allowed me to take a few shots when he was leaning up against a wall in perfect window light. I saw him hanging out there and thought it would be a great shot of him, and I love it.  I actually like the fact he wasn’t smiling because it gives him a James Dean look.

Thanks for bearing with me on this long post.  I hope all of you had a great 2011 and I wish everyone a fantastic 2012 full of love, laughter, and perfect light!

One Response to “Favorite Photos of 2011”
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  1. […] to 2012! (If you didn’t catch my last blog post with my favorite photos of 2011, check it out here) I tend not to make resolutions, per se, I prefer to set specific goals.  Generic resolutions […]

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